Handel’s Messiah: The Complete Work
The Complete Work: on a 2-CD set
The Cambridge Singers and the Royal Philharmonic Orchestra
Directed by John Rutter
Messiah was Handel’s (1685-1759) most famous work and remains immensely popular among concert-goers in the English-speaking world. As with all oratorios, it is divided into three parts: in this case, the three parts are Christ’s birth, death, and resurrection; each part breaking down into a series of arias and choruses, with a Biblical passage as their basis.
Combine the premier choral conductor of our time; his select chamber choir, the Cambridge Singers; the Royal Philharmonic Orchestra; and Handel’s timeless Baroque masterpiece, and you have the ultimate musical celebration for Christmas or Easter!
Vocalists of great skill, Joanne Lunn, Melanie Marshall, James Gilchrist, and Christopher Purves were specially selected as soloists by Mr. Rutter for this recording.
George Frideric Handel’s Messiah is his most famous creation and is among the most popular works in Western choral literature.
Although the work was conceived and first performed for Easter, it has become traditional since Handel’s death to present the prophetic portions of the oratorio during Advent and resurrection-themed segments during Easter. Whether you were raised with the breathtaking, straight-from-Scripture movements of “For unto Us a Child Is Born,” “He Shall Feed His Flock,” and “The Hallelujah Chorus”, or you’re appreciating them for the first time, you’ll be powerfully moved by this momentous production.
George Frideric Handel (1685–1759) was born in Halle, Germany, in the same year as Bach. A prolific composer in many genres, he is well-known for his outstanding contributions to choral music, secular cantatas, operas, and instrumental music of various types, particularly the concerto. Handel was one of the greatest composers of the Baroque period (1700—1750) and, during his lifetime, the most internationally famous of all musicians.
John Rutter, CBE (born September 24, 1945) is an English composer, choral conductor, editor, arranger and record producer. Born in London, he was educated at Highgate School. He then studied music at Clare College, Cambridge, where he was a member of the choir and then director of music from 1975 to 1979. In 1981 he founded his own choir, the Cambridge Singers, which he conducts and with which he has made many recordings of sacred choral repertoire (including his own works). He still lives near Cambridge, but frequently conducts other choirs and orchestras around the world. In 1980 he was made an honorary Fellow of Westminster Choir College, Princeton, and in 1988 a Fellow of the Guild of Church Musicians. In 1996 the Archbishop of Canterbury conferred a Lambeth Doctorate of Music upon him in recognition of his contribution to church music. He also works as an arranger and editor, most notably (in his youth) of the extraordinarily successful Carols for Choirs anthology series in collaboration with Sir David Willcocks.