Solomon's Knot Messiah - St. John's Smith Square

I played first trumpet in a performance of Handel's Messiah at St. John's Smith Square on Friday 5th of December 2014. The performance, given by Solomon's Knot was a refreshingly vibrant performance of this well-known work. The eight singers performed the entire piece from memory, which somehow gave the impression that the music was being spontaneously composed. The movements flowed seamlessly into each other, giving a wonderful theatrical effect. Each of the two singers per part had been assigned arias to learn, and the choruses were performed by the same eight singers. They did an excellent job with the memorisation, with no memory slips at all in the performance. Being 'off-copy' gave them the freedom to move around and gesture.

I played 'The Trumpet Shall Sound' which is always a great honour. The words 'at the last trumpet' always remind me of Frank Tomes, the instrument make who made my natural trumpet. I have the pleasure of owning the 'last trumpet' he ever made, so I always get a shiver down my spine when I hear those words in situ, towards the end of this monumental oratorio.

The stage in St. John's Smith Square had been arranged to be side on to the usual formation, with chairs laid out in semi-circular rows. The audience were extremely appreciative, giving us a standing ovation. It was a great concert to be a part of!

Russell Gilmour
Russell Gilmour Blog
writing on music, photography, engraving, travel and life as a freelance professional musician.