The seventh is my favourite of Beethoven’s symphonies and one of the reasons I love it is that it’s such a rollercoaster. The second movement is plunged in tragedy (definitely not one for the happiness playlist, but it is extremely beautiful) but by the time we get to this frenzied last movement it’s all swerved off in a completely different direction. It’s bold, daring, and full of outrageous twists and turns that make you wonder how on earth Beethoven gets away with it, and times it feels as if the music has charged headlong off the edge of a cliff and hasn’t noticed.
Somehow, this was actually my first live Messiah since lockdown. Dunelm Consort and Players made it worth the wait in an evening pulsating with energy and joy.