It was only shortly after these calamities in Handel’s life that he came across a libretto composed by Charles Jennens. Composed entirely of Scripture portions, mainly from the OT, Handel was deeply affected when he read this libretto. It was divided into three parts: 1) prophecies about the coming messiah (largely drawing on Isaiah); 2) the birth, life, ministry, death, resurrection of Christ; 3) the End times with Christ’s final victory over sin and death, largely based in the book of Revelation. Inspired, Handel decided he must compose an oratorio based on this libretto. The story of the composition of this most famous of all Christian musical works has been told variously. What we can say with certainty is that he composed the work in a short period of time during the summer of 1741, and when he got to the Hallelujah chorus, his assistant found him in tears saying “I did think I saw heaven open, and saw the very face of God”. Today of course it is the first two parts of this work that mostly get performed. The Hallelujah chorus is in fact the conclusion of part two, but in performances today it regularly is used to climax and conclude the Christmas performance of the first part of the oratorio.
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Messiah was written during the period. And the Glory of the Lord is the fourth movement of Messiah. It is the first time in the work that the choir sing.
Interactive Program Notes: Handel's Messiah - The …
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Date: circa 1720.
This oil painting on canvas is known as .
(The First Duke of Chandos was one of Handel's most important patrons and probably sponsored this painting.)
This painting was formerly attributed to James Thornhill but now authorities are unable to say who the painter was.
It is currently located in the Fitzwilliam Museum, Cambridge, England.
Handel’s use of text-painting is ..
This is one of the earliest prompt books still in existence.
This prompt book is currently held by the Victoria and Albert Museum, London.
Photo: Andreas Praefcke.
An advertisement for the perfomance of Handel's oratorio, , by the "Handel and Haydn Society with Full Orchestra", at Platt's Music Hall, San Francisco, California on March 3, 1863.
Handel's , suggested by the reflection of 18th century musicians and their instruments in still waters, is here depicted by a postage stamp issued by Great Britain in 1985.
Johann Sebastian Bach and George Frideric Handel, two mightly classical composers who were born in the same year (1685), are here depicted (against the backdrop of the world they lived in) on this stamp issued by Monaco in 1985.