Its not nearly as hummable as the theme to Jingle Bells, but George Frideric Handel sure knew about writing a hook when he penned his Messiah oratorio you know, the one with the HALLELUJAH! HALLELUJAH! chorus. Written in 1741 to accompany a libretto by Charles Jennens, the entire work was completed in a speedy 24 days, all while (according to some sources) Handel was depressed and in debt. The Houston Symphony will put its booming spin on it this holiday season, under the conducting baton of Jean-Marie Zeitouni. 8 p.m. Friday and Saturday, 2:30 p.m. Sunday. Jones Hall, 615 Louisiana Street. For information, call 713-224-7575 or visit www.houstonsymphony.org. $25 to $70.
Fri., Dec. 19, 8 p.m.; Sat., Dec. 20, 8 p.m.; Sun., Dec. 21, 2:30 p.m., 2008