“Comfort ye, comfort ye, my people” are the first words sung in Handel’s “Messiah,” and in Boston, at least, those words go down like comfort food every holiday season. This marks the 159th consecutive year that the Handel and Haydn Society has presented Handel’s oratorio, and if in the past the piece has conjured a big Christmas pudding, more recent performances under Handel and Haydn’s current music director, Harry Christophers, have offered food for thought. That was certainly the case with the reading Christophers and his period orchestra and chorus presented last night at Symphony Hall.
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