1.) Disk 1, Track 1. Though musically not connected directly with the following vocal sections, there is a sense in which Handel establishes a musical and dramatic curtain at the outset. Sinfony (), E minorThis opening orchestral movement serves as an overture to the oratorio as a whole. From the very first notes of its Overture, Messiah traces the story of Jesus Christ from the need for a Savior from the fall of man to His triumphant return at the end of days. NOTE: Messiah is a deceptively simple piece of music. Texts for Handel’s Messiah Libretto: Charles Jennens (1700-1773) Music: Georg Frideric Handel (1685-1759) The libretto of Handel’s Messiah comes directly from the Bible and was assembled by Charles Jennens, an English aristocrat who collaborated with Handel on several other oratorios. Why? 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 Coverdale Psalter, the version of the Psalms included with the Book of Common Prayer.It was first performed in Dublin on 13 April 1742 and received its London premiere nearly a year later. When seen this way, Messiah's overture is not just a bit of introductory music, but a pointed and powerful religious commentary. His primary source was the King James Version of the Bible. Yet, Handel made a decision to use the French overture. Well, the French overture was written for the symbolic entrance of King of kings, who is the subject of Messiah. Written with four-part harmonies, with little orchestra soloing, part of its appeal is that seemingly anyone can sing it, from the most amateur novice to the most brilliant artist, each discovering something new and challenging within its staves. Handel’s Messiah is unique in that its entire text is taken word-for-word from the Bible.

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