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Hndel naci y se cri en la provinciana ciudad alemana de Halle, a escasos cuarenta kilmetros de Leipzig, y tan slo a unos cien

de Eisenach, el mismo ao de 1685 en que, en esta ltima localidad, vio la luz Johann Sebastian Bach. Hndel (al contrario que Bach, quien estuvo fuertemente apegado al terruo germnico), sinti la necesidad de nutrirse de la experiencia viajera, hecho que le condujo por la senda europea durante la primera parte de su vida adulta. Sin embargo, a los veinticinco aos, una situacin econmica favorable debida al reconocimiento profesional y social recibido por parte del pblico londinense, motiv su asentamiento definitivo en la ciudad del Tmesis, donde adoptara su nueva nacionalidad en 1727. Los problemas de salud, recurrentes desde su tercera dcada de vida (lleg a perder la visin, al igual que Bach), desaconsejaban forzar el organismo con nuevos viajes. Por ello Hndel falleci como sbdito britnico nueve aos despus que Bach, cuando el pequeo Mozart ensayaba en Salzburgo sus primeros intentos de encaramarse sin ayuda a la banqueta del clave. El desarrollo histrico de la interpretacin del Mesas Puede sorprender al oyente el sentido de recogimiento que contiene la obra que hoy nos ocupa. Cuando un solo fragmento de la misma (el clebre coro Aleluya) forma parte del puado de partituras ms clebres de la historia, resulta natural la expectativa de querer hallar las mismas caractersticas grandiosas de la parte en cuestin en el conjunto del oratorio. Lejos de cualquier grandilocuencia, la obra fue concebida para unos efectivos relativamente modestos. No es fcil determinar la orquestacin de la versin original debido a la cantidad de variaciones que el autor realiz, en funcin de las diversas condiciones en que hubo de interpretarse su obra. Hndel ofreci al pblico dublins en 1742 el estreno de su Mesas contando con un coro de aproximadamente ocho voces en cada cuerda y los cuatro solistas integrados en l. El tamao de la orquesta, en consonancia, debi ser bastante reducido: unos tres atriles de violines primeros, otros tres de violines segundos, dos de violas y un par de violoncelos y contrabajos, adems del rgano y clave. Respecto al viento, los efectivos se reducen a un par de oboes y un fagot. La participacin de las trompetas y timbales se limita a tres momentos de la obra (Hallelujah, el aria The trumpet shall sound y el coro final Worthy is the lamb). No obstante, fue el propio autor quien inici la corriente de modificaciones sobre la partitura: Nueve aos despus del estreno, adapt la obra para una acstica de iglesia con el fin de ser interpretada en Londres, motivo por el cual, el nmero de instrumentistas tuvo que ser ampliado. Segn indica Nikolaus Harnoncourt (en el ensayo que acompaa su registro de la obra de 1982), tras la muerte del compositor, el oratorio cobr proporciones mastodnticas en cuanto al nmero de msicos involucrados en la interpretacin. En 1784, un coro de unos trescientos integrantes, acompaado por una orquesta de unos doscientos cincuenta msicos, que inclua trompas y trombones, debi hacer temblar las vidrieras de la abada de Westminster. El famoso barn Van Swieten, que perfectamente pudo haber estado presente en dicho acontecimiento musical, se hizo con una copia de la partitura y la llev consigo a Viena, donde conmin a su hermano de logia, Wolfgang Mozart, a que realizase su propia adaptacin a la plantilla orquestal clsica y al gusto de la poca. ste, no slo llev a cabo dicha labor en 1789 sin alterar la esencia arquitectnica de la obra hndeliana (aunque s su esttica), sino que asimil el magisterio de la fuga coral sobre texto religioso, que habra de llevar a la prctica dos aos ms tarde en su Rquiem (comprubese a este respecto el prstamo del sujeto de la fuga coral And with His stripes de la segunda parte del

