The following is a review by Woodbridge writer Nancy Kyme of the Manassas Chorale’s “Tidings of Joy” Christmas Concert presented at 5 PM on December 17, 2011 . Nancy attended the concert with her husband John. I’m publishing it here because the local media haven’t, and so I have appointed Biscuit City as a local medium.
Congratulations to the Manassas Chorale on their two successful Christmas concerts this past Saturday afternoon and evening. The group put on an amazing display of talent and dedication, producing beautiful music throughout for the appreciative audience. The arrangements were unique and enchanting, producing the best Christmas music I have heard in years. (Artistic Director) Becky Verner is a real Prince William treasure.
All the songs were marvelous, especially the twelve brilliant mini-concerts making up “A Musicological Journey through the Twelve Days of Christmas.” I love Vivaldi, Strauss, Wagner, and they were all there. The early chants were rich, and the historical perspective provided by the piece satisfying. My mind was swept along through each genre and evoked venue, supplying images of all the European places I’ve toured from monasteries to cathedrals and medieval courts, to elaborate castles like Versailles. Music is usually the missing element when touring such historical places. I believe laughter bubbled out of the listeners during the song as they realized such complex beauty was enhancing the tired Christmas equivalent of “Hundred Bottles of Beer on the Wall”. Such a creative dichotomy!
“Silent Night” at the end was especially beautiful. I had my eyes closed to savor it and so, the bells were a pleasant surprise.
I could go on and on, but suffice it to say for the two full hours, I had a smile on my face. From our cat bird seat we could see the entire audience was equally entranced by these superb performances.