Handel's Messiah

Handel - The Messiah (1754 Foundling Hospital version)

Here is a filmed performance of Handel's epic sacred vocal work "Messiah". Recorded by the BBC in 1982.

Includes performances by Academy of Ancient Music - conducted by Christopher Hogwood.
Featuring the Choir of Westminster Abbey.
Includes soloists:

  • Dame Emma Kirkby (soprano)
  • Judith Nelson (soprano)
  • Carolyn Watkinson (mezzo soprano)
  • Paul Elliott (tenor)
  • David Thomas (bass)


This is an authentic performance of Handel's Messiah, recorded in 1982 in Westminster Abbey for television.  Christopher Hogwood uses historically informed performance practices. So the instruments sound the same as ones from the 17th century. The musical interpretation is extremely compelling, and the well-known soloists are superb, true to the style of the music (no excess vibrato here, by pumped up divas), and add their own sparkling embellishments.  

Set against this, the video quality and camerawork is poor by modern TV standards, and it is hard not to be distracted and amused by some wonderfully 80s hairstyles (and David Thomas' rather manic gurning!).  Nevertheless, having the video element adds greatly to the music. Please enjoy!

The original video was:
Audio: Dolby 2.0 (AC3) 448kbps
Video: Interlaced MPEG2, 720x480 (NTSC)


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