Handel's Messiah from Trinity Wall Street

Trinity Wall Street perform Handel's Messiah

Jeff Spurgeon: From Historic Trinity Church in Lower Manhattan, this is a live broadcast of Handel's oratorio Messiah, performed by the choir of Trinity Wall Street and the Trinity Baroque Orchestra. I'm Jeff Spurgeon welcoming you to another broadcast of Messiah on WQXR this year. Once again from Trinity Church, where 50 people are assembled now in the nave of this historic sanctuary ready to bring to you Handel’s Messiah. Tonight's conductor, Andrew Megill told us about what makes Messiah at Trinity Church so special.

Andrew Megill: They have, as long as I have known them, been sort of one of the great Messiah’s in New York City. The combination of the extraordinary choir and extraordinary orchestra and the fact that it's, it's one of the only Messiah’s where all the soloists come out of the choir.

And so, you get to sort of have a personal relationship with each one of the members of the choirs that come out. And that's been true. Um, I first conducted the Trinity Choir, I guess probably 13 years ago or something. And so, it's an incredible joy to come back and, and do one again after the pandemic, getting it restarted again.

And, and, um, and we were talking with some of the players and singers after the break that, you know, the piece is still the same great piece that we loved and we sort of somehow, we all wondered would it be the same coming back over the pandemic? And there's just a, you can tell there's just a love for the piece among all the players and singers that makes it such a joy to, to sink our teeth into.

Jeff Spurgeon: Conductor Andrew Megill. Messiah is in three parts, and it is not so much a story as a set of illustrations, the story of Christ's life and a defense of his divinity. Part one of the Messiah is the Christmas story, in particularly the part about the shepherds visiting the newborn child. Andrew Megill told us about the music we'll hear in this first section.

Andrew Megill: So, part one is usually called the Christmas portion. It is mostly about the birth of Christ, although it's not really told in a narrative and linear way, but it, it clearly outlines that. And so, it has the darkness that people are walking into a lot of images of light that happen with many of the arias and choruses.

And there's this sort of gradual sort of lightening of the texture and bringing of joy in the texture. Uh, and a lot of the text about sort of, the birth of the Christ child, and so I, it's usually called the Christmas portion, and it's primarily about joy and new beginnings.

Jeff Spurgeon: Andrew Megill speaking about the first part of Handel's Messiah. Messiah has never been static. It's been performed by modern and baroque orchestras, by enormous forces and very intimate groups. Trinity's version is always an intimate experience with a small choir of vocalists and an orchestra playing baroque instrument.

Andrew Megill: Everyone should do Messiah or should hear Messiah on whatever instruments you have. On kazoos, it’s still beautiful, but there is something extraordinarily special about, especially this group of players who are so skilled, playing on the instruments that would have been part of Handel's own world. And it just means that the sounds that they create were closer to what he had in his imagination.

And it was such a glorious imagination that the more we knew what he was thinking, the more we discover how rich that imagination is. When you're on period instruments, the range of color is wider and more varied from moment to moment. And there's a beautiful thing about modern instruments that it's stable and you know exactly what's gonna happen, but, but you lose that sense of, you know, it's not just green, it's an exact shade of green and it shades from one to another. And, and, and I suppose one of the other things is that, you know, it does mean that we perform at a slightly lower pitch than we would with modern instruments. And one of the things I think that does for the voices particularly is it, it takes some pressure off the voices, and they just are able to speak with such clarity and such ease.

And again, they have, they have more choices they can make in order to bring the texts that Handel was so enraptured with to life.

Jeff Spurgeon: Conductor Andrew Megill, who in just moments will be in command of this performance of Handel's Messiah. We're bringing you tonight a performance by the choir of Trinity Church and the Trinity Baroque Orchestra at this historic sanctuary in lower Manhattan, actually, the third of Trinity Church's buildings, the first one built in 1698.

It came down in the great New York City fire of 1776. The second building was, uh, destroyed by ice and storms in the 19th century. And so, in 1846, the current building, uh, went up and that is the performance that is the, uh, performance venue for Messiah for many years now at Trinity Church. There's a little bit of argument among the historians about where Messiah was performed first.

Was it in New York or in Boston? At least in New York in the year 1770, we know that parts of it were performed, perhaps, as a sort of a rent party for the organist. It was done somewhat informally and not in the church building, but at a, a tavern just about three blocks south of where I'm speaking to you from now in lower Manhattan.

