About this Recording
100114 - HANDEL: Messiah (PAL)

Georg Frideric Handel (1685-1759)

The Messiah, Oratorio HV 56
Live From the Pieterskerk, Leiden 1984
Libretto: Charles Jennens
Stephen Cleobury conducts the Choir of King's College, Cambridge
Soloists: Lynne Dawson (soprano), Hilary Summers (contralto), John Mark Ainsley (tenor), Alastair Miles (bass), Crispian Steele Perkins (trumpet)
The Brandenburg Consort / Conductor: Roy Goodman
Running Time : 139 min
Menu languages: D, GB, F, SP
Picture Format: 4:3
Sound Format: PCM Stereo
Region Code: 2,5
Sel.No. 100 114 PAL

Handel began to compose a great series of oratorios in the English language in 1739 because his Italian operas were no longer proving popular with audiences. In summer he wrote works for the winter concert season, composing both The Messiah and Samson within the space two months in 1741. Both oratorios were to have been performed in London during Passion Week, but Handel left London in November and was received with great enthusiasm in Dublin. The first version of The Messiah was performed there on 13 April. The version usually performed today is a mixture of several revisions which were staged by the composer himself during his lifetime. The librettist Charles Jennens, who assembled the Biblical texts for The Messiah, played a large part in the creation of this successful masterpiece, and was praised in the highest terms by, among others, Johann Wolfgang von Goethe. The conductor Roy Goodman was born in 1951 and came into contact with Handel's work while he was still a choirboy at King's College Cambridge. He was the leading conductor of the Hanover Band between 1986 and 1994, and in recent years he has made a name for himself with opera performances.

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