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A chorus of Hallelujahs for the festive period

13 December, 2018 — By Sebastian Taylor

THERE’S plenty of choice of Handel’s thrilling and majestic Messiah around town in the run-up to Christmas.

There are easy-listening performances, excellent in their own way, at such venues as Kings College in the Strand, St James’s Piccadilly and St Martin-in-the-Fields.

But for outstanding performances with stellar soloists, you’ll need to go to the Royal Festival Hall, Kings Place, Barbican, St John’s Smith Square or the Royal Albert Hall.

For a Messiah as heard in Handel’s time, your best bet is the performance by period instrument specialists The Hanover Band and Chorus at Kings Place next Monday evening.

For stellar soloists, go to performances at the big concert halls, notably the Royal Festival Hall, Barbican and Royal Albert Hall. Among singers at these venues are sister-sopranos Mary and Sophie Bevan, counter-tenor Iestyn Davies, tenor Nicky Spence and baritone Roderick Williams to name but a few.

Messiah performances:

Friday December 14
• Choir of Kings College, Kings College, The Strand, WC2, 7pm

Thursday December 20
• Six Centuries Chamber Choir, St James’s Piccadilly, 7.30pm, £20/cons £15

Sunday December 16
• Stellar soloists/ Highgate Choral Society/Philharmonia Orchestra, Royal Festival Hall, 7.30pm

Monday December 17
• Hanover Band and choir/Andrew Arthur harpsichord, Kings Place, 7.30pm, from £9.50 savers

Wednesday December 19
• Stellar soloists/ Britten Sinfonia ensemble & voices, Barbican, 7.30pm
• St Martin’s Voices/Brandenburg Sinfonia, St Martin-in-the-Fields, 7.30pm, from £7
• Six Centuries Chamber Choir/ Linden Baroque, St James’s Piccadilly, 7.30pm, £20/cons £15

Friday December 21
• Royal Philharmonic Orchestra and choir, Royal Albert Hall, 2pm and 7.30pm

Sunday December 23
• Polyphony/Orchestra of the Age of Enlightenment/conductor Stephen Layton, St John’s Smith Square, 7.30pm, from £25

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