But from there, the tradition has continued now into the 21st century. WQXR has been very pleased to bring you Trinity's Messiah in a number of recent years, including an important performance that happened in December of 2001, just a few weeks after the church was cleaned of the ash and dust that had been thrown into it by the disaster of 9/11.

Yet the church recovered, and great forces were brought to bear to bring Messiah to life that year. This year also is a bit of a revival for, this is the first time Messiah has been performed at Trinity, uh, since the pandemic. And we are about to start the performance with Andrew Megill and the choir of Trinity Church and the Trinity Baroque Orchestra after another word or two that, uh, the audience here at Trinity is receiving from Trinity's Rector.

There will be an intermission of 15 or 20 minutes after, um, a certain section of the work has been performed, and then we'll bring you, obviously the rest of it. Trinity, uh, at Christmas time does not do the entirety of Messiah. It is a work that is often truncated at this time of the year Handel, in fact, wrote it, uh, with the intention of having it performed more at Easter time as it was in its first performance in 1742 in Dublin.

It was a great benefit, that first performance of Messiah. It was designed as a benefit, uh, benefit performance and realized as such for prisoners’ debt relief and the Mercer’s Hospital and a charitable infirmary there. Um, there were 142 prisoners who were in debtor's prison at that time, who were released as a result of the benefit, uh, benefit performance of Messiah that was given that first time around.

We've told you that, uh, Trinity's is a very special performance. There are 25 singers and a baroque orchestra of 25 and often while this work is a great showcase for solo singers, at Trinity is a, it is a showcase for choir members themselves. So, you will hear, I would guess a dozen, we'll count them up for you, but, uh, at least half of this choir will step forward to bring you the solo portions of Handel's Messiah.

And now conductor Andrew Megill asks the Trinity Baroque Orchestra and the choir of Trinity Wall Street to rise. And here now is Handel's Messiah from Trinity Church on Wall Street coming to you live on WQXR.

MUSIC – Handel: Messiah Part I

Jeff Spurgeon: This is a live broadcast from Trinity Church on Broadway of Wall Street of Handel’s Messiah. There’s a brief pause as the program begins to allow for some late seating for arriving audience members. And then we will resume with Brian Ming Chu, the soloist for this bass recitative.

MUSIC – Handel: Messiah Part I cont’d

Jeff Spurgeon: From Trinity Church on Broadway of Wall Street in Lower Manhattan, you have just heard the first portion of Handel’s oratorio Messiah, performed by the choir of Trinity Church and the Trinity Baroque Orchestra conducted by Andrew Megill. It is certainly an annual tradition at Trinity Church as it is as well in a few other places at this time of year.

We've reached intermission of this performance of Handel's Messiah. We will bring you the, uh, rest in just a bit, continuing our broadcast that celebrates this historic work as well as this historic venue and this very unusual way, the Trinity performance of Messiah bringing their soloists, not from the outside, but simply from the choir itself.

The soloists you've heard so far: Tenor, Stephen Sands; Bass, Brian Ming Chu; Soprano, Meg Dudley; Alto, Pamela Terry; Bass, Steven Hrycelak; Soprano, Madeline Apple; and Alto, Kate Maroney. And there will be more in the next portion of our program. Classical New York is 105.9 FM at HD WQXR Newark, and 90.3 FM WQXW Ossining. I'm Jeff Spurgeon, pleased to be sharing this performance of Messiah with you tonight, and we are pleased as well to welcome one of the choristers to our microphone, sacrificing a little bit of his, uh, vocal cord, relaxing in a mission to spend some time with us. Hello, Stephen Sands.

Stephen Sands: Hello. How are you?

Jeff Spurgeon: I'm very well. You are very well too. You got to start the whole thing off tonight.

Stephen Sands: Absolutely.

Jeff Spurgeon: Is this the first time that you've done that solo?

Stephen Sands: Um, I've done it a few times here at Trinity over the years, yes.

Jeff Spurgeon: Comfort me, uh, Comfort Ye, my people. How many times have you sung this work?

Stephen Sands: Oh, my goodness. Uh, I, my first year was in the year 2000, uh, and I've sung it many times since then, under probably five different conductors.

Jeff Spurgeon: And is it, I mean, Messiah, isn't it… It's like eggplant parmesan, isn't it? It's delicious. And yet there's always, you know, you, you get the leftovers. You're coming out the next year. It comes out the next year - this again. So how do you feel when you see this warhorse of a piece come back to you every December?

