Thursday, December 18, 2008

Handel's Messiah

I love Handel's Messiah.  I've only heard bits and parts of it on a recording this year, so I have yet to listen to it in its entirety.  Last night I read a chapter on it in the book, Stories Behind the Great Traditions of Christmas by Ace Collins.  The story behind the writing of the Messiah is phenomenal.  

Did you know that Handel was almost completely blind when he wrote it, and was also suffering from other physical ailments?

Did you know that it only took him three weeks to write the entire Messiah?

Did you know that Handel flunked out of college?

And....did you know that although the message of the Messiah is appropriate for both Easter and Christmas, choirs began singing it during the Easter season?  It was decided to move the performances of it to the Christmas season for marketing purposes.  The holiday season is longer than that of Easter, which lasts only three days.

I've been working on one of the songs from the Messiah called, "Rejoice greatly, O daughter of Zion."  I'll be singing it this coming Sunday morning in our church service.  I'm really excited to sing it, but hope that the message comes out clearly.  I want others to get a hold of Christ's coming to earth and the real reason we celebrate Christmas.

I love how music historian, Robert Manson Myers talked about the Messiah.  He said, "For the first time in musical history the mighty drama of human redemption was treated as an epic poem."  Another music historian, R. A. Streatfield, said that the Messiah was "the first instance in the history of music of an attempt to view the mighty drama of human redemption from an artistic viewpoint."  Pretty powerful stuff, eh?

If you don't already include the Messiah as part of your Christmas celebration, why not start this year?  Get a recording or see it performed at a concert hall.  Your spirits will be lifted as praise is given to our Lord.  

1 comment:

Erin said...

Hey Theo. I just saw you are leaving facebook and went to your page. Saw the link for your blog. I read up and caught up on some of your happenings. You are very creative. I'll be praying for your upcoming surgery. Let me know how it goes.