Georg Friedrich Händel
SATB and Accompaniment or Orchestra
These scores are provided under the Creative Commons Attribution 3.0 License,
Rehearsal Training Aids for Messiah can be obtained by clicking here
1. Sinfonia (Overture)
2. Accompagnato: Tenor
3. Air: Tenor
5. Accompagnato: Bass
6. Air: Alto or soprano
8. Recitative: Alto
9. Air and Chorus: Alto
10. Accompagnato: Bass
11. Air: Bass
13. Pifa ("Pastoral Symphony")
14a. Recitative: Soprano
14b. Accompagnato: Soprano
15. Recitative: Soprano
16. Accompagnato: Soprano
18. Air: Soprano
19. Recitative: Alto
20. Air (or Duet): (Alto &) soprano
23. Air: Alto
27. Accompagnato: Tenor
29. Accompagnato: Tenor
30. Arioso: Tenor
31. Accompagnato: Soprano or tenor
32. Air: Soprano or tenor
34. Recitative: Tenor
36. Air: Alto or soprano
38. Air (or duet and Chorus): Soprano or alto (or soprano, alto and Chorus)
39. Chorus (or air for tenor)
40. Air (or Air and Recitative): Bass
42. Recitative: Tenor
43. Air: Tenor
45. Air: Soprano
47. Accompagnato: Bass
48. Air: Bass
49. Recitative: Alto
50. Duet: Alto & tenor
52. Air: Soprano alto
Created 25-Mar-11 Revised 06-Jul-13
The Choir of King's College, Cambridge.
Messiah (HWV 56) is an English-language oratorio composed by George
Frideric Handel, and is one of the most popular works in the Western choral
literature. The libretto by Charles Jennens is drawn entirely from the King
James and Great Bibles, and interprets the Christian doctrine of the Messiah.
Messiah (often but incorrectly called The Messiah) is one of Handel's most
famous works. The Messiah sing-alongs now common at the Christmas season usually
consist of only the first of the oratorio's three parts, with "Hallelujah"
(originally concluding the second part) replacing His Yoke is Easy in the first
Composed in London during the summer of 1741 and premiered in Dublin, Ireland on 13 April 1742, it was repeatedly revised by Handel, reaching its most familiar version in the performance to benefit the Foundling Hospital in 1754. In 1789 Mozart orchestrated a German version of the work; his added woodwind parts, and the edition by Ebenezer Prout, were commonly heard until the mid-20th century and the rise of historically informed performance.
Messiah presents an interpretation of the Christian view of the Messiah, or "the anointed one" as Jesus the Christ. Divided into three parts, the libretto covers the prophecies concerning the coming of Christ, the birth, miracles, crucifixion, resurrection and ascension of Jesus, and finally the End Times with the Christ's final victory over death and sin.
Although the work was conceived for secular theatre and first performed during Lent, it has become common practice since Handel's death to perform Messiah during Advent, the preparatory period of the Christmas season, rather than in Lent or at Easter. Messiah is often performed in churches as well as in concert halls. Christmas concerts often feature only the first section of Messiah plus the "Hallelujah" chorus, although some ensembles feature the entire work as a Christmas concert. The work is also heard at Eastertide, and selections containing resurrection themes are often included in Easter services.
The world record for an unbroken sequence of annual performances of the work by the same organisation is held by the Royal Melbourne Philharmonic, in Melbourne, Australia, which has performed Messiah at least once annually for 157 years, starting in its foundation year of 1853.
The work is divided into three parts which address specific events in the life of Christ. Part One is primarily concerned with the Advent and Christmas stories. Part Two chronicles Christ's passion, resurrection, ascension, and the proclamation to the world of the Christian message. Part Three is based primarily upon the events chronicled in the Book of Revelation. Although Messiah deals with the New Testament story of Christ's life, a majority of the texts used to tell the story were selected from the Old Testament prophetic books of Isaiah, Haggai, Malachi, and others.
The soprano aria "I know that my Redeemer liveth" is frequently heard at Christian funerals. It is believed that parts of this aria have been the basis of the composition of the Westminster Quarters. Above Handel's grave in Westminster Abbey is a monument (1762) where the musician's statue holds the musical score of the same aria.
Composition and premiere
In the summer of 1741 Handel, depressed and in debt, began setting Charles Jennens' Biblical libretto to music at a breakneck speed. In just 24 days, Messiah was complete (August 22–September 14). Like many of Handel's compositions, it borrows liberally from earlier works, both his own and those of others. Tradition has it that Handel wrote the piece while staying as a guest at Jennens' country house (Gopsall Hall) in Leicestershire, England, although no evidence exists to confirm this. It is thought that the work was completed inside a garden temple, the ruins of which have been preserved and can be visited.
