Whereas it is a well-known part of musical history that Messiah premiered in Dublin’s new leading music hall in Fishamble Street as a benefit concert arranged by a.o. the Charitable Musical Society for the Release of Imprisoned Debtors, the gravity of the situation in Ireland in 1741 is a less well-known part of history. A musical society whose purpose is to pay for the release of imprisoned debtors may at first sound sweet and cheerful. However, that was far from the case. Today’s episode is not so much about Handel, but more about the money being raised through the performance of Messiah and the people this money was intended for.

You can read more about this time of Irish history in Jonathan Bardon’s wonderful book “Hallejulah” (Gill & Macmillan Books)

Music: Dunedin Consort ‘Handel’s Original Dublin Version 1742’