Handel’s Messiah in Nashville, Tennessee

Schermerhorn Symphony Center
View of the main lobby at the Schermerhorn Symphony Center, Nashville, TN

For Christmas this year, my husband gave me tickets to see the performance of Handel’s Messiah at the Schermerhorn Symphony Center in Nashville, Tennessee.  Being the lover of jazz music that I am, my husband was a little concerned that I would not care to go.  I told him not to worry, I was really looking forward to it, and I really was.  We had not been to anything in the way of performing arts in quite a while, outside of those put on by our church, and had not been to a show in downtown Nashville in a couple of years.

The Nashville Symphony was started in 1945, and made it’s home at the Schermerhorn when they opened their doors in 2006.  Since the year 2000, the orchestra has won 11 GRAMMY awards out of 20 nominations and since 2008 they have been under the leadership of acclaimed conductor Giancarlo Guerrero.  Everything from rock to classical is performed here, and I honestly haven’t heard a bad word about any of it.

 

Schermerhorn Symphony Center Auditorium
View from the Founders Circle balcony inside the Laura Turner Hall at the Schermerhorn Symphony Center

I had never been to the Schermerhorn, and upon entering knew the show would be wonderful.  The Neo-Classical architecture is absolutely gorgeous, and the staff are there for your every need.  There is a coat check, two bars, a cafe, which is currently under renovation, as well as plenty of restrooms.  Even if you don’t see a show, it is fun to just check inside the box office or lobby and see if they will let you look around.  Hotels and eateries are nearby as it is only a block off of Broadway, the heart of downtown.  One word of caution:  as with any big city these days, it pays to do your homework and review maps of available parking.

At Handel's Messiah, 2017 Schermerhorn

The performance of George Frideric Handel’s Messiah by the Nashville Symphony and the Nashville Choir was phenomenal.  I really never knew who Handel was, what his composition of the Messiah is other than the bits and pieces that I just happened to see performed by a church choir or heard on the radio.  According to the program we received, titled, In Concert, Handel wrote the original 260 page masterpiece in just over three weeks in 1741.  Consisting of three parts, Messiah was originally written as a musical score for an Easter celebration in Dublin.  The text, written by Charles Jennens, describes in biblical verse the birth, death and resurrection of Jesus.

Cellos at Schermerhorn.jpg

Over the years Handel continued making revisions, even adding new segments to the piece.  After Handel’s death, Messiah evolved from a traditional Easter performance to the beloved piece of music that we look forward to each year at Christmas.  It is believed that during the 1743 premiere of Messiah in London, King George II stood up at the start of the Hallelujiah Chorus, to which the crowd followed suit and it is still a tradition to this very day.

I would like to wish you a very Merry Christmas and a wonderful New Year!  Be safe and let me know if you have seen Handel’s Messiah and your thoughts.  God bless!

All photos and artwork ©2017 Denny Martindale, All Rights Reserved

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A Trio of Christmas Paintings

Happy New Year to everyone!  I hope you had a wonderful Christmas.  Yes, I am way behind in my posts.  So, here is a set of three pastel paintings I did for a client for Christmas.

House painting, pastel painting, architectural painting
“Deck The Halls”, 9″ x 12″ pastel, private collection

This is the first house I have ever done in pastel, the only other one was a graphite drawing.  I was happy that I was able to capture the winter fog that frequently settles in the trees on the hill at the back of the property.

Christmas tree, landscape painting, decorative, Christmas card painting
“O’ Christmas Tree”, 12″ x 9″, pastel, private collection

This was a wonderful challenge.  I actually went and photographed the ornaments the family hangs on this large cedar tree each year.  On the night I photographed the tree, the moon was out, but only a sliver.  The client requested a full moon so I said I would see what I could do!

 

 

Cat, barn, farm art, Christmas, wreath, cross,
“Silent Night, Holy Night”, 9″ x 12″, pastel, private collection

The final piece is a painting of the little barn that is decorated every year.  The client asked if I could add in the family’s black cat (which had passed away earlier in the year) looking up at the wreath.

As usual, I thoroughly enjoyed working on all three of these paintings.  I pray that each and every one of you has a blessed New Year!

 

 

What an end to 2008!

Well, 2008 is over.  It was shaping up to be a mediocre year business wise, and I thought with the state of the economy during the last quarter that sales for that quarter would probably be close to flat.  I was somewhat  surprised as by Nov. 1 I did not have a single order for portraits for the Christmas season.  I am usually very busy.  I thought this strange, but sometimes God knows when you need to be busy and when you don’t. 

 However, the week before Thanksgiving, it hit.  Three pastel portraits before Christmas!  Two were farm scenes with the animals, barns, etc. and the other was a donkey.  No problem, right?  The donkey got moved back to a birthday for January 12.  The farm scenes on the other hand, were rather interesting.  No one seemed to be able to decide on the compositions.  Finally, each party agreed on their piece, and I finished the first one the second week of December.  The second one was finalized one week before Christmas.  My husband was a nervous wreck byChristmas Eve, because we also had all of the usual Christmas gatherings, as well as preparations, gift buying, etc.  Plus, we also had the added excitement of the printer quitting in the early stages of trying to print out our Christmas cards.  Hence my excuse for not having posted anything on this blog for eons as well.

On Christmas Eve morning, the client came for final proofing.  They liked, I framed, and out the door it went!  I likewise finished the donkey in under a week.  (They are all viewable at the website, www.CustomPastelPortraits.com).      

The best thing about the entire experience is the fact that I learned many lessons from it.  First, I learned that I can deal with clients changing their minds (frequently, I might add) better than I thought I could.  Second, I am able to kick it into high gear when necessary and still produce the quality of art I am seeking.  Third, I am a more successful artist than I previously gave myself credit for. 

I am grateful for all of my clients, and the wonderful compositions they come up with.  I love that they push me farther than I might otherwise seek to take myself.  I love that with every painting I learn something new, as I will research what I need to complete the painting.  I am also looking forward to a fascinating 2009.  So many paintings and other wonderful things to do.  I wish you a splendid New Year and may God bless you in ways you never thought possible!