Handel, Messiah And Dublin

Episodes

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Amen20190426

Donald Macleod and his guest Ruth Smith look at the end of Handel’s collaboration with Charles Jennens, and the legacy they left embedded in Messiah.

In the winter of 1741, Handel packed his bags and left London for Dublin, where he spent nearly nine months writing and performing in the city. The main work that he premiered there was a new oratorio which proved to be one of the landmarks of his career. Across the week we hear the whole of Handel’s Messiah, uncover the secrets of its origins and dispel the myths that still surround it.

Today, Donald and Ruth look at the end of the collaboration between Handel and his collaborator Charles Jennens. They left behind not only Messiah but also Saul, L'Allegro and their final collaboration, Belshazzar. Messiah remains the greatest of them, and they look at the way in which the work, though embedded in the politics and ideas of its own time, has also come to mean so much to generations of singers and music lovers long after the deaths of Handel and Jennens.

Samson: Act I, Scene 2 'O first created beam!'
The Sixteen
Harry Christophers, conductor

Samson: Act II, Scene 1 'Return, O God of hosts!'
Catherine Wyn-Rogers, alto (Micah)
The Sixteen
Harry Christophers, conductor

Messiah: Part Three (excerpts)
Gerald Finley, bass
Arnold Schoenberg Choir
Concentus Musicus Wien
Nikolaus Harnoncourt, director

Messiah: Part Three 'If God be for us'
Clare Wilkinson, alto
Dunedin Consort and Players
John Butt, conductor

Belshazzar: Act I, Scene 3
James Bowman, countertenor (Daniel)
Choir of the English Concert
The English Concert
Trevor Pinnock

Messiah: Part Three 'Worthy is the lamb that was slain'
Monteverdi Choir
English Baroque Soloists
John Eliot Gardiner, conductor

Produced in Cardiff by Amelia Parker

Donald Macleod looks at the end of Handel's collaboration with Charles Jennens.

Donald Macleod offers a weekly guide to composers and their music.

Comfort Ye20190422

Donald Macleod and his guest Ruth Smith tell the real story behind the origins of one of the most popular masterpieces ever composed.

In 1741 Handel packed his bags and left London for Dublin, where he spent nearly nine months writing and performing in the city. The main work that he premiered there was a new oratorio which proved to be one of the landmarks of his career. Across the week we hear the whole of Handel’s Messiah, uncover the secrets of its origins and dispel the myths that still surround it.

In today’s programme Donald and Ruth paint a picture of Handel’s life in London as he prepared to leave for Ireland, examining the way in which the texts and ideas of Messiah respond to the social and intellectual turbulence of the time.

Messiah: Hallelujah Chorus
Huddersfield Choral Society
Liverpool Philharmonic Orchestra
Malcolm Sargent, conductor

Messiah: Hallelujah Chorus
Choir of Christ Church Cathedral, Oxford
The Academy of Ancient Music
Simon Preston, conductor
Christopher Hogwood, director

Ode for St Cecilia’s Day (Final movement)
Carolyn Sampson, soprano
Dunedin Consort
Polish Radio Choir
John Butt, director

Messiah: Part One (excerpts)
Anthony Rolfe Johnson, tenor
Monteverdi Choir
English Baroque Soloists
John Eliot Gardiner, director

Messiah: Part One (excerpts)
Matthew Brook, bass
Annie Gill, contralto
Dunedin Consort and Players
John Butt, director

Israel in Egypt
He sent a thick darkness
He smote the first born of Egypt
But as for His people
The Sixteen
The Symphony of Harmony and Invention
Harry Christophers, conductor

Produced in Cardiff by Amelia Parker

Donald Macleod tells the story of Handel's Messiah, exploring its music, origins and ideas

Donald Macleod offers a weekly guide to composers and their music.

The Man Behind Messiah20190423

Donald Macleod and his guest Ruth Smith tell the story of the man behind Messiah: Handel’s great collaborator Charles Jennens.

In 1741 Handel packed his bags and left London for Dublin, where he spent nearly nine months writing and performing in the city. The main work that he premiered there was a new oratorio which proved to be one of the landmarks of his career. Across the week we hear the whole of Handel’s Messiah, uncover the secrets of its origins and dispel the myths that still surround it.