Stephen Sands: Well, the beautiful thing about this piece is that no matter how many times you do it, every time, it's different. Every time there's a new interpretation, every time there's a new thought behind it. Every time you can take what's happening in the world and apply it to how it is that you're performing this. And, uh, I think it takes on a special meaning every year, you know, that's why it's so timeless.

Jeff Spurgeon: And how does Andrew Megill, what has he drawn from this choir?

Stephen Sands: Well, Andrew, uh, I've worked with Andrew, I've known him since I've been a teenager actually at Westminster Choir College

Jeff Spurgeon:  Where he was a teacher for many years.

Stephen Sands: Yes, he was. And uh, he has an incredible sense of humanity that he brings to everything. And he is an incredible conduit for the music through his humanity. And he just brings the best in everybody in the room together to make a beautiful energy.

Jeff Spurgeon: And you do other work besides singing in the choir of Trinity Church. You are a conductor of a vocal ensemble here called Downtown Voices.

Stephen Sands: Yes, sir.

Jeff Spurgeon: What, what is that?

Stephen Sands: So that is a, it's a volunteer group also with the Trinity Choir members who come together and do many concerts throughout the year. Um, next week we'll be singing with Andrea Bocelli at Madison Square Garden and, uh, all sorts of fun stuff that you get to do.

Jeff Spurgeon: So you, so you just find work that you can pick up once in a while?

Stephen Sands: Exactly!

Jeff Spurgeon: Whoever's in town. So, it's, it's, um, is it prof, it's professional voices and then amateur voices from the congregation? Or is it something larger?

Stephen Sands: Uh, it's from the, the New York Metropolitan area. We draw some of the best, most people in the group actually have music degrees and, uh, have day jobs and, and, and have this as their musical outlet. It's really a, a spectacular group of people.

Jeff Spurgeon: How big is Downtown Voices?

Stephen Sands: Between 60 and 80 per project.

Jeff Spurgeon: And, and, how, how do you… because somebody's asking this at home… How do you get in? How do I get in?

Stephen Sands: So there is an audition process. You go to downtownvoices.net and you fill out the audition form and, uh, we get back to you with a, a more extensive form to fill out with some recording examples. And then there's an in-person audition. But we definitely do have a, a very high level of, uh, volunteer singer here.

Jeff Spurgeon: All right, very good. So you've told us how to do it and warned us that it might be difficult for, for everybody to join. Very, very well done. Will we hear from you again in the next part of Messiah as more than a, a member of the ensemble?

Stephen Sands: Just as the chorus.

Jeff Spurgeon: All right. Yes. Um, and how does that… what do you have to do to yourself to move from the ensemble to the, to the solo thing? Do you have to sort of mentally stick your chest out a little bit? Or maybe you don't, maybe you just step up front and sing. Maybe it's the same thing.

Stephen Sands: Yeah, it really is. I mean, in a piece like this, you're emoting, no matter whether you're in the chorus or you're standing in front of the audience as a soloist, of course you're going to bring a little bit more energy to a solo line than you would in the chorus when you're blending with other people. But the affect, I think, is the same.

Jeff Spurgeon: Well, the comfort that you offered in that text and in those moments was just beautiful and was a lovely beginning, um, for our hearing of the solo members of the Choir of Trinity Church tonight. Stephen Sands. Thank you. You need to go relax, sit down, have a drink of water, not say anything for a while, and we'll hear you again in the second part of the program.

Stephen Sands: Sounds good. Thanks so much.

Jeff Spurgeon: Thank you so much. Stephen Sands, one of the tenors in the Choir of Trinity Church on WQXR. Our live broadcast of Handel’s Messiah from the Choir of Trinity Church and the Trinity Baroque Orchestra. We're at intermission right now, but we have some other music from the choir of Trinity Church, a recording made a couple of dozen years ago, I'd guess by now, by the, uh, choir of Trinity Church and a former music director, Owen Burdick. Here they are for the Carol for the season.

MUSIC – The Holly and the Ivy

Jeff Spurgeon: The choir of Trinity Church and The Holly and the Ivy. A performance conducted by a former music director here at the church, Owen Burdick. This is a WQXR live broadcast from Trinity Church of Handel’s Messiah. We are at intermission and bringing you this, uh, amazing work written in 1741, first performed in 1742. That is now more than a quarter of a millennium ago, but in the story of its creation are some themes, very much of our own time, a struggle between faith and science, heh, even a sex scandal.

A few years ago, I talked a few of these interesting Messiah pieces of information with Jonathan Keates, author of a book about the creation and performance history of the work.

