To the Wigmore Hall last night for the Messiah, performed by the Early Opera Company, conducted by Christopher Curmyn. Despite a chorus consisting of only eight singers and an orchestra of not more than a dozen or so players, the ensemble made a commendably thrilling noise. Iestyn Davies singing alto (singing the airs I know from listening to Kathleen Ferrier) and Derek Welton (bass) "owning"(the word is my son's) the stage were outstanding soloists.
What is striking about the piece is the variety within a single idiom. It has what you might call a modular strength - lots of different bits go to make up a seamless whole. And that final chorus is really quite breathtakingly like the sound of a choir of angels.
Has triumph ever been expressed so joyfully? No, never.