Handel's Messiah - episode 9

The Charitable Musical Society, friendship & harmony

The Charitable Musical Society was quite a unique musical society. Even though there were many similar societies in Dublin in the 1740s this society stood out because of its many activities. Their primary aim was to raise money to release imprisoned debtors. Furthermore their members were the driving force behind bringing Handel to Dublin – and they were also responsible for building the biggest music hall in Ireland. Finally it stood apart from the other musical societies in that they insisted that there be room for both the high nobility with long titles as well as humble craftsmen – and the musical society had no problems letting Catholics join either, which was quite sensational at the time.

Interview with Adrian Le Harival, curator at the National Irish Gallery

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