Sunday 27 November 2016
MESSIAH FROM SCRATCH®
Royal Albert Hall, 7.00 pm
More about this concert
About the performers
(clicking on the links will take you to a biography of each individual artist)
Our performance is conducted by Brian Kay, with the English Festival Orchestra (leader Adrian Levine); the Royal Albert Hall’s mighty ‘Father’ Willis organ will be played by Andrew Parnell. The four vocal soloists are Alison Rose (soprano), Angharad Lyddon (mezzo-soprano), Guy Elliott (tenor) and Henry Neill (baritone).
About the charity
The evening concert supports the British Heart Foundation through programme sales, bucket collections, advertising and sales of merchandise. Messiah from Scratch® has been associated with the BHF since at least 1978, and in February 2010, Don and Ann Monro received on behalf of The Really Big Chorus a ‘Heart Hero’ award from the Foundation, in recognition of the sums (close to a quarter of a million pounds) raised for the heart charity at our Royal Albert Hall concerts.
Unbelievably, Handel wrote the 52 movements of Messiah in a mere 24 days, working at a feverish pace to keep up with his imagination. The first performance in Dublin the following year (1742) was greeted with acclaim, but the London premiere a year later was met with indifference, even hostility. Handel had to wait until 1749 before Messiah achieved the popularity it has enjoyed ever since. The first ‘charity’ performance was given in 1750 for the Foundling Hospital, since when Messiah has probably raised more money for charity than any other piece of music.
The tradition of English audiences standing at the opening of the Hallelujah Chorus dates back to the time of King George II who is reported to have sprung to his feet at this point in the performance, with the rest of the audience deferentially following suit. It has been assumed that the King did so in sheer admiration, but there are several other possible explanations!
For information on dining, parking and disabled access please contact the Royal Albert Hall (follow the link or telephone 020 7589 8212).