Handel's Messiah from Trinity Church

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Monday, Dec. 24 at 5 pm and Tuesday, Dec. 25 at 1 pm, WQXR presents Handel's Messiah, in a performance by the resident Trinity Choir and Trinity Baroque Orchestra from Trinity Church in Lower Manhattan.

Conductor Julian Wachner leads the orchestra through this perennial favorite, featuring an elaborate mix of chorus, soloists, and orchestra in the church where it received its New World premiere in 1770. David Garland hosts, with additional commentary from conductor and organist Kent Tritle.

From Handel to Jagger

The performance was recorded December 9, just before the Trinity Choir sang with the Rolling Stones, as part of the band's U.S. tour. In the above interview, Wachner tells Jeff Spurgeon how the Trinity Choir got the gig, and the challenges of singing "You Can't Always Get What You Want."

"This chart is really hard," Wachner said, noting that the band has never performed the piece live with a choir before. "You need an expert professional choir to do it, to get that high C, to get them to stay in tune and not to freak out with the 20,000 people screaming at you."

He goes on to talk about being backstage with the band, and how "Mick Jagger is totally the CEO of the Rolling Stones."

"To have done the Messiah one day and the Stones the next day was really cool," Wachner added.