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George Frideric Handel’s Messiah was an instant classic soon after its 1742 premiere and has been a holiday tradition around the world ever since. Through a dramatic series of arias, recitatives, and choruses, Handel offers a musical meditation on Christ’s birth, life, and resurrection—and his message of redemption. Masaaki Suzuki leads the SF Symphony and Chorus in this perennial favorite.
Part of HOLIDAYS WITH THE SYMPHONY.
At A Glance
The text was adapted for Handel by Charles Jennens (1700–1773), who creatively assembled passages from the King James Bible and Book of Common Prayer into a three-part libretto. Part One includes the prophecy of Christ’s birth and the Nativity story, including such highlights as “For unto us a Child is born.” Part Two tells of his life on earth and the spreading of his message by the Apostles, ending with the famous “Hallelujah” chorus. Part Three focuses on the response of believers and the promise of salvation, with the aria and trumpet solo “The trumpet shall sound” and a glorious ending Amen.