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Work: Messiah

Fact file
ComposerHandel, George Frideric (1685-1759)
Work typeOpera / Oratorio
Listen now by Naxos
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Handel: Messiah
Academy of Ancient Music; Nigel Short; Katie Trethewey; Martha McLorinan; Nicholas Madden; Stephen Kennedy


Beethoven, Lortzing, Mozart, Puccini, Rossini, Straus, Offenbach, Loewe, Bernstein, Strauss II, Handel
Orchester des Staatstheaters am Gärtnerplatz; Andreas Kowalewitz


Handel: Messiah
Norrköping Symphony Orchestra; Sofi Jeannin; Hanna Husáhr; Maria Forsström; Jakob Högström; Bel Cantokören


Handel: Messiah
Norrköping Symphony Orchestra; Sofi Jeannin; Hanna Husáhr; Maria Forsström; Jakob Högström; Bel Cantokören

PittsburghHandel's Messiah

Handel: Messiah
Pittsburgh Symphony Orchestra; Osmo Vänskä; Mendelssohn Choir of Pittsburgh
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Not quite the Messiah at the Royal Albert Hall

Benjamin Appl © Uwe Arens | Sony Classical
Competent if underwhelming Handel from the Royal Philharmonic Orchestra and Maxim Emelyanchev.
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Britten Sinfonia's electric Messiah: Look, no hands!

Sophie Bevan © Sussie Ahlburg
A conductorless performance of Handel's masterpiece lights up the Barbican.
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Montreal audience elated with OSM's Messiah

Paul McCreesh conducts the OSM © Antoine Saito
It is a high order to mount a captivating performance of a work so widely known and performed as Handel's Messiah
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A festive Messiah heralds the holidays in Cleveland

Tamara Mumford © Fay Fox
Jane Glover’s Cleveland Orchestra performance of Handel’s Messiah was both celebratory and historically-informed.
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No ordinary Messiah at the Barbican

Richard Egarr © Marco Borggreve
Superlative musicianship and extravagant detailing from the force-of-nature that is Richard Egarr and the Academy of Ancient Music 
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Messiah, Handel's oratorio celebrating the arrival of Jesus Christ the Saviour, is a perennial favourite in England and the United States. At Christmas time, particularly, every year sees a raft of performances, ranging from amateur choirs up to the best choirs in the land. In Australia, the Melbourne Philharmonic has performed the Messiah every year in the 157 years since it was formed.

The work's première was in Dublin on 13th April 1742. Twelve years later, in 1754, a historically important performance was the 1754 benefit concert for the Foundling Hospital, which Handel co-founded. By then, Messiah had been much revised and had reached the form commonly played today.