Society shows masterpiece's enduring appeal
HANDEL'S Messiah is one of the most popular and best loved choral works and, for many people, a performance now heralds the impending arrival of Christmas.
It is impossible to listen to this oratorio without marvelling at what Handel achieved in just 24 days though, admittedly, he constantly revised his composition over many years.
The 15th-century St James' Church in Louth was the ideal backdrop for this recital by Louth Choral Society, accompanied by the Eastern Sinfonia, under the direction of Martin Pickering.
Messiah reflects the key stages of Christ's life from a Christian perspective and is regally told in three parts.
The recitatives and airs were superbly delivered by the four guest soloists: Elizabeth Adams (soprano), Aric Prentice (alto), Stuart Jackson (bass) and Gareth John (tenor).
They combined clarity with freshness and successfully injected passion into this grandest of all dramas.
There was a delightful crispness to the orchestra's playing and the almost constant presence of the harpsichord added a charming touch of 18th-century authenticity.
Numbering almost 100, the chorus sang with energy, vitality and, above all else, enthusiasm, prompting great anticipation as the finale of Part Two approached.
They did not disappoint and delivered the Hallelujah Chorus in all its glorious technicolor majesty.
In common with Handel's debut performance, this recital of Messiah also attracted a capacity audience thus demonstrating the enduring appeal of his masterpiece.
Trevor Ekins: reproduced by kind permission of The Grimsby Evening Telegraph