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SSO: Händels Messias


George Frideric Handel:  "Messiah" Oratorio

Contributors: Stavanger Symphony Choir

Conductor: Jan Willem de Vriend

Soloists: to be announced

When Handel wrote the Messiah he was a debtor and a health wreck after a long life full of triumphs, spectacular invetsments and brutal compettions with virtuoso castrates in rival opera houses. His last two operas failed completely and the rumors began to be spread that famous Handel would leave England.

However, the priest and writer Charles Jennens with whom Handel cooperated earlier, convinced him to write an English oratorio while he was offered to participate in a series of oratorio performances in Dublin in the coming season. We might never know what actually happened, but Handel produced his work in three weeks from August 22 to September 12, 1741.  Handel's eyes were full of tears when he was making romantic descriptions while writing his magnificent oratory at a furious pace. It might be possible that Handel as a busiessman and composer had a plan. However, the oratorio got an extraordinary success from the start. After the first performance that took place in Dublin April 1742 the newspaper wrote that this musical work was "The Finest Musical Comosition that ever was heard".

It is since that time "Messiah" oratorio has retained its iconic status.The texts of the composition are taken from the Old and New Testament. The composition was more often performed in theater than in church in Handel's time and is more regarded as a concert. The oratoria is not liturgical music to be used for mass in church. Though the composition was not originally meant for Christmas it has become one of the most central musical compositions for Christmas celebration.

Welcome to wonderful pre-Christmas experience with Stavager Symphony Orchestra, Choir and soloists!


  • Last Updated: 11/02/2017
  • Source: Region Stavanger

Thu, December 7, 2017 7:30 PM

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SSO: Händels Messias
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