Movement 18 of Handel’s Messiah is a dramatic and involved aria for soprano. A fast major-key beginning and end require virtuosic singing, and the slow minor-key middle section gives the singer lots of room to be expressive. Orchestral direction reflects the London Philharmonic Orchestra recording.
Movement 17 from Handel’s Messiah, this is a joyous SATB chorus, complete with trumpets, woodwinds, strings, and harpsichord. The text of “peace on Earth, goodwill towards men” is perfect for Christmas. Orchestral direction reflects the London Philharmonic Orchestra recording. Includes mvmnt. 16 (an 8-measure soprano recitative) as an introduction.
This soprano recitative comprises movements 14 and 15 of Handel’s Messiah. It tells of the angel of God appearing to the shepherds. Very slow and rubato, with timings carefully matched to the London Philharmonic Orchestra recording.
The twelfth movement in Handel’s Messiah is a joyous SATB chorus celebrating Christ’s birth. The vocal parts alternate between quiet sections of imitative polyphony and strong sections of heroic union fanfares. All parts match Handel’s original score, and orchestral direction is similar to the well-known recordings by the London Symphony Orchestra.
Movement thirteen in Handel’s Messiah is the only purely instrumental movement, without any singing at all. It’s useful as an interlude, contemplative moment, or during an intermission. The title “Pifa” suggests shepherds’ music played traditionally at Christmas by the Italian “pifferare” (pipers or shepherds).