Christmas Isn't Christmas Without... Handel's Messaiah

Although we hear the Messiah ad nauseum around this time, there are 3 parts to it, spanning the whole miraculous life of Jesus, not just his birth. In fact, the Hallelujah chorus is lifted from the 2nd part and included in the 1st part which celebrates His coming.

The Messiah is an incredible piece of music on its own (especially when you learn that Handel wrote the music in less than a month!), but it's even better when you get to join in a sing-along Messiah. Vassar College used to host them, the first year in the Chapel which I described in my Lessons and Carols post. The next few years it was moved to Skinner Hall, which is also beautiful, but a little too brightly lit for my taste. 

Even if you count yourself to be the black-sheep-lone-wolf-emo-kid on the block, unable to join a group, you'll enjoy being part of an army of voices. For the purposes of ease, I always sat with the sopranos and muddled along as best I could. Surrounding me were some very well trained singers with operatic voices completely deafening me. They weren't being paid to do this, it was for their own enjoyment, and I would nearly swoon when we reached some high notes. I don't know that there is any oratorio more triumphant that The Messiah. And now, I'll let it speak for itself, with some of my favorite passages.

We've got some videos from London, Montreal, New Zealand, and with a Japanese chorus. This is not by accident; humanity is incredibly talented at recognizing divine melodies.


  1. Love this piece, but the links don't seem to be working...


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