George Frideric Handel was born in Germany, and Joseph Haydn was born in Austria-Hungary, but they were both idolized in London — Handel for his operas and choral works, Haydn for his great series of symphonies written for London audiences. The Rochester Oratorio Society, under director Eric Townell, presents two imposing works by these celebrated Anglophiles, this weekend: "My song shall be alway," one of the choral anthems Handel wrote for the Duke of Chandos; and Haydn's magnificent "Lord Nelson" Mass (the only thing English about this work is its nickname, bestowed after the piece was performed to celebrate Admiral Horatio Nelson's victory over Napoleon in 1798). Genuinely English or not, it is absolutely one of Haydn's greatest and most dramatic works. ROS will be joined by soprano Emily Mills Woodruff; mezzo-soprano Katie Hanigan; tenor Matthew Valverde; and bass Carl DuPont. Along with these two choral works, you'll get a beautiful piece by an actual English composer: Gerald Finzi's "Eclogue" for piano and strings, with pianist Kevin Nitsch as the soloist.
Rochester Oratorio Society presents "Handel and Haydn in England," on Friday, October 24, at Hochstein Performance Hall, 50 North Plymouth Avenue. 7:30 p.m. $20 in advance, $25 at the door. 473-2234; rossings.org.