Friday, 10 June 2011

Oh Had I Jubal's Lyre

A wonderfully decorated Lyre, to match a beautifully decorated aria !

As a young singer I loved giving recitals, and one of the finest encores (assuming the audience were up for it!) I used was Handel's Oh Had I Jubal's Lyre. It is so full of fun, so zippy and with a truly ecstatic sentiment. It feels like one is singing the most amazing blissful joy set to music !

It is so difficult to sing the 'speed of sound' coloratura runs, if one cannot find the joy in it - with a mind set of happiness and devil may care it is a positive doddle! Sometimes on singing it I used to feel as if I might take off, and the whizz up to Heaven might be outwith my control.

The words are :

Oh had I Jubal's lyre or Miriam's tuneful voice,
To sounds like his I would aspire,
In songs like hers
Rejoice !
My humble strains but faintly show
How much to Heaven and Thee I owe !

What a simple but ravishingly gorgeous text to set to music.

The Dame makes it sound like a breeze, and indeed the best bit of advice I ever had when I was learning it was 'just believe it is so easy, and let Handel finish the job!'

Never a truer word..............................

If your ears can take it listen to the fantastic harpsichord playing, cheeky, brisk and so snappy !

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