Main content

Handel's Messiah

World-renowned choral conductor Stephen Layton presents Messiah, Handel's remarkable oratorio, with the BBC National Orchestra and Chorus of Wales

Handel composed Messiah at breakneck speed in London in the summer of 1741, before travelling to Dublin to produce a series of concerts there. One of these concerts became the premiere of Messiah, and it was an unbridled success, which led in only a handful of years to it being firmly established in the repertoire and being repeated annually. It was just what Handel needed at this time; the flop of what would be his final opera, Deidamia, in 1740 had seriously knocked him, but Handel's Messiah restored his fame, and today is his most performed work. Stephen Layton is no stranger to the work, having performed it with incredible regularity and also recorded it with his choir Polyphony, and brings a very high level of experience to this majestic work.

Live from St. David's Hall, Cardiff

Presented by Nicola Heywood Thomas

Handel: Messiah, HWV. 56 (Part One)

8.20 Interval music

Handel: Messiah, HWV 56 (Parts Two and Three)

Katherine Watson (soprano)
Jess Dandy (contralto)
Gwilym Bowen (tenor)
Neal Davies (bass)
BBC National Orchestra and Chorus of Wales
Stephen Layton (conductor)

21 days left to listen

2 hours, 28 minutes


Featured in...

The women erased from musical history

Discover the music of five forgotten women composers, performed in a special IWD concert.

Three Great British Brass Band Pieces

Music by Malcolm Arnold, Edward Elgar and Herbert Howells.