They managed a whispered an excited exchange as Hannah on the continuo played through a few bars in final practice, and Harold took his place at the choirmaster’s stand. Then Righteous indicated they should pay attention, and Dorcas turned to look as Hannah played through the opening and Johann von Aachen began to sing ‘Comfort ye, comfort ye my people, saith your God . . .’ The four of them sank quietly on the benches to listen, and Dorcas felt her heart lift and thrill to the beauty of the music. She loved The Messiah – it was as though the music took her and sang through her, lifting every fibre of her into life.