Handel’s ‘Messiah’ with the New York Philharmonic
Matthew Polenzani is the tenor soloist in Handel’s Messiah with the New York Philharmonic, December 13, 14, 15, 16 & 17 at David Geffen Hall. Music Director Alan Gilbert leads the performances, which also feature soprano Christina Landshamer, mezzo-soprano Sasha Cooke, and bass-baritone John Relyea, along with the Concert Chorale of New York.
GEORGE FRIDERIC HANDEL (1685–1759)
Messiah represents the quintessential classical music highpoint of the Christmas season. Handel’s inspired setting of Biblical texts is a three-part meditation on the prophecy and fulfillment of God’s plan to redeem the world through a savior. Part I is filled with the joy of anticipation of that savior (epitomized in the jubilant chorus “Unto Us a Child is Born”). Part II reflects the sorrow and agony surrounding Christ’s passion and death, and the exultation of the resurrection, captured in the stirring “Hallelujah” chorus. Part III is a hymn of thanksgiving for the final defeat of death and for life eternal. Among the many other highlights of the oratorio are the noble concluding chorus, “Worthy is the Lamb” and the final “Amen.” Messiah’sdazzling solos, firework-filled instrumental passages, and some of the most glorious choral writing of all time have made it the undisputed holiday favorite of concert halls and churches throughout the world.