Messiah, Handel's massive drama of human redemption, was his most famous work, and indeed the most popular oratorio in the history of Western music. After more than 250 years, it has the power to move listeners spiritually and musically. Drawing from both Testaments of the Bible, including the prophecy of Isaiah, the Christmas story, the crucifixion, and the revelation, (which contains the famousHallelujahchorus), Handel'sMessiahhas spawned groups of listeners dedicated to its performance. Musically,Messiahranges from madrigal to aria, with an unvarying transparency of expression, imbued with humility and grace. Ben Finane's treatment of this choral work casts new light on theMessiah, for experts and neophytes alike.
George Frideric Handel was born and educated in Germany, flourished in Italy, and chose to become British. One of the most cosmopolitan of the great composers, much of Handel's music has remained in the popular repertory since his lifetime, and a broad variety of his music theatre works from Italian operas to English oratorios have experienced a dramatic renaissance since the late twentieth century. A large number of publications devoted to Handel's life and music have appeared from his own time to the present day, but The Cambridge Handel Encyclopedia is the first resource to gather the full range of present knowledge and leading new scholarship into a single volume for convenient and illuminating reference. Packed with 700 informative and accessible entries both long and short, this book is ideal for performers, scholars, students and music lovers who wish to explore the Handelian world.