Head to the Barbican this Christmas to hear the Academy of Ancient Music/ Richard Egarr - Handel's Messiah, London December 2014.
It wouldn’t be Christmas without Messiah. After a couple of weeks of hearing the Hallelujah Chorus reverberate around Oxford Street, though, it can be easy to forget just what a magnificent work Handel’s oratorio is. But there’ll be a chance to hear the whole thing, in all its glory, when Richard Egarr brings the Academy of Ancient Music to the Barbican on December 10. There’s never any shortage of Messiah performances over the festive season, of course – but we reckon this will be one of the best London Christmas events 2014.
The oratorio – which tells the story of Christ’s birth, death and resurrection – was originally performed at Easter, rather than Christmas. Its first outing in London, in 1743, was met with a lukewarm response, partly because the theme was considered too lofty for the theatre. But word soon got out that the music was entirely worthy of the subject matter, and it wasn’t long before Messiah had secured its place as Handel’s best-loved work – and become essential listening at Christmas. It shows the composer as a master of synthesis, integrating the English, German and Italian styles of the period and combining exquisite tenderness with thunderous exultation. And you couldn’t ask for a better-qualified group of performers than the Academy of Ancient Music to carry it off.
Back in the 18th century, eager audiences verged on rioting as they waited for admission to performances of Messiah. Today’s Handel fans may be a milder bunch, but they won't let tickets for this concert stick around for long – so book now.
|What||Academy of Ancient Music/Richard Egarr: Messiah, Barbican|
|Where||Barbican Centre, Silk Street, London, EC2Y 8DS | MAP|
|Nearest tube||Barbican (underground)|
On 10 Dec 14, 7:00 PM – 9:30 PM
|Website||Click here to book via the Barbican's website.|