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The tune of tunes for the king of kings


Either he’s standing up in anticipation of the chorus or he’s about to join Tom Daly in a display of synchronised diving – an unfair advantage some might say

December 7, 2013
09:22

by Lucie Duggan


Handel’s Messiah
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.

Marmorkirken
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.

Frederiksgade 4, Cph K; Sat & Sun, 16:00; tickets: 215kr, www.billetnet.dk; www.euphonia.dk

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

Holmens Kirke
Performances by the Mogens Dahl Chamber Choir and the Danish String Quartet.

Holmens Kanal 21, Cph K; Sat, Sun, Dec 18 & 19, 19:30; tickets: 220kr, available online or on the door 45 mins before performance, www.billetnet.dk; www.holmenskirke.dk

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.

Nørregade 8, Cph K, Dec 14, 16:00 and Dec 16, 19:30; tickets: 180kr, concessions 90kr, available online or on the door 30 mins before performance, www.billetnet.dk; www.akor.dk

Helligaandskirken on Strøget
Featuring the Helligaandskirkens Choir under the direction of Torsten Mariegaard.

Niels Hemmingsensgade 5, Cph K; Dec 18 & 19, 19:00; tickets: 215kr, concessions 120kr, www.billetnet.dk; www.helligaandskirken.dk