At this time of year it seems nearly every church and concert hall hangs out a shingle for a “Messiah” concert. Handel’s famous oratorio can be so ubiquitous as to be almost imperceptible, a regular and expected feature of the season. Sure, there are good performances and average ones. But there’s no rush to see it: like Santa, Handel is sure to return again next year. (In fact, he’ll pop up again for Easter). At a busy time of year, it’s easy to defer. This year, why not shake it up and make The Messiah a priority? Any performance – from the top urban orchestras to your local civic organization – stirs the soul. Relocate the “Hallelujah Chorus” from your ear buds to a hall with warm acoustics and it’s an entirely different experience. Blow your mind with the final “Amen” of Part Three. And find yourself jumping into a standing ovation, with all the joy of a fine communal experience, as the majestic final notes peal throughout the hall.
This is the year to try Handel’s “Messiah” again.