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Handel's Messiah: A listening guide

December 22, 2017

For the first time in history, Alexander Shelley will be conducting the NAC Orchestra in the most cherished and performed of all choral works, Handel’s Messiah on Friday December 22, 2017 in Southam Hall. The orchestra will be joined by a choir made up of the Ewashko Singers, the Capital Chamber Choir, and the Cantata Singers.

 

In preparation, Alexander invites you to listen to two NACOcast episodes recorded in the past few years. The first is with the NAC Orchestra’s principal bassoonist, Christopher Millard, who talks through the parts and melodies and characters of the work in “A Messiah Digest.” He starts with a few historical facts about the performance of the work in Dublin nearly 300 years ago, and uses his own experience with this sacred oratorio to guide his listeners in getting a deeper understanding of the architecture and beauty within.

 

The second is an interview of conductor and harpsichordist Trevor Pinnock by writer and broadcaster Eric Friesen. Mr. Pinnock conducted the NAC Orchestra in a performance of this English-language oratorio in 2011. In this podcast, he talks about early memories of The Messiah, and of the human emotions that are found in this work.

 

If you haven’t purchased your tickets yet to this one-night performance, do so by visiting the NAC website.