[This article is a follow-up to the Sacred Windows newsletter about George Frideric Handel’s amazing burst of artistic inspiration that led him to compose the entire masterpiece of the Messiah in just twenty-four days. The newsletter is archived on this site for those who wish to access it.]
The video clips below display just three out of the fifty-three movements of the great oratorio. They are representative and striking examples of the male and female virtuosos who grace the production with their talents.
Two brief words of explanation will suffice to introduce the performances:
- It will become obvious by watching even a few moments of the pieces below that not just anyone can sing them. Handel was writing for professionals, and his performance standards are extremely high. Yet, the performers make these difficult pieces look simply effortless.
- Note the amazing artistry of each piece: the lovely soprano who sings “Rejoice greatly, O daughter of Zion” seems to be bursting with the very joy she is proclaiming to others, and the baritone in “The Trumpet Shall Sound” actually sounds like a trumpet!
The “Trumpet” clip is nine minutes long, but if you are pressed for time, you should at least listen to the first four stunning minutes. (After a brief adagio interlude, the aria repeats the same phrasing in the latter four minutes of the piece.)
And of course, there is no way to describe the incomparable “Hallelujah Chorus”. It must be experienced.
There is no need for delay – let’s jump right into these three masterful movements of Handel’s Messiah!
Rejoice greatly, O daughter of Zion (duration, 4:26)
The Trumpet Shall Sound (duration, 9:03)
The Hallelujah Chorus (duration, 3:47)
George Frideric Handel’s work – whether through sheer talent or divine inspiration – exhibited a deep sensitivity to the life of grace. He was a true believer whose spirituality added an extra dimension to his talents as a consummate musician.
During this Easter season, ask the Lord to augment your talent – whatever talents He has bestowed upon you, humble or great – by His grace, so that you can serve others with all you have.
While you’re at it, take the spirit of the Messiah’s great performers – abiding joy, ebullient love of the Savior, enthusiasm for the salvation of souls – and find a way to communicate these gifts to others.
Live constantly with the repeating chorus of the Resurrection in your heart – Alleluia!