The best parts of Händel’s Messiah
Kaisa Ranta, soprano
Filip Rosengren, tenor
Elja Puukko, bass
Chamber Choir Bel Canto
Finnish Baroque Orchestra
Dan Lönnqvist, musical conducting
Georg Friedrich Händel’s oratorio Messiah is a master piece of classical music. Messiah was originally composed to be performed at Easter, but nowadays it particularly belongs to the Advent time. The oratorio is based on texts from the Bible and the New Testament. Choral parts, recitatives and arias alternate in the work, especially known for its festive Hallelujah chorus.
Messiah was created during a time when the German-born composer, rooted in England, dwelled in uncertainty. Italian opera, with which Händel had become internationally famous, was out of fashion, and the resourceful composer turned to an English-language oratorio – inspired by religious themes, but to be performed in concert halls. However, his position in London was not what it had been. Händel must have felt relieved when the Duke of Devonshire, who functioned as Lord Lieutenant of Ireland, invited him to work in Dublin during the winter season 1741–1742.
The Messiah oratorio was completed in the early autumn of 1741, in 24 days, which was not even uncommonly quick for Händel, who usually composed very fast. The oratorio was premiered in April 1742 in a charity concert organised as a continuation to Händel’s winter concert series. Unlike his operas, forgotten for a long time, Händel’s Messiah has remained very popular since its premiere. Selected parts of Messiah are performed in this concert.
The concert is organised in cooperation with the Baroque music education at Novia University of Applied Science, and it is supported by the Swedish Cultural Foundation in Finland and Pietarsaari Sinfonietta.
Duration: 2 h (incl. intermission)