Handel's Messiah from Trinity Church

Listen: Conductor Julian Wachner on 'Messiah' — and the Rolling Stones

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Monday, December 24, 2012

Trinity Church in the snow Trinity Church in the snow (© Leo Sorel/Trinity Wall Street)

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.

Comments [4]

Edward Gottesman from New York City

As you have been advertising for a week that this is a "live" broadcast, my wife and I made arrangements to go to Trinity Church at 5:00 p.m. today to be in the audience. Imagine our surprise to find that this "live" broadcast is a recording of the performance given on December 9, which we had already attended. This is as deceptive as your assertion that WQXR no longer carries commercials - since it became a "listener-supported" station. I suppose that the breathless descriptions of the Lincoln automobiles that you advertise regularly as a message from one of your "sponsors" do not count. This deliberate deception is the reason I have not renewed my subscription to WQXR. You can rely on the advertisements from your sponsors - at least you do not have to pay corporate tax on any of the profits.

Dec. 24 2012 07:43 PM
Lisa Thomas from Mount Vernon, NY

Will we get to hear the remaining parts of the Handel Concert??

The program is looping around the conversation containing " Mick is the CEO of the Rolling Stones"


Dec. 24 2012 07:20 PM
Maureen Burbage from Yonkers, NY

I can only hear the conversation and that is extremely low.

Dec. 24 2012 05:28 PM
Toni Wheeler

It's 10 after 5:00 - No music? Just this looped conversation?

Dec. 24 2012 05:13 PM

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