Tuesday, April 14, 2009

Handel keeps on running


A wonderful email story from a reader in Spain to end the Handel anniversary day.
When the city of Madrid organised the first Marathon race back in 1978, an anoymous neighbour who lived near the 41th kilometre milestone placed the loudspeakers of his sound system in his balcony facing the street and playing Handel's Hallelujah chorus at full volume in an endless loop while runners passed by. This became a custom that was even announced by the organisation in later editions.

In 1999 the race had to change its course in the last kilometres in order to accomodate the growing number of participants. This would have deprived them from their Handel when they approached the last kilometre. But the association of Handel to the race was so entrenched that the organisation set up a booth at the 41th kilometre milestone with a powerful sound system playing Handel's Hallelujah chorus "as usual". I can confess that its effect on the runners is really uplifting.
More on the Hallelujah chorus here.
The Handel anniverary has been the most glorious Spring day here in England, and the email above was waiting for me when I returned from my afternoon run! Quick and dirty collage, is, of course, by me. Any copyrighted material on these pages is included as "fair use", for the purpose of study, review or critical analysis only, and will be removed at the request of copyright owner(s). Report errors to - overgrownpath at hotmail dot co dot uk

1 comment:

davidderrick said...

I would love to play the whole Messiah, loud, to a bunch of dreary Islamists. (American Christian fundamentalists probably think it's "them" already.)