Handel's Messiah

This is the season of Messiah! At this time of year Handel's great oratorio will be performed in churches and concert halls throughout the world. For almost 250 years audiences are moved from the grave overture to the majestic Hallelujah Chorus. It truly is a musical masterpiece.

George Frideric Handel was born in Halle, Germany, within a month of Bach's Birth, 1685. His father was a barber/surgeon and desired that his son become a lawyer. His mother was the daughter of a Lutheran pastor. About the age of 17 he went to Hamburg and discovered opera with its great amalgamation of French, German, and Italian styles. From Hamburg he moved to Italy then to Hanover and finally to London in 1712 where he remained the rest of his life. Handel had developed a reputation with his operas but it is his 26 oratorios that are the most known of his vocal works.