Oratorio “Messiah” by George Frideric Handel is one of the most majestic pieces in the history of Western music. According to music professionals, the vocals of Hendel’s oratorio in the symphonic repertoire stand out as a mighty mountain range, where the “Messiah” is its highest peak.
Despite the grand shape of the composition, the composer completed it unbelievably fast – in less than a month. With great success the oratorio was premiered in Dublin on 13 April 1742. Since then the oratorio is played every year at Christmas all over the world. The listeners almost perceive the famous choir “Aleluja” from the “Messiah” as a national anthem, often standing on their feet while it is played.
This famous piece will be performed in Liepaja Concert Hall for the first time. It is staged by Baroque music expert, world-famous German conductor Frieder Bernius together with the most talented interpreters of this music genre in Latvia and Europe. Soprano – the Latvian opera singer Inga Kalna, bass – Rihards Millers, alto – Dutch Maarten Engeltjes and English tenor – Thomas Hobbs. Led by the conductor, the most outstanding Latvian ensembles – the Grammy-winning State Chamber Orchestra Sinfonietta Rīga and Latvian Radio Choir will perform.
“Messiah” is composed of the texts by the Bible prophets that preach the coming of Christ (the word “Messiah” means “Saviour”). When the oratorio’s spiritual text tells of the birth of Christ, the music is full of light and tenderness, but when the messages of the Resurrection and the Second Coming of Christ are revealed, the sound of the choir and orchestra surprises with its colourfulness and holy festive power. The music by Handel is characterised as full of truly cosmic energy and spiritually uniting.
Frieder Bernius (conductor)
Inga Kalna (soprano)
Maarten Engeltjes (alto)
Thomas Hobbs (tenor)
Rihards Millers (bass)
Latvian Radio Choir