Messiah: Under the Hood

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Sunday, December 15, 2013

On this episode of the Choral Mix, host Kent Tritle gets “under the hood” of Handel’s masterpiece to understand its broad appeal. We hear key choral moments, learn how performance practices have changed over time and explore the Handel gems that usually get cut for time. And Kent knows his stuff: he conducts three Messiah performances and plays organ for two more each year!

When the Christmas season arrives, so does Handel’s Messiah: December is filled with everything from community sing-alongs to professional choral concerts. Unlike Handel's other oratorios, Messiah is performed every single year in virtually every major city of the Western world.

Playlist

 

George Frideric Handel: Messiah, HWV 56:

Overture

Royal Philharmonic Orchestra, Royal Choral Society

Sir Malcolm Sargent, Conductor

Chesky Records 106   

 

George Frideric Handel: Messiah, HWV 56:

            Overture

            For Unto Us A child is Born

Chorus: Hallelujah

Academy of Ancient Music, Christ Church Cathedral Choir, Oxford New College Choir

Emma Kirkby, Soprano; Carolyn Watkinson, Mezzo Soprano; Paul Elliott, Tenor; David Thomas, Bass; Judith Nelson, Soprano

Christopher Hogwood, Conductor

L'oiseau Lyre  411 858-2

 

George Frideric Handel: Messiah, HWV 56; Orchestration by Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart

            And he shall purify

            His yoke is easy, and his burden is light

The Saint Thomas Choir of Men and Boys

Concert Royal

John Scott, Conductor

St. Thomas Church in the City and County of New York

 

George Frideric Handel: Messiah, HWV 56:

And the glory

Recitative and O thou that tellest

The Sixteen

Harry Christophers, Conductor

Coro 16062 

 

George Frideric Handel: Messiah, HWV 56:

Surely, He hath borne our griefs

And with his stripes

All we like sheep

Atlanta Symphony Orchestra & Chamber Chorus

Robert Shaw, Conductor

Telarc CD-80093

 

George Frideric Handel: Messiah, HWV 56:

Pifa

Glory to God

Arleen Augér, Soprano

Trevor Pinnock, Conductor
English Concert, English Concert Choir

Archiv Produktion (DG) 423 630-2

 

George Frideric Handel: Messiah, HWV 56:

Their sound is gone out

The Lord gave the word

Unto which of the angels; and Let all the angels of God

All they that see Him; and He trusted in God

English Baroque Soloists, Monteverdi Choir

John Eliot Gardiner, Conductor

Philips 411 041-2

 

George Frideric Handel: Messiah, HWV 56:

            Worthy is the Lamb

Musica Sacra

Richard Westenburg, Conductor

RCA Read Seal RCD14622

Comments [1]

Gary Ekman from Turtle Bay/Manhattan/NYC

Who better to poke around under the hood of the sublimely beautiful Messiah than Kent Tritle? As he points out, in Messiah the melismas (extended runs of 16th notes sung on a single syllable) are devilishly difficult to master, the Achilles heel of many an amateur chorus. (A certain New York Times music critic who shall remain nameless once termed a certainnamateur chorus's performance of certain melismatic sections of Messiah "wooly" -- ouch.)

Dec. 15 2013 09:19 AM

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