English Symphony Orchestra
Academia Musica Choir
Soloists: April Fredrick (soprano), Heidi Jost (mezzo), Lawrence Olsworth-Peter (tenor), Paul Goodwin-Groen (bass)
Conductor: Kenneth Woods
About the concert
The ESO celebrates the Festival of Christmas with one of the most enduring of musical traditions.
Handel’s evergreen oratorio Messiah remains a firm fixture in the festive calendar and this year is no exception as the English Symphony Orchestra joins forces with the Academia Musica Choir and specially selected soloists to perform in the transformative setting of Great Malvern Priory, following 2021’s sell-out performance.
It took Handel only weeks to compose, but the lasting legacy and power of hearing Messiah in person, 280 years after its first performance, is testament to the composer’s masterful setting of the sacred texts and their universal themes of joy, pain and redemption. For both audience and performers, the immediate appeal of anthems and airs such as ‘Ev’ry valley’, ‘Comfort ye my people’ and ‘For unto us a child is born’ is as strong as ever, with the ‘Hallelujah Chorus’ being one of the most popular written by a composer of any era.