Fact file
ComposerHandel, George Frideric (1685-1759)
PeriodBaroque
Work typeOpera / Oratorio
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LondonCome & Sing Messiah

Handel: Messiah
Chartwell Sinfonia; Richard Heason; Smith Square Voices; Tenebrae

LondonHandel - Messiah by Candlelight

Handel: Messiah
Peter Dyson; Belmont Ensemble of London; English Chamber Choir; Elizabeth Weisberg; Ciara Hendrick

BergenMessiah

Handel: Messiah
Bjarte Eike; Netia Jones; Bergen National Opera; Malin Christensson; Renata Pokupić; Pierre Derhet

HalleMessiah, HWV 56 (Dublin version)

Handel: Messiah
Jonathan Sells; Zoe Brookshaw; Clare Lloyd-Griffiths; Kate Symonds-Joy; Roderick Morris

HalleRejazz Greatly

Handel: Messiah
Tim Garland; Gerard Presencer
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Polished, but no cracker

Polished, deft and attentive, Les Arts Florissants deliver in concert the same slickness that we have come to expect from their impressive array of recordings, but lack vital energy.
****1
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Messiah rings in the festive season in Toronto

English conductor Nicholas McGegan led a responsible reading of Handel's now-classic oratorio, infusing some dramatic and lyrical touches into a largely unruffled evening.
***11
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The arts are blooming in William Christie’s Budapest Messiah

William Christie and his ensemble Les Arts Florissants (or The blooming arts – a reference to an opera by Marc-Antoine Charpentier) visited the Hungarian capital to perform Handel’s Messiah in the exceptional acoustics of the Béla Bartók National Concert Hall. 
****1
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Cummings leads a light and fluent Messiah in DC

Salvation sweetness and light in DC's annual Messiah.
***11
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Reinhard Goebel's Messiah: flashes of brilliance

Reinhard Goebel's Messiah with Royal Northern Sinfonia had good moments but the overall performance didn't convince. 
***11
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Biography

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.