It's the world's most famous oratorio, so when Handel composed it, he must have known he had to hit in the making right? Wrong.

Jonathan Keates: He originally wrote Messiah without any idea of where and when it would be performed.

Jeff Spurgeon: That's Jonathan Keates, author of the new book, Messiah: The Composition and Afterlife of Handel’s Masterpiece.

Jonathan Keates: He didn't have, I think, a clear purpose behind writing the work other than just setting it.

Jeff Spurgeon: And with that comment, Jonathan Keates has just told you that the words to Messiah came before the music. Well, all the words in Messiah are from scripture, so they came long before the music, but the compilation came before the music. And the fellow who compiled them was an interesting chap. Charles Jennens, a wealthy Englishman, publisher of Shakespeare's works, a lover of music, sensitive, a bit of a loner given to bouts of euphoria and melancholy. He and Handel were very different personalities, but they worked well together.

Jonathan Keates: The glue between them was Jennens’s absolute adoration of Handel's music. He was a depressive, Jennens, and he saw Handel’s music as a kind of therapy to lift him out of his gloom and melancholy. So, he collected Handel's scores. He wrote libretti for Handel, and he admired almost everything that Handel did.

Jeff Spurgeon: By the time he put together the words for Messiah, Jennens had already supplied the libretto for Handel's oratorio Saul, a work which contained a subtle political message against England's ruling family at the time. And there's a subtle message in Messiah too, although we don't perceive it at all today. Jennens was a devout Protestant in the first half of the 18th century, and he didn't like what some of the enlightenment was doing.

Jonathan Keates: What disturbed Jennens was the growing materialism of the world around him and the idea of rational explanation for religion. Jennens didn't want this kind of rational basis of faith. He wanted a kind of faith, which was imbued with the idea of the mystery of Christianity.

Music clip

Jeff Spurgeon: While Jennens’s scripture selections were inviting listeners to experience mystery and wonder, Jonathan Keates explains that more earthly matters were part of Messiah's first performances. After Handel finished writing the music, he tucked the Messiah score under his arm and took it with him to Ireland in late 1741. Handel's last London opera had not been a success, and he was at a bit of an artistic crossroads when he was invited to come to Dublin, to shore up the musical scene there and the reputation of the Duke of Devonshire, and to give concerts for charity. Jonathan Keates explains, that's where Handel met one of the soloists for Messiah's first performances, a woman named Susannah Cibber.

Jonathan Keates: She was a singing actress who had been involved in a sleazy love triangle, which had involved among other things, her odious husband, listening through bedroom doors, looking through keyholes, et cetera, et cetera, and it all got into the newspapers and the reputation in any case of actresses was not exactly shining.

Jeff Spurgeon: Susannah Cibber had been effectively exiled from the London stage by the scandal but had begun performing again in Dublin by the time Handel arrived there. Handel heard her and engaged her for Messiah. Though not technically a great singer, her emotional expressiveness was so powerful that Patrick Delaney, a prominent clergyman who attended the first performance, couldn't contain himself.

Jonathan Keates: She sang the wonderful aria “He Was Despised” so movingly that Delaney got up and said, “Woman, for this, be all thy sins forgiven thee.”

Jeff Spurgeon: Susannah Cibber’s Messiah performances really did help restore her reputation. She eventually returned to the London stage and to greater triumphs than she'd known before. The Dublin premiere of Messiah was an artistic triumph and a charitable triumph too.

People were released from debtor's prison thanks to Messiah's first ticket sales. On the other hand, Messiah's first London performances weren't very popular. It took a few years for the work to catch on, but in succeeding decades, Handel’s great oratorio became a sort of Victorian emblem and got very bloated in concert. Jonathan Keates:

Jonathan Keates: The nadir of all this were the Crystal Palace Festival concerts through the middle and end of the 19th century where you had a band of 400, you had several thousand singers. Good God knows how they were all controlled.

Jeff Spurgeon: George Bernard Shaw was among those who longed to hear Messiah in its original Baroque proportions. But it wasn't until the period performance practice movement of the 20th century that the work regained some of its original vitality. But whether in proportions, large or small, and regardless of a listener's knowledge of its origins, Charles Jennens’s Scripture Collection and Handel's music have been thrilling audiences for more than 250 years.

