Today in 1742, in Dublin, Ireland, George Frideric Handel's oratorio Messiah was first performed. (An oratorio is like an opera, but without the supertitles and sans the horned helmets.) How apropos that the Messiah was first performed in wet-weather April, huh? "And it shall rain for-e-ver and e-e-e-e-ver." T.S. Eliot, by the way, liked April rains. He wrote, "April is the coolest month." (And got paid for it.)

Dublin, by the way, was originally a Viking settlement. I wonder if the singers at that first Messiah defied convention and wore the horns anyway, don't you?

Van Cliburn of Texas won the Tchaikovsky International Piano Competition in 1958, first American to do so. He wowed the judges with his passionate renditions of Heart and Soul and Chopsticks.