performed by silent monks:
Pure awesomeness - and side splittingly funny as well. :clapping:
Actually, I found this pretty offensive - on several levels. First, this appears to be some kind of a schoool production - hardly real “monks.” Second, the premise of “silent monks” actually mocks the idea of the monastic Grand Silence by implying that monastic voices can’t be raised in prayer or hymn. And in the choreography of the “flash cards,” the card with the word “Lord” on it is on the floor, and keeps getting turned over with someone’s feet – is that really how the title and word “Lord” should be handled?
I think this whole thing is a mockery of both the Hallelujah Chorus and Catholicism, however “clever” it thinks it is.
First, not all monks are Catholic, e.g., so I cannot see how this could be a mockery of Catholicism specifically.
Second, do you think that the Hallelujah Chorus or the Messiah from which it comes is sacred music or even Catholic? It is neither. The Messiah is an oratorio, in other words a concert piece for orchestra, choir and soloists, performed for an audience. It is not liturgical and was never intended to be.
Handel was raised Lutheran and the Messiah was first performed in the Music Hall, Fishamble St., Dublin in 1742 by the all-male choirs of St. Patrick’s and Christchurch Anglican cathedrals.
Parodies of the Hallelujah Chorus and new versions of it abound. The ‘mute monks’ version is a common one at Christmas concerts (sometimes it’s ‘mute nuns’). It has no hidden agenda and is intended - as the original was - for entertainment.
I never said it was liturgical - you’re putting words in my mouth. The text, however, is from Scripture, and if you don’t think the words of Scripture deserve respect, that’s your problem, not mine.
The tradition I learned during performances of *Messiah *is to stand during the Hallelujah Chorus, which I believe dates to an early performance when the king of England stood out of respect and probably awe. That’s a long way from handling the word “Lord” with your feet.
If you pay attention, it happens with ALL the flash cards that the higher the notes are, the higher the cards are lifted, correspondingly the lower the notes are, the lower the cards are held (or not, I suppose). It goes for all the words, it’s nothing specific to ‘Lord’.
Another theory on this is that the king had gout, the oratorio was very long, so he stood to relieve the pain. When the king stood, so did everyone else. Not out of respect for the music, wonderful though it is, but because no one sat while the king stood.
Funny how ‘traditions’ begin.
The words of scripture are used in secular contexts every day, and often parodied - like all great literature. Even my PP, a most orthodox and reverent man, remarked encouragingly to us recently when the heating broke down in our church and we sat shivering in the pews: “Many are cold but few are frozen” an obvious parody of Matthew 22:14. Should we report him to the bishop for disrespect?
How can you ‘handle’ something with your feet? BTW, most performers of this ‘mute monks’ version have performers out of sight, either beneath the stage or beneath the robes of other performers. These hidden performers usually hold (their hands can be seen) the words Lord and Lords from the phrase Lord of Lords. In the version posted by the OP, the lack of under-stage facilities and inadequate stage area make that impossible.
I never said it was liturgical - you’re putting words in my mouth
I never said you did. But you clearly think that the Hallelujah Chorus is ‘sacred music’ in some sense. I was making the point that it wasn’t ‘sacred music’ in a liturgical sense - the only sense in which a parody could be disrespectful or mocking.
As was mentioned by Yellowbird, “The Messiah” is not a sacred work in the liturgical sense. It is a religious work and considered a religious oratorio (as opposed to a secular oratorio such as Handel’s “Semele”). Although, it was advertised during its London debut as “A Sacred Oratorio”. This was after its initial debut in Dublin. At that time, he received a lot of flack for even having religious/biblical subjects “performed” in secular stages such as his earlier religious oratorios prior to “The Messiah”. It was felt they should only be performed in church settings because of the religious subject matter.
This youtube performance was cute, but I’m not sure if Handel would have approved of it. He took this particular oratorio very seriously and wanted to bring people to a higher understanding of the story of the Messiah as well as uplift them. There’s the famous story when someone came up to congratulate him on the excellent “entertainment” of his oratorio and he replied, “My lord, I should be sorry that I only entertained them. I wish to make them better.”
It is such a popular piece now, that, like with so many other popular pieces, especially with classical works that is usually taken seriously, people will sometimes make parodies and jokes out of them. It doesn’t usually bother me, even as a classical musician, myself, because I like to have a good laugh. But I sometimes do think about how the actual composer might have “handeled” it. hahaha! Ok, sorry for the pun. :o
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A good laugh, indeed! Cute and funny.