Saturday 17 December 2011 8.00pm
Phone 32 (0)3 248 28 28
'Hallelujah' Chorus from Messiah
About this concert
Does Messiah need any introduction? No piece of music is so well known and yet so deeply loved — but then few works invite the audience so deeply into the heart of their drama. When George II was inspired to rise to his feet during the ‘Hallelujah’ chorus, unwittingly establishing a tradition that continues today, he embodied the irresistibly moving nature of Handel’s masterpiece, seamless combination of the lyrical beauty of Italian opera and the dramatic immediacy of the church liturgy. At its premiere the church authorities worried about the implications of this potent mix; centuries later it ensures that Messiah never grows old.
In context: Multiple Messiahs
Ever the pragmatist, Handel repeatedly modified Messiah to suit changing circumstances. The AAM has made two acclaimed recordings of Handel’s finest arrangements: in 1980 Christopher Hogwood conducted the 1754 version for Covent Garden and the Foundling Hospital; and in 2006 we teamed up with Edward Higginbottom and the Choir of New College, Oxford for the only modern recording of the 1751 version, which uses trebles in both the choruses and arias.