Classical Notes

Dick O’Riordan: HandelFest delves deep into Dublin’s rich musical history

Dublin HandelFest 2022, which takes place next weekend, celebrates the legendary performance of Handel’s Messiah with talks, tours and performances

Malachy Robinson of the Irish Baroque Orchestra in St Michan’s Church in Dublin at the launch of HandelFest 2022, which takes place in various venues over next weekend. Picture: Mark Stedman

If you want to know what was happening in Dublin when George Frideric Handel made his legendary Messiah visit in 1742, then get a copy of Jonathan Bardon’s Hallelujah: The Story of a Musical Genius and the City that Brought His Masterpiece to Life. A handsome tome, it is deeply researched, beautifully written and hugely entertaining.

The fly cover grabs readers with this alluring promise: “It brings to life a city in flux – at ...