"One of the greatest choral works ever composed"

Angmering Chorale
Angmering Chorale

Angmering Chorale is to present one of the greatest choral works ever composed, in Arundel Cathedral on Saturday March 17 at 7.30pm.

Spokeswoman Marilyn Hurdwell said: “Handel’s Messiah, the Redeemer sent by God, is a unique masterpiece which has stood the test of time all over the world. It is described as a sacred oratorio for soprano, alto, tenor and bass soloists, SATB chorus and symphony orchestra.

“This mighty and dramatic work spans both the Old and New Testaments of the Holy Bible, graphically telling of the prophecy of Christ’s birth and culminating in his death and resurrection, with music that stirs the soul and gives promise to mankind.

“Born in 1685 and sharing the same year of birth as his great German compatriot J S Bach, George Frederick Handel composed Messiah here, in English, during the reign of King George I. It was completed in just 24 days and received its first performance in Dublin in 1742, conducted by the composer to great acclaim.

“With instantly-recognisable choruses such as For unto us a Child is born, Hallelujah and Worthy is the Lamb, there are also many wonderful solos such as How Beautiful are the Feet, I know that my Redeemer Liveth and The Trumpet Shall Sound.

“Being Hebrew for Praise the Lord, the word Hallelujah appears no fewer than 48 times during this chorus, building up to a tremendous climax.

“Subsequently, during one of the London performances, George II is famously reported to have risen to his feet during the Hallelujah Chorus, and to this day audiences follow suit.

“Despite some less-than-successful theatre performances of Messiah in London, it gained in popularity during the Foundling Hospital Charity concert series in 1750-1754. Here, the choir consisted of only 24 men and boys, including soloists! Since those days the forces have varied hugely in size and gender according to fashion, with the ladies also being allowed to take part!

“Appropriately, on St Patrick’s Day 2018, Angmering Chorale will be accompanied as ever by the Sinfonia of Arun (leader Robin Morrish) with outstanding professional soloists, all under the baton of Chorale musical director George Jones.”

Tickets at £15 (students £10 and under 11s free) are available on the door and from the Chorale box office on 01243 554501. For more details, visit www.theangmeringchorale.org.uk.