A conversation with Jonathan Keates, the author of a book about Handel's Messiah. And we still have a little bit of time before the second part of, uh, and third parts of Messiah as presented by Trinity Church, uh, will be brought to you in this live broadcast that you're listening to on WQXR. So, as I say, as intermission goes on, uh, a little more music this time with the Majestic Brass Quintet and organist, Janet Yieh. Here is Joy to the World.

MUSIC: Joy to the World

Jeff Spurgeon: The choir of Trinity Church along with organist Janet Yieh and Majestic Brass Quintet, all conducted by Julian Wachner with Joy to the World. Another performance by the choir of Trinity Church on this live broadcast on WQXR from the historic sanctuary on Broadway at Wall Street.

This is intermission of a performance of Handel’s oratorio Messiah, and, uh, a few orchestra members are beginning to return to their places in the nave of the church and a few of the audience members are beginning to return. Uh, I suppose that part of the reason that intermissions are the length that they are is, uh, has to do with the availability, proximity, and, and speed of use of restrooms. And so that is perhaps not going as quickly as it might in some other locations here at Trinity Church, but we are delighted to have the opportunity to share a little more music by the choir and to prepare for the next part of our performance with a few words from the conductor of this Messiah, Andrew Megill, who gave us a little background on the section of Messiah coming up that includes the Hallelujah chorus.

Andrew Megill: Part two is really the heart of the work. It's, it's my favorite part, just between you and me and the radio audience, that it is the first half of the, of part two deals with the ideas of the crucifixion of Christ and the resurrection of Christ. Again, it doesn't do it in a narrative way, so it doesn't say this is what's happening. It, it alludes to it in a way that I think universalizes it and also makes it about the ideas that lie behind it. And so, it's about grief and violence and the way humanity abuses itself and treats fellow brothers and sisters badly.

But then it's also about sort of redemption and the, the possibility of, of hope and, and right winning out in the end. And so, part two I think is the, is the most dynamic of the three parts. It starts in darkness, and it ends in glorious light with the Hallelujah Chorus and has a really beautiful, very dramatic, sometimes painful, sometimes joyful arc through the middle.

Jeff Spurgeon: Andrew Megill told us that part two of Messiah is also where some orchestra members get to shine.

Andrew Megill: One of the things, Handel was really good at that in many of his oratorios, he, he wrote other Hallelujah choruses as well that aren't as famous but are equally good. And so, he's really good at this unbridled joy. And I think one of the things that, that everybody just responds to is that he saves the trumpet for this moment.

That they, they, we have fantastic trumpet players. Uh, but they, they're silent for almost all of part two until the Hallelujah chorus and the, the, the joining of that color just changes everything. So, I think that's one of the things that makes it really vibrant and joyful. The other is, is the, the sense of rhythmic drive and the music that Handel chooses is so full of energy and so full of life, and so full of, of everything that the word Hallelujah means.

Jeff Spurgeon: Andrew Megill, the conductor of this performance of Handel’s Messiah coming to you live on WQXR from Trinity Church. We will look forward to that Hallelujah Chorus and the work of trumpeters, John Thiessen and Brandon Bergeron, who are positioned, uh, when they play, uh, in the lectern and the pulpit of Trinity Church.

And the choir now has returned to the nave. The orchestra as well is in place, about 50 members, all in all, uh, half in the chorus, half in the orchestra. And so far, we've heard from um, six or seven of the choir members as soloists: Stephen Sands, whose speaking voice you heard at the beginning of this intermission, uh, was one of those soloists as well as Brian Ming Chu, Meg Dudley, Pamela Terry, Stephen Hrycelak, Madeline Apple, and Kate Moroney.

We are in the, uh, in the sanctuary of Trinity Church, the third of the buildings that this congregation has known through its long history in New York City. Chartered in, uh, 1697, the first building built a year after that. It was felled in the great New York City fire of 1776. Then the second building went up and it came down as well in the middle of the 19- in the middle of the 18 hundreds rather, uh, as a result of, uh, structural damage caused by ice and snowfall.

I know the Game of Thrones has a Song of Fire and Ice, but so does Trinity Church in New York, one building down by fire, the other down by ice. This third structure that came up in 1846 remains standing and is one of the jewels of Lower Manhattan. And in fact, for many decades, it was the tallest building in all of New York City.

The building today is not, uh, full of pipe organs. A new organ, a new pipe organ is being prepared. The uh, uh, organ that was here before was destroyed by dust and ash in the 9/11 attacks in 2001. Uh, also, Trinity Church has a very fascinating set of change ringing bells. Uh, the only set of those I believe in North America, or possibly at least in, in the United States.