Mesas, en el del Kyrie del Rquiem mozartiano). Hoy es facilmente experimentable el curioso tamiz viens de Hndel gracias a las diferentes grabaciones disponibles, entre las cuales destaca la de Sir Charles Mackerras (Archiv, 1990). En manos de otro compositor, la mezcla de estilos hubiera resultado un Frankenstein sonoro. Sin embargo, en las de Mozart, parece natural y sencillo, como si barroco y clasicismo hubieran sido coetneos. Las interpretaciones multitudinarias de la obra, enmarcadas en la gran tradicin de la direccin orquestal germnica, predominaron durante la poca romntica y los dos primeros tercios del siglo XX, llegando a un punto culminante (fonogrficamente hablando) con el arreglo llevado a cabo bajo los auspicios del director Sir Thomas Beecham en 1959. Dicha interpretacin representa el estereotipo del gusto por la visin desmesuradamente postromntica de las obras del pasado, en favor de la cual debe anotarse que responde a un afn artstico-creativo sobre el que an no imperaba la obsesin por el compromiso con la verosimilitud histrica. En las ltimas dcadas, el criterio historicista se ha convertido en conditio sine quae non para la interpretacin de la msica anterior al clasicismo. Actualmente se busca reconstruir el sonido ms parecido posible al de las obras tal como las concibi su autor. Por ello se ha abandonado la superpoblacin en fosos y escenarios, y se tiende de este modo hacia un estilo ms camerstico. Ya en 1932, Theodor Adorno adverta de la traicin que, hacia la esttica barroca, se llevaba a cabo en las interpretaciones hndelianas de su poca. En su ensayo sobre la msica moderna Quasi una fantasia defenda la economa de medios como forma de acercamiento a la expresividad barroca. No obstante, dicha corriente historicista no eclosion definitivamente hasta finales de la dcada de 1970. Desde entonces, cada lectura que se realiza del Mesas debe basarse (segn una norma no escrita) en una serie de pautas (como el empleo de instrumentos originales de la poca -o copias de los mismos-, una determinada emisin de los ornamentos, del vibrato, de los matices, etc.), convergentes en un sonido identificable como caractersticamente barroco. El director ingls Edward Higginbottom, que defender esta noche su propia versin del oratorio hndeliano, es un msico poseedor de gran erudicin que, desde su ctedra en Oxford realiza una brillante labor educadora en torno a la interpretacin historicista de la msica. Podemos indicar como muestra la excelente grabacin que llev a cabo hace tres aos, de la anteriormente mencionada versin de 1751 con este mismo Choir of New College Oxford. Hndel sustituy en esta versin las voces de sopranos por nios. El resultado, en manos de Higginbottom es de una frescura cristalina y una energa desbordante, con unos tempi en ocasiones endiabladamente arrolladores. Nos encontramos expectantes, por consiguiente, ante un digno representante de la tradicin interpretativa britnica, que trata de hacernos escuchar El Mesas de la forma ms parecida posible a la idea que Hndel tuvo de su obra. La msica y su acstica ideal La problemtica en torno a las variantes interpretativas tiene mucho que ver con la acstica en que se desenvuelve la audicin. El autor compuso esta obra pensando en una acstica de teatro, no de iglesia. En los templos, el tiempo de reverberacin del sonido es muy amplio, por lo que si los tempi fuesen demasiado acelerados, los sonidos se mezclaran

en las bvedas y la msica no llegara a entenderse. Hndel era un hombre de teatro que dominaba la textura operstica. Por ello sus oratorios son esencialmente teatrales. El virtuosismo que requieren numerosos fragmentos, pertenece a la esttica musical de la opera italiana, no a la de la msica religiosa. Las continuas cascadas en progresin del aria Every valley podran ser trasladadas a una de sus peras como aria di baule (aquellas arias que los divos llevaban en su carpeta para interpretar, de propina, en mitad de otra pera distinta) sin que se resintiera la integridad del estilo operstico. Las mencionadas grandes versiones postromnticas de la obra, sin embargo, ralentizaban en gran medida el tempo para ser interpretadas en iglesias