First Topic – Handel’s “Messiah” - A Kresta Special Presentation
Messiah is an English oratorio composed by George Frideric Handel, and is one of the most popular works in the Western choral literature. The libretto by Charles Jennens is drawn entirely from the King James and Great Bibles, and interprets the Christian doctrine of the Messiah. Divided into three parts, the libretto covers the prophecies concerning the Christ, the birth, miracles, crucifixion, resurrection and ascension of Jesus, and finally the End Times with the Christ's final victory over death and sin. Messiah, often incorrectly called The Messiah, is one of Handel's most famous works. Composed in London during the summer of 1741 and premiered in Dublin, Ireland on April 13, 1742, it was repeatedly revised by Handel, reaching its most familiar version in the performance to benefit the Foundling Hospital in 1754. In 1789 Mozart orchestrated a German version of the work, which was commonly heard until the mid-20th century and the rise of historically informed performance. We take time today to explore the music, theology, and scriptural basis of arguably the most famous sacred oratorio ever composed.