Thanks to the Heritage Foundation for this video and post (presented here for the third year in a row):
It’s one of the most famous and widely shared pieces of music in history.
Handel intended his oratorio “Messiah” for Lent, and it was first performed just after Easter 1742. But over the centuries, public performances of the masterwork became a rite of Christmas.
It is 270 years since Handel composed the classic, yet crowds continue to gather and listen, once again, for hours. Today’s audiences typically reserve that kind of time for a Lady Gaga concert or the opening of a new “Mission Impossible” movie.
What explains the enduring attraction of Handel’s “Messiah”?
For one thing, the sheer beauty of the music. For another, the incredible skill of the composer. In one of history’s most astounding creative feats, Handel produced the 260-page score in just 24 days.