Review: Harry Christophers’ final Handel and Haydn Society concert as artistic director

Posted on: May 5, 2022

“Back in 2009, when Harry Christophers first took the reins of the Handel and Haydn Society, he pledged to re-dedicate the period instrument orchestra and chorus to the music of its namesake composers. And he has been true to his word,” writes Jeremy Eichler in Monday’s (5/2) Boston Globe. “His first concert as artistic director … was devoted to Handel’s ‘Messiah.’ And on Sunday afternoon in Symphony Hall, as the final concert of his tenure, he led a well-performed and moving rendition of Haydn’s ‘Creation.’ [Christophers] leaves a group whose artistic profile is strong, and whose financial health also appears to be robust…. The group’s visibility beyond Boston has also increased…. Last month it made its Carnegie Hall debut performing Bach’s ‘St. Matthew Passion’ with the Orchestra of St. Luke’s. And in December it will return to the New York Philharmonic to participate in that orchestra’s ‘Messiah’ performances…. [Sunday’s] concert … began with an earnest and palpably appreciative ovation the moment Christophers took the stage. Statements of collective gratitude don’t get much clearer than that…. Under Christophers’ dynamic direction, the orchestral playing … had an appealing lightness of tread, a natural flow, and sense of lift. All told, it was a fitting and celebratory send-off.”