It was premiered during the following season, in the spring of 1742, as part of a series of charity concerts in Neal's Music Hall on Fishamble Street near Dublin's Temple Bar district. Right up to the day of the premiere, Messiah was troubled by production difficulties and last-minute rearrangements of the score, and the Dean of St. Patrick's Cathedral, Jonathan Swift, placed some pressure on the premiere and had it canceled entirely for a period. He demanded that it be retitled A Sacred Oratorio and that revenue from the concert be promised to local hospitals for the mentally ill. The premiere happened on 13 April at the Music Hall in Dublin, and Handel led the performance from the harpsichord with Matthew Dubourg conducting the orchestra. Dubourg was an Irish violinist, conductor and composer. He had worked with Handel as early as 1719 in London.
Handel conducted Messiah many times and often altered the music to suit the needs of the singers and orchestra he had available to him for each performance. Consequently, no single version can be regarded as the "authentic" one. Many more variations and rearrangements were added in subsequent centuries—a notable arrangement was one by Mozart, K. 572, translated into German. In the Mozart version a French horn replaces the trumpet on 'The Trumpet shall sound', even though Luther's bible translation uses the word Posaune, German for trombone.
Messiah is scored for SATB soloists, SATB chorus, two oboes, bassoon, two trumpets, timpani, strings, and basso continuo. The Mozart arrangement expands the orchestra to two flutes, two oboes, two clarinets, two bassoons, two horns, two trumpets, three trombones, timpani, and strings. Due to performance constraints, the organ part was eliminated. The parts for the four soloists were also expanded into several purely choral movements, such as For Unto Us a Child is Born and His Yoke is Easy. In 1959, Sir Thomas Beecham conducted a larger arrangement by Sir Eugene Goossens for the Royal Philharmonic Orchestra which expands the instrumentation to three flutes (one doubling on piccolo), four oboes, two clarinets, two bassoons, contrabassoon, four horns, two trumpets, three trombones, tuba, timpani, percussion, harp, and strings; today this version is rarely heard live.
Texts and structure
The libretto was compiled by Charles Jennens and consists of verses mostly from the King James Bible, the selections from the book of Psalms being from the Great Bible, the version contained in the Book of Common Prayer. Jennens conceived of the work as an oratorio in three parts, which he described as "Part One: The prophesy and realization of God's plan to redeem mankind by the coming of the Messiah. Part Two: The accomplishment of redemption by the sacrifice of Jesus, mankind's rejection of God's offer, and mankind's utter defeat when trying to oppose the power of the Almighty. Part Three: A Hymn of Thanksgiving for the final overthrow of Death"
Part I: The Annunciation
Scene 1: The prophecy of Salvation
Scene 2: The prophecy of the coming of the Messiah
Scene 3: Portents to the world at large
Scene 4: Prophecy of the Virgin Birth
Scene 5: The appearance of the Angel to the shepherds
Scene 6: Christ's miracles
Part II: The Passion
Scene 1: The sacrifice, the scourging and agony on the cross
Scene 2: His death, His passing through Hell, and His Resurrection
Scene 3: His Ascension
Scene 4: God discloses His identity in Heaven
Scene 5: The beginning of evangelism
Scene 6: The world and its rulers reject the Gospel
Scene 7: God's triumph
Part III: The Aftermath
Scene 1: The promise of redemption from Adam's fall
Scene 2: Judgment Day
Scene 3: The victory over death and sin
Scene 4: The glorification of Christ
Much of the libretto comes from the Old Testament. The first section draws heavily from the book of Isaiah, commonly believed by Christians to prophesy of the coming of the Messiah. There are few quotations from the Gospels; these are at the end of the first and the beginning of the second sections. They comprise the Angel going to the shepherds in Luke, "Come unto Him" and "His Yoke is Easy" from Matthew, and "Behold the Lamb of God" from John. The rest of part two is composed of psalms and prophecies from Isaiah and quotations from Hebrews and Romans. The third section includes one quotation from Job ("I know that my Redeemer liveth"), the rest primarily from First Corinthians.
Choruses from the New Testament's Revelation are interpolated. The well-known "Hallelujah" chorus at the end of Part II and the finale chorus "Worthy is the Lamb that was slain" ("Amen") are both taken from Revelation.
This article is licensed under the GNU Free Documentation License. It uses material from the Wikipedia article "Metasyntactic variable".
|Magnificat and Nunc Dimittis - Sir. Charles Villiers Stanford||Miserere mei, Deus (Have Mercy upon me, O God) - Gregorio Allegri|