Composed in a mere 24 days between 22 August and 14 September 1741 by George Frideric Handel in Ireland, Messiah, A Sacred Oratorio surely qualifies as one of the 1001 classical compositions one must hear in their lifetime. In its 229th performance of the work, the Royal Philharmonic Choir and Orchestra did not disappoint in its authentic delivery of this markedly traditional work touted as one of the most significant in Western music.
Energetically and masterfully conducted by Andrew Wailes, and front lined by most capable soloists, Jessica Aszodi, Dominica Matthews, Christopher Saunders and Daniel Sumegi, the orchestra confidently carried the momentum of the body of the work, relating in a balanced fashion with each of its debuting soloists, and the vocally resilient choir.
Excerpts of biblical text form the primary narrative vehicle from which the religious height of redemption is explored in three parts: the plan, the accomplishment and the celebration thereof. Above all, the audience eagerly joined in the dramatic revelation, ‘Hallelujah’, the performance of which spared no vigour or force, and which was powerfully supported by Jonathan Bradley on organ.
In the absence of any character development, which is a feature of this work, the large ensemble of musicians symmetrically banded against the fitting backdrop of the Melbourne Town Hall’s organ, all dressed in black, made this dramatic spiritual journey, spanning almost 3 hours, a rewarding experience overall.
Royal Melbourne Philharmonic
George Frideric Handel
Venue: Melbourne Town Hall
Date/Time: Sunday 14 December at 5pm
Tickets: from $25.10 to $65.65
Bookings: www.ticketmaster.com.au or on 136 000.