The Messiah was first performed on April 13, 1742, in Dublin at the Musick Hall. Just as King George II stood during the Hallelujah chorus at the Messiah’s 1743 London premiere, a full house in Carnegie Hall stood enthusiastically. They celebrated the fine performance, heralding the work’s artistic beauty and inspiring a universal message of hope so well articulated by Handel.
Handel was a generous man, giving freely to poor, retired musicians, orphans, and foundlings. His Messiah is a vital work representing one of the most enduring Yuletide musical gifts elegantly prophesying the birth of Jesus Christ, an exaltation of Christ’s sacrifice for humankind, and commemoration of his triumphant Resurrection. One stands in awe at the genius and inspiration enabling Handel to craft his entire work in just a few weeks.
Maestro Tritle and his Musica Sacra provided concertgoers with their gift of a sublime inspired performance. Solos were performed flawlessly by Soprano Amy Justman, Contralto Kirsten Sollek, Tenor Joshua Blue, Tenor, and Bass Adam Lau. Their singing presented superb interpretations of this monumental work, bringing the text and stories to life as they project piety, absolution, and hope.
The orchestra supported the choir and soloists in a refined, well-balanced manner. Great care was attended to utilizing an orchestra designed to provide a well-crafted authentic 18th-century experience. The audience took careful notice of the masterful trumpets (Scott McIntosh and Stephen Madancy), timpanist (Benjamin Herman, Jr.), harpsichord (Renee Anne Louprette), and organist (Raymond Nagem), expressing particular triumphal inspiration and excitement at just the right time.
Maestro Tritle and Musica Sacra are stalwarts in the promulgation, and life of critical ecclesiastical musical arts kept alive and well in New York City. Music lovers must avail themselves of future opportunities to experience their unique musical artistry.
Maestro Kent Tritle and Musica Sacra’s next event takes place at the Cathedral of St. John the Divine on Wednesday, March 18, 7:30 PM. This a capella concert features Rheinberger’s stunning Mass for Double Choir in E-Flat Major, ‘Cantus Missae.’ The superb motets of Brahms and Bruckner plus Bach’s Komm, Jesu, Komm complete this evening of soaring and uplifting music. Tickets $20-$75 at https://musicasacrany.com or call 212.330.7684