Classical Notes

How ‘Mr Charles the Hungarian’ beat Handel to it at time of Hallelujah premiere

Dublin’s annual HandelFest weekend on July 14-16 will be able to shed some light on the intriguing events and musical tumult surrounding the debut presentation of the composer’s most acclaimed work

Irish Baroque Orchestra and its director Peter Whelan

Handel didn’t have an exactly easy time on his way to present the premiere of his Hallelujah oratorio in Dublin in 1741. He had a stormy crossing from Chester, arriving with a foul hangover and problems awaiting him on all sides, not least back in London where his popularity was shrinking by the day.

It wasn’t just his greatest work, however, that was on his mind with all its complications but the fact that he ...