Handel - Messiah

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December 2020

The Messiah’s fame surpasses that of all other works by Handel: the oratorio premiered in Dublin in 1742 and met with resounding success: the demand for tickets was such that gentlemen were asked to "come without their swords" and ladies to wear “dresses without hoops”, to make room for more listeners and thus increase the revenue "destined for charity". After the great alto aria "He was despised", Reverend Delany, stirred by emotion stood up and cried out to the singer, "Woman, for this, all your sins are forgiven!"

After coming to London, The Messiah soon became Handel's iconic composition. Performed thirty-six times during his lifetime, it soon came to represent the majestic and sublime dimensions of music. Charles Jennens built the libretto dedicated to Christ in three parts: Nativity; Passion and Resurrection; Redemption. The ideal alternation of solo and choral arias is admirable, and Handel's lyrical science is everywhere in the arias: gentle or victorious, they are among the composer's most beautiful. The memorable chorales have been familiar for more than two hundred and fifty years...In London, King George II was so moved by the Hallelujah that he stood up, followed by the entire audience, and all British audiences since then. The young Valentin Tournet, who has been associated for four seasons with the Château de Versailles programme, gives here his vision of Handel's most famous oratorio: we look forward to it.

Program and cast


Anna-Lena Elbert: Soprano
Anthea Pichanick: Contralto
Krystian Adam: Tenor
Daniel Ochoa: Baritone

La Chapelle Harmonique
Valentin Tournet: Conductor


Georg Friedrich Handel (1685 – 1759)

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