THIS year, instead of Christmas carols, we are featuring excerpts from Part 1 of Handel’s Messiah, which is concerned with the birth of Jesus as foretold by the prophets of the Old Testament and reported in the gospels of Luke and Matthew.
Air and Chorus: ‘O thou that tellest good tidings to Zion, get thee up into the high mountain. O thou that tellest good tidings to Jerusalem, lift up thy voice with strength; lift it up, be not afraid; say unto the cities of Judah, Behold your God!’ (Isaiah 40, v.9); ‘Arise, shine, for thy light is come, and the glory of the Lord is risen upon thee.’ (Isaiah 60, v.1)
This is a vintage performance from 1982, featuring contralto Carolyn Watkinson accompanied by the Academy of Ancient Music conducted by Christopher Hogwood. The Choir of Westminster Abbey is directed by Simon Preston.