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 laddies 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.
The Radio Community Chest Inc
gratefully acknowledges the support provided by the
Council of the City of Sydney.
Each year for the past 75 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.
JOIN US in the choir for rehearsals beginning the second Monday in October at 7:00pm in St Stephe's Church in Macquarie Street, Sydney.
For the PERFORMANCES of Handel's "Messiah" at the Sydney Town Hall at 3:00pm on 17th and 18th December 2016 tickets will be available from the 1st October. Details to be announced.
CDs of the 75th Anniversary Performance in the Sydney Town Hall in December 2015 are now available for purchase online https://www.surveymonkey.com/r/KFYD5RZ
to get the 2-CD Form to fill in.
Cost of the 2-CD set is $25
Photos: Courtesy Bruce Crowe
SYDNEY TOWN HALL
Saturday 17 December
Sunday 18 December
To be advised
JOIN US in the choir Rehearsals begin the
Monday 10th October
at 7.00pm to 8.45pm
in St Stephen's Uniting Church.
Macquarie Street, Sydney