BBC Documentary – Messiah at the Foundling Hospital

Handel’s Messiah is one of the most popular choral pieces in Western music. It has been recorded hundreds of times and contains a tune that is as instantly recognisable as any in music. Yet few people know the extraordinary story of how this much-loved piece came to public attention – or how it helped save…

Franz Josef Haydn (1732–1809): Stabat Mater

"I set to music with all my power the highly esteemed hymn, called Stabat Mater" – Franz Josef Haydn. Haydn’s setting of the Stabat Mater is a full-scale oratorio originally scored for soloists, choir, accompanied by an orchestra of strings, oboes, and organ. Haydn composed it in 1767 six years after he entered the service…

J.S. Bach – Christmas Oratorio BWV 248

Sir John Eliot Gardiner chose to celebrate the 250th anniversary of the death of Johann Sebastian Bach in his own inimitable style: with the Monteverdi Choir and English Baroque Soloists he undertook an extended concert tour to perform the composer’s entire known output of sacred cantatas at churches and concert halls all over Europe. The…

Antonio Vivaldi (1678-1741): Juditha Triumphans RV644

Vivaldi wrote Juditha Triumpans or Juditha Triumphans devicta Holofernes barbarie to give its full title in 1716 for the girls of the Ospedele della Pietà. It’s the only one of his oratorios to survive and it’s a further demonstration that Vivaldi had full confidence not only in the soloists, and the chorus, but also in…

Sunday Concert: Mendelssohn’s Elijah, conducted by Ann Howard Jones – YouTube

Musicians from the Boston University College of Fine Arts returned to Boston’s historic Symphony Hall to perform Mendelssohn’s masterpiece Elijah. The concert features the BU Symphony Orchestra and Symphonic Chorus, conductor Ann Howard Jones, soprano Liz Baldwin, mezzo-soprano Penelope Bitzas, tenor Martin Bakari, baritone James Demler, and soprano Kira Winter singing the role of The…

Stephen Paulus: Hymn to the Eternal Flame

The American composer Stephen Paulus was born in 1949 and studied composition at the University of Minnesota with Paul Fetler and Dominick Argento, his music is often influenced by romanticism in 2005 he worked together with Michael Dennis Browne to created the oratorio ‘To be Certain of the Dawn’ commemorating the sixtieth anniversary of the…