Handel: Messiah – Choir of King’s College (CD1)

In this video

Tracklist below.

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The Messiah was written at great speed by Handel during the winter of 1741–2, and was received to great acclaim its first performance in Dublin in 1742. Charles Jennens compiled the text from the Bible, and the work is cast in three sections. Although a success in Dublin, the work had a less than warm welcome when it was performed in London without its title, and called ‘a New Sacred Oratorio’ to avoid causing offence to the rather puritanical British public and press. This ruse failed however, and the press were hostile. Jennens and Handel also fell out, as Jennens felt that the composer hadn’t taken enough time and care over the music! This was a low point for Handel, and he seriously contemplated leaving the UK and returning to Germany. Eventually, after a few years, and after a series of performances for charitable causes, the work became a firm favourite. It has been linked ever since with the composer’s generous charitable donations to the Foundling Hospital, of which he was a director along with William Hogarth and Thomas Coram.
Messiah is the masterpiece of the English Baroque, and for 200 years has been performed by both professional and amateur choirs around the world. Handel’s gift for truly memorable tunes and (notwithstanding Jennens’s concerns) the care he took in setting the text have ensured that it has remained one of the most famous works
ever composed.

00:00:00 Sinfonia (Ouverture)
00:03:02 Recitative (Tenor): Comfort ye my people
00:05:53 Air (Tenor): Ev’ry valley shall be exalted
00:09:13 Chorus: And the glory of the Lord shall be revealed
00:12:05 Recitative (Bass): Thus said the Lord of Hosts
00:13:24 Air (Alto): But who may abide
00:17:29 Chorus: And He shall purify
00:19:59 Recitative (Alto): Behold, a virgin shall conceive
00:20:22 Air (Alto & Chorus): O thou that tellest
00:25:49 Recitative (Bass): For behold, darkness shall cover the earth
00:27:50 Air (Bass): The people that walked in darkness
00:31:08 Chorus: For unto us a Child is born
00:35:12 Pifa (Pastoral Symphony)
00:37:43 Recitative (Soprano): There were shepherds
00:38:13 Recitative (Soprano): And the angel said unto them
00:38:45 Recitative (Soprano): And suddenly there was with the angel
00:39:01 Chorus: Glory to God in the highest
00:40:53 Air (Soprano): Rejoice greatly, O daughter of Zion
00:45:10 Recitative (Alto): Then shall the eyes of the blind
00:45:35 Duet (Alto & Soprano): He shall feed His flock
00:50:09 Chorus: His yoke is easy
00:52:29 Chorus: Behold, the Lamb of God
00:54:51 Air (Tenor): He was despised and rejected of men


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