Handel's Messiah

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  • Intro

    Georg Frideric Handel was born in Germany in 1685. After learning music in Italy, he became enormously successful in London, where he settled and eventually (by a special Act of Parliament) became an English citizen. The Messiah is Handel's most famous composition, and its Hallelujah chorus is familiar to people all over the Western world. Written in 1741, it is one of the most frequently-performed large works for choir in the world today, most often performed at Christmas and Easter.

     

    The Messiah was written at a crucial point in Handel's career. Up until that time he had been best known for his opera, but public taste was changing. Oratorios were in fashion: these are dramatic works for solo singers, chorus and orchestra, that tell a story, but without staging or acting. 'Messiah' was given its first performance in Dublin, on 13 April 1742 and it was an immediate success.

     

    Shelfmark: R.M.20.f.2., f.132v

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