Today Donald and Ruth focus on the extraordinary life and character of Charles Jennens. Controversial, scholarly and passionately devoted to Handel’s music, it was Jennens, not Handel, who conceived the idea of Messiah and put together the libretto for Handel to set to music. The two men were very different and although their working relationship was often tense, their collaboration yielded a number of Handel’s finest works

Saul: Act I ‘How excellent Thy name’
The Sixteen
Harry Christophers, conductor

Athalia: Part I Scene 4 ‘Gloomy tyrants, we disdain’
Choir of New College, Oxford
The Academy of Ancient Music
Christopher Hogwood, director

Messiah: Part One (excerpts)
Christopher Purves, bass
Lucy Crowe, soprano
Le Concert d’Astree Choeur et Orchestre
Emmanuelle Haim, director

Messiah: Part One (Rejoice greatly)
Margaret Marshall, soprano
English Baroque Soloists
John Eliot Gardiner, conductor

Messiah: Part One (excerpts)
Clare Wilkinson, soprano
Dunedin Consort and Players
John Butt, conductor

L'Allegro, il Penseroso ed il Moderato: As steals the morn
Jeremy Ovenden, tenor
Gillian Webster, soprano
Gabrieli Consort and Players
Paul McCreesh, director

Produced in Cardiff by Amelia Parker

Donald Macleod reveals the influence of Handel's great collaborator, Charles Jennens.

Donald Macleod offers a weekly guide to composers and their music.

The Sublime, The Grand And The Tender20190425

Donald Macleod and his guest Ruth Smith talk about the reception of Messiah’s early performances in Dublin and the work’s long association with charity.

In the winter of 1741, Handel packed his bags and left London for Dublin, where he spent nearly nine months writing and performing in the city. The main work that he premiered there was a new oratorio which proved to be one of the landmarks of his career. Across the week we hear the whole of Handel’s Messiah, uncover the secrets of its origins and dispel the myths that still surround it.

Today Donald and Ruth discuss Messiah’s triumphant premiere. A vast crowd was clearly expected – notices were published that begged ladies to come without skirt-hoops and gentlemen without swords. By the second day, panes of glass were even removed to cool the hordes of concertgoers. But crucially, these notices also made it clear that making room for more people would “greatly increase the Charity”. Philanthropy was a staple of 18th-century civic life and Handel was a prolific benefactor. Although Messiah faced a decidedly cooler reception in London, it was with the institution of charity performances at the Foundling Hospital that it eventually found lasting popularity, continuing until Handel’s death and beyond.

Saul: Act I Scene 5, "O Lord, whose mercies numberless"
Sarah Connolly, mezzo-soprano (David)
The Sixteen
Harry Christophers, conductor

Messiah: Part Two (excerpts)
Nicholas Mulroy, tenor
Matthew brook, bass
Dunedin Consort and Players
John Butt, conductor

Messiah: Part Two (excerpts)
Susan Gritton, soprano
Neal Davies, bass
Gabrieli Consort & Players
Paul McCreesh, conductor

Messiah: Part Three (excerpts)
Margaret Marshall, soprano
Monteverdi Choir
English Baroque Soloists
John Eliot Gardiner, conductor

Utrecht Te Deum, HWV 278 (movements 5 – 10)
Nicki Kennedy, soprano
William Towers, alto
Wolfram Lattke, tenor
Julian Podger, tenor
Peter Harvey, bass
The Netherlands Bach Society
Jos van Veldhoven, conductor

Produced in Cardiff by Amelia Parker

Donald Macleod takes us to Messiah's triumphant premiere and reviews its charitable legacy

Donald Macleod offers a weekly guide to composers and their music.

To The Hibernian Shore20190424

Donald Macleod and his guest Ruth Smith discuss Handel’s arrival in Dublin and how he gathered his forces for his hotly-awaited subscription concerts.

In the winter of 1741, Handel packed his bags and left London for Dublin, where he spent nearly nine months writing and performing in the city. The main work that he premiered there was a new oratorio which proved to be one of the landmarks of his career. Across the week we hear the whole of Handel’s Messiah, uncover the secrets of its origins and dispel the myths that still surround it.

Today Donald and Ruth follow Handel as his packet-boat docks in Dublin, and he sets about organising his concert series. His organ was shipped over with him, and such was demand and curiosity that Handel conceded to hold open rehearsals. We hear about the crowd-pulling singers he ‘formed’, and the other scores in his suitcase that would whet the public’s appetite before Messiah’s great unveiling.

Alexander’s Feast: Revenge, Timotheus cries
William Berger, baritone
Ludus Baroque
Richard Neville-Towle, conductor

Messiah: Part Two (excerpts)
Clare Wilkinson, contralto
Nicholas Mulroy, tenor
Susan Hamilton, soprano
Dunedin Consort and Players
John Butt, conductor

Organ Concerto Op 7 No 1 in B flat major, HWV 306, IV. Bouree
Simon Preston, organ
The English Concert
Trevor Pinnock, conductor

Produced in Cardiff by Amelia Parker

Donald Macleod follows Handel as he settles into Dublin and his concerts cause a sensation

Donald Macleod offers a weekly guide to composers and their music.