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Get a Handel

How to catch five versions of the Messiah in six days.

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Oratorio Society of New York
Carnegie Hall, 154 W. 57th St., at Seventh Ave.; 212-247-7800
The city's second oldest cultural institution lays claim to Gotham's longest, unbroken tradition of performing the Baroque masterpiece. (The first concert dates back to 1874.)
• Date: Dec. 18, Mon. 8 p.m.
• Price: $17–$75

The National Chorale
Avery Fisher Hall, 10 Lincoln Center Plz., nr. 62nd St.; 212-721-6500
At this crowd-pleasing presentation of the Messiah, the 3,000-voice-strong audience is the chorus.
• Date: Dec. 19, Tues. 8 p.m.
• Price: $29–$91

Musica Sacra and Orchestra
Carnegie Hall, 154 W. 57th St., at Seventh Ave.; 212-247-7800
This sleek version of the holiday warhorse is ideal for those on a tight schedule. (Music director Richard Westenburg is a stickler for starting and ending his concerts on time.)
• Dates: Dec. 20, Wed. 8 p.m.; Dec. 22, Fri. 8 p.m.
• Price: $20–$120

New York Philharmonic
Riverside Church, 490 Riverside Dr., at 120th St.; 212-870-6700
The standard-bearer of the area's Messiah concerts takes place in one of the city's most breathtaking Gothic cathedrals.
• Dates: Dec. 20–23, Wed. 7:30 p.m.; Thurs. 7:30 p.m.; Fri. 8 p.m.; Sat. 8 p.m.
• Price: $28–$75

Masterwork Chorus
Carnegie Hall, 154 W. 57th St., at Seventh Ave.; 212-247-7800
Representing the Garden State: New Jersey's all-volunteer ensemble's solid presentations have become one of the highlights of the season.
• Date: Dec. 23, Fri. 3 p.m. and 8 p.m.
• Price: $20–$100


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