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Donald Macleod and his guest Ruth Smith look at the end of the relationship between Handel and his great collaborator Charles Jennens, and the legacy they left behind in Messiah.

Donald Macleod and his guest Ruth Smith look at the end of Handel’s collaboration with Charles Jennens, and the legacy they left embedded in Messiah.

In the winter of 1741, Handel packed his bags and left London for Dublin, where he spent nearly nine months writing and performing in the city. The main work that he premiered there was a new oratorio which proved to be one of the landmarks of his career. Across the week we hear the whole of Handel’s Messiah, uncover the secrets of its origins and dispel the myths that still surround it.

Today, Donald and Ruth look at the end of the collaboration between Handel and his collaborator Charles Jennens. They left behind not only Messiah but also Saul, L'Allegro and their final collaboration, Belshazzar. Messiah remains the greatest of them, and they look at the way in which the work, though embedded in the politics and ideas of its own time, has also come to mean so much to generations of singers and music lovers long after the deaths of Handel and Jennens.

Samson: Act I, Scene 2 'O first created beam!'
The Sixteen
Harry Christophers, conductor

Samson: Act II, Scene 1 'Return, O God of hosts!'
Catherine Wyn-Rogers, alto (Micah)
The Sixteen
Harry Christophers, conductor

Messiah: Part Three (excerpts)
Gerald Finley, bass
Arnold Schoenberg Choir
Concentus Musicus Wien
Nikolaus Harnoncourt, director

Messiah: Part Three 'If God be for us'
Clare Wilkinson, alto
Dunedin Consort and Players
John Butt, conductor

Belshazzar: Act I, Scene 3
James Bowman, countertenor (Daniel)
Choir of the English Concert
The English Concert
Trevor Pinnock

Messiah: Part Three 'Worthy is the lamb that was slain'
Monteverdi Choir
English Baroque Soloists
John Eliot Gardiner, conductor

Produced in Cardiff by Amelia Parker

59 minutes

Music Played

  • George Frideric Handel

    Samson: Act I 'O first created beam!'

    Choir: The Sixteen. Conductor: Harry Christophers.
    • CORO : COR-16008.
    • CORO.
    • 16.
  • George Frideric Handel

    Samson: Act I 'Return O God of hosts'

    Singer: Catherine Wyn‐Rogers. Choir: The Sixteen. Conductor: Harry Christophers.
    • CORO : COR-16008.
    • CORO.
    • 4.
  • George Frideric Handel

    Messiah: Part 3 (extracts)

    Singer: Gerald Finley. Choir: Arnold Schönberg Chor. Ensemble: Concentus Musicus Vienna. Conductor: Nikolaus Harnoncourt.
    • Deutsche Harmonia Mundi 82876640702.
    • Deutsche Harmonia Mundi.
    • 22.
  • George Frideric Handel

    Messiah: Part 3 'If God be for us'

    Singer: Clare Wilkinson. Ensemble: Dunedin Consort. Ensemble: Dunedin Players. Conductor: John Butt.
    • Linn CKD 285.
    • Linn.
    • 24.
  • George Frideric Handel

    Belshazzar: Act I 'Oh sacred oracles of truth!'

    Singer: James Bowman. Choir: English Concert Choir. Ensemble: The English Concert. Conductor: Trevor Pinnock.
    • ARCHIV 4770372.
    • ARCHIV.
    • 17.
  • George Frideric Handel

    Messiah: Part 3 'Worthy is the lamb that was slain'

    Choir: Monteverdi Choir. Orchestra: English Baroque Soloists. Conductor: Sir John Eliot Gardiner.
    • PHILIPS 4342972.
    • PHILIPS.
    • 27.

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