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Holiday critic’s picks: Classical music

Blue Heron, a Renaissance choir, will sing “Christmas in Medieval England” in Cambridge.

liz linder

Blue Heron, a Renaissance choir, will sing “Christmas in Medieval England” in Cambridge.

HANDEL AND HAYDN SOCIETY: HANDEL’S MESSIAH  Under the direction of Harry Christophers, with vocal soloists Gillian Keith (soprano), Daniel Taylor (countertenor), Tom Randle, (tenor), and Sumner Thompson (baritone). Nov. 29-Dec. 1. Symphony Hall. 617-266-3605. Also, “A Bach Christmas,” with Scott Metcalfe in his H&H debut. Dec. 19 and 22 in Jordan Hall.

BOSTON POPS  The BSO rolls out its Holiday Pops programming starting Dec. 4, with the orchestra led by Keith Lockhart. Through Dec. 24. Symphony Hall. 617-266-1200,

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CANTATA SINGERS: MONTEVERDI’S 1610 VESPERS  For its holiday program, the chorus returns to the 1610 Vespers for the first time since 1992, to be performed with a period instrument ensemble under the direction of David Hoose. Dec. 7. St. Paul’s Church, Cambridge. 617–868-5885,

BOSTON BAROQUE: HANDEL’S MESSIAH  Under the direction of Martin Pearlman, with Kiera Duffy (soprano), Kate Lindsey (mezzo-soprano), Nicholas Phan (tenor), and Jesse Blumberg (baritone). Dec. 13-14, Jordan Hall. Also, the Brandenburg Concertos Nos. 3 and 4. Dec. 31 and Jan. 1, Sanders Theatre. 617-987-8600,

BOSTON EARLY MUSIC FESTIVAL:TALLIS SCHOLARS  A holiday-themed program with works by Victoria, Verdelot, Bruckner, and Guerrero, from the pioneering British vocal ensemble. Dec. 14. St. Paul Church, Cambridge. 617-661-1812,

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MUSICA SACRA: FELIZ NAVIDAD: A SPANISH CHRISTMAS  An evening that includes Conrad Susa’s “Carols and Lullabies: Christmas in the Southwest,” followed by a carol sing. Dec. 14. First Church, Cambridge. 617-349-3400,

MUSICIANS OF THE OLD POST ROAD Singers from the Schola Cantorum of Boston join in this newly developed holiday program, with carols and instrumental works from 18th-century England and New England. Dec. 14, Emmanuel Church, Boston; Dec. 15, First Parish Sudbury. 781-466-6694,

BOSTON CAMERATA: NOEL, NOEL! A FRENCH CHRISTMAS  A program exploring early French Christmas music, beginning with 13th-century works from the Beauvais Cathedral. Dec. 19, First Church Cambridge; other locations, Dec. 20-21. 617-262-2092,

BLUE HERON: CHRISTMAS IN MEDIEVAL ENGLAND  Music by Leonel Power and John Dunstapler among others. Dec. 20-21. First Church in Cambridge, 11 Garden St. 617-960-7956,

CHORAL BOSTON  In addition to the groups listed above, many of the city’s choruses have ambitious holiday plans, for instance: Zamir Chorale (Dec. 1 and 17); Boston Cecilia (Dec. 6 and 8); Cappella Clausura (Dec. 7, 14, 15); New England Classical Singers (Dec. 7); NEC’s Concert Choir and Chamber Singers (Dec. 13); Masterworks Chorale (Dec. 13-14); Boston Choral Ensemble (Dec. 14); Boston Saengerfest Men’s Chorus (Dec. 14 and 15); Boston Gay Men’s Chorus (Dec. 15-22); Chorus Pro Musica (Dec. 20). See Also, some out-of-town guests: the Vienna Boys Choir sings (Dec. 6) at St. Paul’s Church in Cambridge.

Jeremy Eichler can be reached at
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