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athgarvan

Handel's Messiah

plaque

Every Christmas one expects performances of Handel's Messiah. Part 1 of the Oratorio treats of the Coming of Christ. The work was first performed in Neal's Musick Hall in Fishamble St., Dublin, in 1742.

Jonathan Swift, Dean of nearby St. Patrick's Cathedral, insisted that it be entitled A Sacred Oratorio. That first performance was in aid of The Charitable Infirmary, Mercer's Hospital, and the Releasement of Prisoners.

Listen to Andre Rieu's version of the Halleluja Chorus at :  http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=D_psFfD91b4

Comments

Oh, I love Handel so much

The most pleasant music.
Thanks. "Worthy is the Lamb" is my favorite section. I was listening the other day at the office at school and didn't realize I was singing along.
An oldie but goodie. Very nice.
When I lived in New York a performance of The Messiah was part of our celebration each year. Plus putting it on to hear around the house as a regular part of the season, I can sing along with most of it.

Hallelia Chorus

I could not access the video, but i will certainly hear it during the season.

Re: Hallelia Chorus

See 'this' below for a lovely rendering of the Chorus.
Funnily enough, I've just been pointed at this on Facebook, which you may (I hope) enjoy.
I really enjoyed it. Thanks.
Thank you both, and the monks, and Handel also.
I do love this oratorio. I've sung it so many times* that I too can warble along with the radio/CD - and it never palls.
The chorus that closes out the Prophecy of the Coming of Christ in Part 1, 'For, unto us a Child is born' is one of my favourite pieces of choral music to sing as it cannot be anything other than joyful. The section of Isaiah that the text is taken from also happens to be one of my mother's favourite Bible portions (she's not a Christian, but when you attended school in her day, Scripture class was compulsory).
Nobody in their right mind would let me butcher one of the solo sections.



*How many times? Let's just say that it's double figures and I've done every chorus part except for the bass (yes, I'm a female with tenor range).
You seem to be very familiar with the work. I love it myself but have never sung any of it.
It's worth keeping an eye out for any 'join us and sing' events at your local concert hall; many towns/cities will have at least one orchestra+chorus who do this. Try experiencing the ringing descending final 'Amen' of the closing 'Worthy Is The Lamb' chorale in a 1000-strong chorus, from the inside. Literally, every hair on end.
If you can sing on pitch and in time, that's all that's required. My vocal tone is ghastly, but pitch, volume and rhythm are fine and in a chorus, the Strangled Duck Factor is neutralised.

I would also recommend grabbing a copy of the vocal score from your local library and simply singing along at home - it's fun in its own right, plus you can try out the solos.
My recording of choice the The English Concert conducted by Trevor Pinnock, on the Archiv Produktion label. They use authentic instruments and have both a contralto and male alto, so that certain solos are sung by the voice that they were originally written for.
I knew that!

But then, I am a huge fan of Georg Friedrich and his music!
Will all these classical masters finally lose out to modern 'music'?
In my younger years, before I developed a vocal cord disorder, I loved singing with the choir at school and the community choir. The community choir always sang The Messiah at Easter. Glorious!

Edited at 2013-12-16 11:08 (UTC)