German born but naturalised English composer, George Fredrich Handel, was said to have composed his immortal oratorio "Messiah" in about three weeks, and today it is still one of the best known and frequently performed choral works in Western music.
Much to the dismay of the librettist, Charles Jennens, the first performance was not in London but at a charity concert in Dublin, when 16 men and 16 boys from the combined choirs of St Patricks and Christ Church cathedrals sang "Messiah" accompanied by a small orchestra that included Handel's own organ. Expecting a larger than usual audience (700 people attended the premiere), gentlemen were asked not to carry swords and women were asked not to wear hoops.
The men soloists were selected from the choir, and the
women soloists chosen for their previous performances in Handel's subscription series in Dublin.
The score from which the musicians worked was marked "SOG" ("To God alone the glory") leading to the belief that Handel wrote "Messiah", including the famous "Hallelujah" chorus, in a fervour of divine inspiration.
Performance in the Town Hall
TIM CHUNG conducted
the 450+ voice choir.
Organist PETER KNEESHAW AM at the Grand Organ
Photos: Courtesy Bruce Crowe
SOLOISTS FOR 2019
Each year for the past 79 years Handel's "Messiah" has been performed in Sydney by the Radio Community Chest's Combined Church Choirs and will be sung again this year by a choir open to all from the city and beyond who would like to sing.
The choir will be accompanied by a professional orchestra, the Sydney Town Hall Grand Organ and soloists. Like the first performance in Dublin funds are used for charity and benefit cultural activities and needy causes in the Sydney region.
Two PERFORMANCES of Handel's "Messiah" at the Sydney Town Hall will take place at 3:00pm on both Saturday 14th and Sunday 15th December 2019.
CDs of the 75th Anniversary Performance in the Sydney Town Hall in December 2015 are now available for purchase online
to get the 2-CD Form to fill in.
Cost of the 2-CD set is $20
SYDNEY TOWN HALL
Saturday 14 December
Sunday 15 December
TICKETS for performances 2019 are available online at https://www.cityrecitalhall.com/whats-on/events/messiah/
City Recital Hall Box Office
Telephone: (02) 8256 2222.
Choristers will be able to
purchase tickets at a discount.
Enjoy one of the choruses sang by the Radio Community Chest CHOIR at the 2015 Performances
Title - Hallelujah