Handel and Haydn and Harry Christophers

Posted on: January 29, 2010

In Thursday’s (1/28) Wall Street Journal, Barbara Jepson reports from Boston on the Handel and Haydn Society’s first season under Artistic Director Harry Christophers. Founder of the choral group The Sixteen, Christophers brings “a vast knowledge of the Baroque and Classical repertoire, organizational experience and his own record label. The last should prove particularly useful; the ‘H and H’ has made only 13 recordings since its first release in 1955. In turn, affiliation with the esteemed Society will help broaden awareness of Mr. Christophers in the U.S.” The conductor “wants a clear, incisive sound from the instrumentalists, and the kind of eye contact characteristic of a string quartet.” Christophers “has what it takes to inspire the Society’s fine musicians,” Jepson writes, but “has ruffled some feathers by reauditioning veteran members along with younger talent.” Like one of his predecessors, Christopher Hogwood, he “intends to focus on Baroque and Classical repertoire. In that, he differs from Grant Llewellyn, music director from 2001 to 2006.” The first H and H recording on Christophers’s CORO label will consist of Mozart’s C Minor Mass, “less frequently performed Handel oratorios and other unfamiliar pieces from the 18th century.”

Posted January 29, 2010