Handel Messiah (Complete)
Saturday 2nd December 2023 7:00PM
Nottingham Harmonic Choir
Orchestra da Camera
Conductor Richard Laing
From the jubilant "Hallelujah" chorus, to the exquisite aria "I know that my Redeemer liveth", Messiah is an evocative setting of the biblical account of the birth, life and death of Christ. Handel's mastery of composition for solo voices, choir and orchestra culminates in a work full of superb arias and thrilling choruses, well-loved by audiences for almost three centuries.
Start your Christmas season with an evening of inspirational music. Handel's magnificent oratorio Messiah tells the story of Jesus' birth, life, death and resurrection, through many narrative and explanatory extracts from the Bible. This dramatic work features several of the greatest arias and choruses ever written.
This concert comes at the start of Advent, when we are all finally becoming aware that it really isn't long until Christmas, even though the shops have been anticipating it for months. Come and have an evening to escape from the bustle and let Handel's glorious music wash over you and renew you.
Although Messiah is the work by which most people in the world know Handel, it is almost a misfit in his output. He was not generally a religious composer and was not employed as a church musician, but rather wrote operas and music for royal occasions. His oratorios appear to be simply operas with religious themes. At the time they were written in England, they were not allowed to be staged nor acted. They could only be performed in a church, not in a theatre.
Handel's operatic techniques are apparent in Messiah. The choir plays parts ranging from a vituperative mob hurling insults round the Cross to a choir of Angels singing of Jesus' birth and praising Him in Heaven.
Many of the soloists' arias are familiar and well-loved, but they make even more impact in the context of the whole work. Come and be prepared for a totally different, thrilling, emotional experience!
Approximate length of concert: 2 hours 40 minutes including interval