Over the centuries, Handel’s Messiah has become individualized, depending on the conductor’s choices of what to include and what to leave out. Thus, it is a valuable exercise to experience the original 1742 version that was performed in Dublin as a charity concert.
The Dublin Messiah has now become part of the Toronto holiday tradition courtesy of the Aradia Ensemble, the superb, small scale, early music group headed by conductor Kevin Mallon.
Mallon’s Messiah is a compact baroque jewel, featuring four soloists, 14 choristers and 14 musicians. The modest forces allow for every word and musical note to be savoured.
As a conductor, Mallon has detailed the performance in micro-fashion so that the music is filled with colour and nuance from both the singers and the orchestra. Soprano Virginia Hatfield, countertenor Scott Belluz, tenor Joseph Schnurr, and bass-baritone Giles Tomkins all gave expressive performances.
The Aradia Ensemble’s Dublin Messiah is a very moving experience, and definitely is a must hear for next season.
The Dublin Messiah
George Frideric Handel
Performed by Virginia Hatfield, soprano, Scott Belluz, countertenor, Joseph Schnurr, tenor and Giles Tomkins, bass-baritone
Glenn Gould Studio
Dec. 17, 2011