Llewellyn Hall, ANU School of Music, Acton, 7.30pm
Simon Hewett Conductor
Chloe Lankshear Soprano
Tobias Cole Counter Tenor
Andrew Goodwin Tenor
Adrian Tamburini Bass
Canberra Symphony Orchestra
George Frideric Handel
Messiah, HWV 56
Under 30 $30
Student rush $15
Llewellyn Hall family packages available – call CSO Direct on 02 6262 6772 (weekdays 10am – 3pm).
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The most performed piece of classical music worldwide, George Frideric Handel composed his Messiah in just 24 days, writing morning to night. While not exceptionally fast by the composer’s own standards, what’s extraordinary is how, in a period of weeks, Handel created a work of such invention, inspiration and timelessness that it has endured for three centuries (and counting), nothing less than an icon of the Western classical canon.
The popularity of the work was instantaneous; the management of Dublin’s Musick Hall, where the Messiah was first performed, implored concertgoers to forgo dresses with hoops, so as to make ‘room for more company.’
Even Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart confessed himself humble in the face of Handel’s genius. ‘Handel knows better than any of us what will make an effect,’ Mozart said. ‘When he chooses, he strikes like a thunderbolt.’
Musically, Handel’s most significant innovation was to elevate the chorus to equal status with his soloists. This demanded choral writing of astonishing power and drama, monumental blocks of vocal sound. The sense of joy bursting from the Hallelujah chorus is second to none; this is music to lift the spirits.
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