Handel's baptismal registration 1685 (Marienbibliothek in Halle)
oratorio gained in popularity, eventually becoming one of the best-known and most frequently performed choral works in Western music.
Handel's reputation in England, where he had lived since 1713, had been established through his compositions of Italian opera. He turned to English oratorio in the 1730s, in response to changes in public taste; Messiah was his sixth work in this genre. Although its structure resembles that of conventional opera, it is not in dramatic form; there are no impersonations of characters and very little direct speech. Instead, Jennens's text is an extended reflection on Jesus Christ as Messiah, moving from the prophetic phrases of Isaiah and others, through the Incarnation, Passion and Resurrection of Christ to his ultimate glorification in heaven.
Handel wrote Messiah for modest vocal and instrumental forces, with optional settings for many of the individual numbers. In the years after his death, the work was adapted for performance on a much larger scale, with giant orchestras and choirs. In other efforts to update it, its orchestration was revised and amplified by (among others) Mozart. In the late 20th and early 21st centuries the trend has been towards authenticity; most contemporary performances show a greater fidelity towards Handel's original intentions, although "big Messiah" productions continue to be mounted. A near- complete version was issued on 78 rpm discs in 1928; since then the work has been recorded many times.
The music for Messiah was completed in 24 days of swift composition. Having received Charles Jennens's text some time after 10 July 1741, Handel began work on it on 22 August. His records show that he had completed Part I in outline by 28 August, Part II by 6 September and Part III by 12 September, followed by two days of "filling up" to produce the finished work on 14 September. The autograph score's 259 pages show some signs of haste such as blots, scratchings-out, unfilled bars and other uncorrected errors, but according to the music scholar Richard Luckett the number of errors is remarkably small in a document of this length.
At the end of his manuscript Handel wrote the letters "SDG"—Soli Deo Gloria, "To God alone the glory". This inscription, taken with the speed of composition, has encouraged belief in the apocryphal story that Handel wrote the music in a fervour of divine
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Happy Holidays to All Our Fans from Andy and Colleen
How Marcelle Solved the Puzzle
Congratulations to Our Winners!
Milene Rawlinson Jackie McCarty Ben Truwe Charlie Wayne Mary Fraser Jon Edens Daniel E. Jolley Nelsen Spickard Patty Kiker Carol Farrant Gus Marsh Marilyn Hamill Marcelle Comeau Daniel E. Jolley Tony Knapp Jim Kiser Judy Pfaff Dennis Brann Margaret Paxton Rebecca Bare Sally Garrison Peter Norton Skip Murray Arthur Hartwell Margaret Waterman Debbie Sterbinsky Venita Wilson Evan Hindman
I remember seeing this video a couple years ago. It's great! Thanks for posting it. And thank you for all the work you put into the puzzles. I appreciate it a lot.
***** Why this became associated with Christmas, when it was first performed in April is a wonder. Of course, Part I is the virgin birth, but part II with this chorus is about Jesus's passion and death and resurrection.
N. B. Well there are things that even I as Quizmaster General, do not understand. :-) Incidentally, Jesus was probably born in the spring, not in December. Shepherds don't watch their flocks by night in the winter. - Q Gen.
Of course we KNOW that, but transforming Mithrian and other Solstice practices into Christ's birthday was convenient historical revisionist practices at their best.
***** Merry Christmas, Happy Holidays, Happy Festivus, Happy Hannukah, , Happy Kwanzaa, Merry Saturnalia, Merry Winter Solstice and Happy New Baktun 14, Colleen and Andy! (I think I covered everything.) Thank you for a fun quiz today and the accompanying video. I have to admit I was stumped and resorted to Tin Eye.
***** Absolutely charming! They are the Silent Monks performing the Hallelujah Chorus. The four signs in the back read: hal, le, lu and jah.
PS. They are kids! I just put a performance on my Facebook page.
Okay. So now I've e-mailed the you-tube video to everyone I know who isn't on Facebook.
***** The photo (from a youtube video) shows the South Kitsap High School Concert Choir portraying 'Silent Monks' singing Hallelujah. The four cards in the back row say HAL LE LU JAH. Cute.
***** Googled images for "14 monks on a stage." Flipped through the images and found the picture on page 17. Watched the video and found it to be very creative and fun to watch. I have always liked that particular piece and was impressed with how well the students did in keeping in sync. Great quiz for this time of year!
***** I love this performance. I see other groups have been doing it too. I believe this group was the first to perform it in this manner.
***** Recognized this "singing" group right away. This is one of the funniest videos I've ever seen. Still remember the first time a friend shared it with me. A great holiday quiz!
