- Handel (Orch. MOZART) Messiah
Handel’s Messiah is one of the most cherished and performed of all choral works. That wasn’t always the case though. In 1742, it enjoyed a hugely successful premiere in Dublin, but when Handel presented the work to London audiences the following year, it was denounced as sacrilegious. The composer had presented the “sacred oratorio” in the decidedly secular Covent Garden Theatre. It wasn’t until 1750 that Messiah became a runaway success, with a standing-room only performance to raise funds for the new Foundling Hospital, an event that became an annual favorite.