Um, and those bells are heard at various times through the week, though they are dampered because people in the neighborhood complained about too much noise. Imagine people in New York City complaining about too much noise, especially from bells. The change ringing bells are a very special feature of what is here at Trinity Church.

And you hear the Trinity Baroque Orchestra tuning up now. And getting ready for the return of and Andrew Megill and the start of the second part of this live performance of Handel’s Messiah, longtime tradition at Trinity Church, and a special tradition here because the solo portions are sung by members of the choir who simply step forward and down in front of the orchestra to sing.

The orchestra's tuned and quiet. Andrew Megill will be walking out in just a moment, and we'll hear the next portion of this great work, which includes the Hallelujah chorus, as well as some other really beautiful choruses. “Surely, he hath born our Greek, uh, our, uh, our Griefs” and much more. And now Andrew Megill back with the Choir of Trinity Church and the Trinity Baroque Orchestra and part two of our live broadcast of Handel's Messiah from Trinity Church on WQXR.

MUSIC – Handel: Messiah Part II

Jeff Spurgeon: You're listening to a live broadcast of Handel's Messiah from Trinity Church on Broadway of Wall Street. The conclusion of the second part. There will be a pause now as the Trinity Baroque Orchestra retunes a little bit to get ready for part three, about which the conductor of this performance, Andrew Megill tells us a bit.

Andrew Megill: It's mostly music that's quite reflective. It starts with one of the real masterpieces of the whole oratorio “I know that my Redeemer Liveth”, which I was spoken with uh, Molly Quinn, who's the soprano singer, a fantastic artist, and we were both saying it feels like five o'clock in the morning on Easter Sunday that when the sun's not up yet but you know, it's coming and there's this sense of calm and this sense of anticipation of something beautiful that's going to happen. And I think, again, regardless of anyone's religious beliefs or affiliations, we all know that human feeling of, of having waited through some dark night of the soul, and there's some turning point when you're not sure what's happened, but you know that light is coming.

Jeff Spurgeon: Conductor Andrew Megill, who is leading this performance by the Choir of Trinity Wall Street and the Trinity Baroque Orchestra in this performance of Handel’s Messiah from Classical New York, 105.9 FM at HD, WQXR Newark, and 90.3 FM WQXW Ossining. We'll hear from Molly Quinn in just a moment. We've had a half dozen other members of the choir of Trinity Church step forward as soloists in part two of this performance of Messiah.

Alto Timothy Parsons; Tenor Scott Mello; Alto Jonathan May; Soprano Shabnam Abedi, Bass Joe Chappelle; and Tenor Brian Giebler.

Now the retuning seems to have been accomplished. Andrew Megill returns to the podium, and it will be Molly Quinn, the soprano to sing “I Know that My Redeemer Liveth.”

MUSIC – Handel: Messiah Part III

Jeff Spurgeon: From historic Trinity Church on Broadway at Wall Street in New York City. You have just heard a performance of Handel’s Messiah. The great oratorio was first performed in Dublin in 1742 and portions of which at least were first performed here in New York City in 1770 by musicians associated with this very same parish, Trinity Church.

The performance you've just heard on WQXR was by the choir of Trinity Church, and the Trinity Baroque Orchestra conducted by Andrew Megill. Maestro Megill is asking now for the orchestra and the chorus members to stand with a few spots for featured soloists, and asked, uh, he also asked the 17 choristers who stepped forward as soloists in this performance to also take their own bow.

17 out of the 25 chorus members were the solo performers in this particular performance of Messiah. It is the custom to bring soloists from the choir here at Trinity Church. We're very pleased to bring you this music here on WQXR and to celebrate the return to live performance of Messiah at Trinity Church.

For this is the first time since the pandemic began that this performance has taken place. There are more Messiah’s well, at this time of year, pretty much everywhere you look, there's one being performed somewhere. We'll have another one here at WQXR a week from tomorrow night in a performance by the New York Philharmonic from their archive of annual Messiah performances. So that will be next Saturday night at eight o'clock.

We are grateful to all of the staff of Trinity Church for their help with this broadcast and with WQXR'S recording engineers. We are grateful for them too. Edward Haber and George Wellington. Eileen Delahunty and Lauren Purcell-Joiner are the radio producers, and our social media producer is Aimée Buchanan.

And that concludes our broadcast from Trinity Church on Broadway at Wall Street tonight. We're very pleased, as I say, to bring you this performance of Messiah tonight.

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