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George Frideric Handel by Balthasar Denner.jpg

 

Re-cycling, refugees, extreme weather,

epidemiology, pollution,

infant mortality and slavery,

with a soupcon of subtle parody

and tuneful Italian arias –

small wonder that Haydn, sobbing, remarked

that Handel was the Master of them all,

leaving his rivals in Stygian dark.

 

Everyone wants to view the mighty fall;

to see the baddies’ chariot wheels spark,

then sink in dense quicksand, or tsunami.

To hear chants, fugues, a rollicking chorus,

denouncing the worshippers of Horus…!

Even Jenkins, who had no ear (that year)

could not have failed to pick up on the vibe.

Flies, frogs, flux, Mad Cow Disease and a plague

on the Pharaonic House – who said that ‘nice

and stately’ was the way to go?  The dirge

was cut;  he reduced the lamentation.

This new work would focus on salvation.

The Psalms were fine, but throw out the hymnal:

focus on Miriam and her timbrel!

Massed choral societies could just let rip.

Oh, Orchestra of Enlightenment, play

your instruments, as in the score’s heyday.