The tune of tunes for the king of kings
Various venues in Cph; starts Sat, ends Dec 20
Nothing marks the beginning of the advent season quite like the triumphant strains of Handel’s Messiah, coming soon to cathedrals, churches and concert halls near you. We dare you not to stand for the well-loved Hallelujah chorus and experience something of a Christmassy je-ne-sais-quoi – a warm feeling inside that for once doesn’t come from trying to wade your way through an overheated department store during rush hour.
One of the best-known and most frequently performed choral works in Western music, the masterpiece of German-born George Frideric Handel was first performed on Dublin’s Fishamble Street on 13 April 1742 and received its London premiere almost a year later. The great baroque composer received his musical training in Hamburg and Italy before settling in London, becoming a naturalised British subject in 1727.
A musical biopic of the life of Jesus Christ, King of Kings, the scriptural text for the English-language oratorio, was written by Charles Jennens, who wrote to a friend in 1741: “I hope [Handel] will lay out his whole genius and skill upon it, that the composition may excel all his former compositions, as the subject excels every other subject. The subject is Messiah”. Jennens certainly needn’t have worried, as the famous work has become one of the most powerful and enduring pieces of classical music, mesmerising audiences all over the world more than 250 years on.
A seasonal safe haven far from the madding crowds of the Christmas rush, the great oratorio is a musical treat not to be missed this December. As is tradition, performances of this classical masterpiece will take place at various locations around the city throughout the month.
The Messiah performed by the Euphonia Chamber Choir, featuring soloists Henriette Neess Borup, Elisabeth Jansson, Niels Jørgen Riis, and Palle Knudsen, with conductor Ole Reuss Schmidt.
DR Concert Hall
Featuring DR Vocal Ensemble and the Danish National Symphony Orchestra.
Koncertsalen, Ørestads Boulevard 13, Cph S; Dec 19 & 20, 19:30; tickets: 110kr-400kr, www.billetlugen.dk
Performances by the Mogens Dahl Chamber Choir and the Danish String Quartet.
Vor Frue Kirke
The Messiah courtesy of the Academic Choir & Orchestra, featuring soloists Regina Unnur Olafsdottir, Andrea Pellegrini, Mathias Hedegaard and Steffen Bruun, with conductor Nenia Zenana.
Helligaandskirken on Strøget
Featuring the Helligaandskirkens Choir under the direction of Torsten Mariegaard.