***** Thank you for reminding me of this clever rendition of Frederic Handel's most recognized piece from The Messiah, "The Hallelujah Chorus";. We had received several forwards of this in years past but not this year. I guess the "Flash Mobs" singing at various malls are more interesting now.
1. Ha Le Lu Jah
2. The Silent Monks Performance by the South Kitsap High School Port Orchard, WA
3. "Singing" the Hallelujah Chorus
Just by chance, I had seen a video of this number on the internet in the last few days but had not really paid attention to the ‘who and where’ so I searched on the keywords ‘silent monks singing’ .
Turned out there are a number of versions of this on YouTube.
1. This first one I believe is the one from which Colleen took the photo to post, it is a group of high school students (comparing the heights of the ‘monks’ in the video to those in the photo’). Of course, only the first letter of each word in the front row has been kept – the rest has been photo shopped out!
2. When I watched this second video, which seemed more serious, I wondered, wait – is this for real? It is performed in the First Baptist Church, Brinkley, Arkansas, and they seem quite serious. About the introduction and their performance.
Messiah (HWV 56) is an English-language oratorio composed in 1741 by George Frideric Handel, with a scriptural text compiled by Charles Jennens from the King James Bible, and from the Psalms included with the Book of Common Prayer (which are worded slightly differently from their King James counterparts). It was first performed in Dublin on 13 April 1742, and received its London premiere nearly a year later. After an initially modest public reception, the
inspiration in which, as he wrote the "Hallelujah" chorus, "he saw all heaven before him". In fact, as Burrows points out, many of Handel's operas, of comparable length and structure to Messiah, were composed within similar timescales between theatrical seasons. The effort of writing so much music in so short a time was not unusual for Handel and his contemporaries; Handel commenced his next oratorio, Samson, within a week of finishing Messiah, and completed his draft of this new work in a month. In accordance with his frequent
The final bars of the "Hallelujah" chorus, from Handel's manuscript
practice when writing new works, Handel adapted existing compositions for use in Messiah, in this case drawing on two recently completed Italian duets and one written twenty years previously. Thus, Se tu non lasci amore from 1722 became the basis of "O Death, where is thy sting?"; "His yoke is easy" and "And he shall purify" were drawn from Quel fior che alla'ride (July 1741), "Unto us a child is born" and "All we like sheep" from Nò, di voi non vo' fidarmi (July 1741). Handel's instrumentation in the score is often imprecise, again in line with contemporary convention, where the use of certain instruments and combinations was assumed and did not need to be written down by the composer; later copyists would fill in the details.
Before the first performance Handel made numerous revisions to his manuscript score, in part to match the forces available for the 1742 Dublin premiere; it is probable that his originally conceived version of the work was not performed in his lifetime. Between 1742 and 1754 he continued to revise and recompose individual movements, sometimes to suit the requirements of particular singers. The first published score of Messiah was issued in 1767, eight years after Handel's death, though this was based on relatively early manuscripts and included none of Handel's later revisions.
George Frideric Handel (German: Georg Friedrich Händel; pronounced [ˈhɛndəl]) (23 February 1685 – 14 April 1759) was a German- born British Baroque composer, famous for his operas, oratorios, anthems and organ concertos. Handel was born in 1685, in a family indifferent to music. He received critical musical training in Halle, Hamburg and Italy before settling in London (1712) and becoming a naturalised British subject in 1727. By then he was strongly influenced by the great composers of the Italian Baroque and the middle-German polyphonic choral tradition.
started three commercial opera companies to supply the English nobility with Italian opera, but the public came to hear the vocal bravura of the soloists rather than the music. In 1737 he had a physical breakdown, changed direction creatively and addressed the middle class. As Alexander's Feast (1736) was well received, Handel made a transition to English choral works. After his success with Messiah (1742) he never performed an Italian opera again. Handel was only partly successful with his performances of English Oratorio on mythical and biblical themes, but when he arranged a performance of Messiah to benefit the Foundling Hospital (1750) the critique ended. The pathos of Handel's oratorios is an ethical one. They are hallowed not by liturgical dignity but by the moral ideals of humanity. Almost blind, and having lived in England for almost 50 years, he died a respected and rich man.
Handel is regarded as one of the greatest composers of all time, with works such as Water Music, Music for the Royal Fireworks and Messiah remaining popular. Handel composed more than 40 operas in over 30 years, and since the late 1960s, with the revival of baroque music and original instrumentation, interest in Handel's operas has
grown. His operas contain remarkable human characterisation—especially for a composer not known for his love affairs.