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Weekend watch: 'Messiah'

Sunday George Handel's famous oratorio, "Messiah," seemed destined to become a preferred musical approach to rousing the Christmas spirit - though it premiered at Easter 1742. The proceeds of that Dublin concert were donated to a debtor's prison ...

Handel's "Messiah"

Sunday

George Handel's famous oratorio, "Messiah," seemed destined to become a preferred musical approach to rousing the Christmas spirit - though it premiered at Easter 1742. The proceeds of that Dublin concert were donated to a debtor's prison and two hospitals by the composer, who faced debt and the aftermath of a stroke at the time. Add to that early act of holiday-worthy generosity the work's reverent take on Jesus' story and its moving music, such as the famed "Hallelujah Chorus." It's little wonder the choral work turned into such a staple of the holiday season. A performance of "Messiah" is a highlight of North Dakota State University's annual Baroque Festival. The festival orchestra, NDSU Concert Choir and their high school guests perform the piece at 2 p.m. Sunday at Festival Concert Hall, NDSU. Tickets are $8 to $15. (701) 231-7969

- Mila Koumpilova

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