There’s more to Handel’s Messiah than the “Hallelujah” Chorus. Learn how Handel created a masterpiece that “fed the hungry, clothed the naked” and changed music history forever. From the overture to the final “Amen,” this cherished Christmas tradition will leave you singing Hallelujah for Handel!
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Carlos Botero, Host
Aurelie Desmarais, Host
Betsy Cook Weber, Houston Symphony Chorus Director and Featured Guest
Ray Schilens, Audio Production and Editing (Radio Lounge)
Brad Sayles, Houston Symphony Broadcast Recording Engineer (Houston Public Media)
Calvin Dotsey, Executive Producer
Most orchestral excepts featured in On the Music are taken from archival Houston Symphony recordings. We also supplement these with commercially available recordings to ensure that we respect the rights of our musicians and to fill in gaps in our archives. Credits are listed by order of first appearance. The Houston Symphony Broadcast Recording Engineer is Brad Sayles of Houston Public Media.
Handel: Concerto Grosso in D minor Op. 6 No. 10, HWV 328, III. Lento – Kevin Mallon (conductor) and the Aradia Ensemble.
Handel: Messiah – Archival Houston Symphony recording (all choral and orchestral excerpts of Messiah were taken from this recording except for the chorus “Glory to God,” which comes from the other recording of Messiah).
Handel: Chaconne in G major, HWV 435 – Jory Vinikour (harpsichord).
Handel: “Come nube che fugge dal vento” from Agrippina – Jean Claude Malgoire (conductor), Philippe Jaroussky (countertenor) and the Grand Écurie et la Chambre du Roy.
Handel: Water Music Suite No. 2 in D major, HWV 349, I. Overture – Archival Houston Symphony recording.
Purcell: Morning Service in D Major, Z. 232, Te Deum – Robert Glenton (conductor), Jeni Bern (soprano), Susan Bisatt (soprano), Thomas Guthrie (bass), Ian Honeyman (tenor), William Purefoy (countertenor), Christopher Robson (countertenor), Choir of the Golden Age and the Orchestra of the Golden Age.
Handel: “Gird on Thy Sword” from Saul – Joachim Carlos Martini (conductor), Junge Kantorei and the Frankfurt Baroque Orchestra.
Handel: Messiah – Peter Dijkstra (conductor, Julia Doyle (soprano), Lawrence Zazzo (countertenor), Steve Davislim (tenor), Neal Davies (bass-baritone), Bavarian Radio Chorus and B’Rock (all excerpts featuring vocal soloists were taken from this recording).
Wagner: “Nun zaume dein Ross, reisige Maid!” from Act II Scene 1 of Die Walküre – Sebastian Weigle (conductor), Susan Bullock (soprano) and the Frankfurt Opera and Museum Orchestra.
Albinoni: “Bella e l’Alba” from Il Nascimento de L’Aurora – René Clemencic (conductor), Radu Marian (male soprano) and the Clemencic Consort. (Note: The featured singer here is Radu Marian, a rare natural male sopranist. While he is not a castrato, he and other natural male sopranists may give us the closest approximation of how castrati may have sounded. The ensuing excerpt of “But Who May Abide” from Messiah is sung by the countertenor Lawrence Zazzo, as are all the other alto solos from Messiah featured in this episode).
R.A. Bass: Glad Tidings, IV. Peace and Good Will – Archival Houston Symphony recording.
Sound effects courtesy of freesound.org and Radio Lounge. Credits are listed by order of first appearance.
Quill Pen – Quill pen writing on hard paper various speed.wav by marcoman89.
Whispering – Four_Voices_Whispering_3_wEcho.wav by geoneo0.
Angry Mob – angry mob loop.aiff by benjaminharveydesign.
Hammer – Courtesy of Radio Lounge.
Horse Hooves – Innenstadt_4b_Pferde.wav by OSH37.