I wrote about one great tradition last week - the Festival of Nine Lessons and Carols from King's. Another is performances of Handel's 'Messiah'. It is one of the old tunesmith's most popular works and we should consider why. It includes a goodly chunk of the Christmas Story before moving on to Easter. The arias are a line of greatest hits: 'The Trumpet shall Sound', ''O thou that tellest good tidings to Zion' and of course the timeless 'I know that my Redeemer liveth'I It includes some of the most exciting choruses even Handel wrote 'for unto us is born', 'all we , like sheep have gone astray' and of course the 'Hallelujah Chorus'. There is an old tradition that the audience stands through it which is supposed to be because King George II was so moved by the music that he stood to his feet when he heard it, requiring that his subjects followed suit. Whatever the truth 'Messiah' includes some of the most uplifting music you could ever hope to hear.
We are so pleased that we have managed to salvage something from the awfulness which has been 2020. On 23 December from 7pm we will be broadcasting a performance of 'Messiah' by our good friends the Dunedin Consort under John Butt from Perth Concert. Do join us so we can enjoy some of the joy of Christmas together.
Listen to a large scale Messiah here
Read more about the Dunedin Messiah and book here