Aleteia logoAleteia logoAleteia
Thursday 22 February |
The Feast of the Chair of St. Peter
Aleteia logo
Art & Culture
separateurCreated with Sketch.

Listen to Handel’s Messiah, conducted by Sir Colin Davies


itis4peace | YouTube

Daniel Esparza - published on 12/25/17

First performed in Dublin on 13 April 1742, the oratorio is a Christmas classic.

At first, George Frideric Handel gained his reputation in England, where he had been living since 1712, composing Italian opera. But as the public taste changed around the 1730s, he turned to English oratorio. Originally met with modest applause, his Messiah would later become one of the best-known, most frequently performed choral works in the history of Western music. In fact, even though he composed his work for relatively small vocal and orchestral forces, the Messiah has been rearranged over and over (even by Mozart) to make the incorporation of larger choruses and orchestras possible, hence making the oratorio a perfect piece for performances in front of large audiences.

The text Handel used was compiled by Charles Jennens (an English patron of the arts who was Handel’s friend, and who would often help him with the libretti for his works) from the King James Bible, and from the version of the Psalms included with the Book of Common Prayer. Jennens’ text is an extended reflection on Jesus’ messianic mission. In fact, the text goes from the prophecies of Isaiah to Jesus’ glorification in Heaven, moving through the Gospel, from the Annunciation to the Resurrection.

First performed in Dublin on April 13, 1742, we here share with you the Messiah, as conducted by Sir Colin Davies, in a BBC special.

Christian MusicClassical Music
Support Aleteia!

Enjoying your time on Aleteia?

Articles like these are sponsored free for every Catholic through the support of generous readers just like you.

Thanks to their partnership in our mission, we reach more than 20 million unique users per month!

Help us continue to bring the Gospel to people everywhere through uplifting and transformative Catholic news, stories, spirituality, and more.

Support Aleteia with a gift today!

Daily prayer
And today we celebrate...

Top 10
See More
Get Aleteia delivered to your inbox. Subscribe here.