If you think the “Hallelujah” chorus is all there is to Handel’s Messiah, you’ll have to wait until the end of Part II. But it’s well worth hanging in there. Handel’s iconic oratorio is in three parts, depicting the life of Jesus through memorable choruses and dramatic arias that are vocal touchstones. This holiday tradition gets the ultimate performance ensemble: the CSO; the always terrific May Festival Chorus, led by renowned Baroque music specialist Jane Glover; and soloists Arianna Zukerman, Phyllis Pancella, Nicholas Phan and Kevin Burdetta. Part I only will be performed Saturday, Dec. 15, at 7:30 p.m. at Christ’s Church in Mason, but I suspect the HC will not be omitted. The entire piece will be performed on Sunday, Dec. 16 at 2 p.m. at Music Hall in Over-the-Rhine. And don’t bother asking why audiences stand for the HC. Just do it. Prices vary. cincinnatisymphony.org.