por una gran masa sinfnico-coral. En este sentido, el marco que Cultural Cordn puede ofrecer en esta Casa del Cordn, es acsticamente ptimo para que el director interprete la msica segn su propia idea, despreocupndose de los inconvenientes derivados de sequedad sonora o exceso de reverberacin. La estructura musical Hndel logra en El Mesas un trabajo de equilibrio entre las tres secciones diferenciadas de la obra. El significado mstico del nmero tres juega su papel en cuanto a la seccionalizacin de la obra y la subdivisin de cada parte: El texto de la primera gira en torno a la profeca del Mesas y el nacimiento y vida de Jess. La segunda hace referencia al cumplimiento de la misin del Mesas a travs de su pasin y muerte. La obra concluye con una accin de gracias por la Redencin. En cada una de dichas partes busca el equilibrio convenientemente mediante la alternancia de arias virtuossticas, momentos pastorales, brillantes coros o arias meditativas de gran belleza. El dominio del entramado teatral le facilita el acceso a dicho equilibrio msico-argumental. Su msica posee gran carga dramtica. La gran diferencia con los oratorios o pasiones de Bach es que ste es pura sinceridad. La msica bachiana se apoya en el texto consiguiendo una forma sublime de expresin. Todo en Bach se encuentra dentro de la msica. Sin embargo, Hndel imprime el carcter dramtico, la interpretacin teatral, la mmesis. Mientras que en Bach la msica es expresin de una sustancia, en Hndel es imitacin de la realidad, es decir, la representacin artstica del mundo y de la vida. Hoy podramos decir que el modo de expresin de Hndel es quasi cinematogrfico. Slo por destacar algunos momentos de esta concatenacin msico-teatral-no escnica de textos bblicos, podemos citar el maravilloso efecto contrastante que se produce entre el inquietante modo de mi menor del comienzo con el inmediatamente posterior recitativo en modo mayor. El movimiento pastoral, Pifa (denominacin derivada del instrumento pfano, relacionado con el mundo pastoril de los Abruzos italianos), es el nico, junto con la sinfonia inicial, que requiere una interpretacin ntegramente instrumental. El aria de la primera parte And He shall feed His flock, constituye para muchos una de las ms inspiradas melodas de toda la produccin hndeliana. Obsrvese el resplandor que se produce en el momento en que el coro pronuncia el nombre del Mesas como Wonderful Counsellor en el coro For unto us a child is born. La segunda parte, que toma un cariz ms meditativo, finaliza con la conocida explosin de jbilo en que las trompetas realizan su primera intervencin . Los coros,

que continuamente requieren un virtuosismo extremo, poseen una expresividad y personalidad propias de un personaje ms, y se erigen en verdaderas arias corales, como el final Worthy is the Lamb. El Amen es un monumento sumarial al arte de la fuga, que cierra la obra oportunamente, como una enorme cadencia plagal, cuando verdaderamente todo ha sido ya musical y textualmente dicho. Tras l, cobra perfecto sentido la intencin catrtica del autor, quien esperaba provocar con su la audicin de su obra un efecto apolneo en el nimo del oyente. Los textos La composicin del Mesas slo ocup a Hndel durante tres semanas. Es lgico pensar que una persona tan volcada en la creacin musical no se detuviera en emplear parte de su tiempo buscando y seleccionando textos. Para ello cont con Charles Jennens, un colaborador habitual que ya le haba escrito varios libretos. Jennens fue un admirador incondicional de Hndel y gracias l se conserva toda una coleccin de manuscritos considerada fundamental para todo tipo de estudios hndelianos. No obstante, su relacin con el compositor fue, cuanto menos, controvertida. Su labor en el Mesas no es, ni mucho menos, la de un libretista. Se limit a escoger una serie de versculos de la Biblia (fundamentalmente de profetas, salmos, cartas de San Pablo y Evangelios) muy conocidos y perfectamente localizables. Aun as, en la poca de composicin de este oratorio, Hndel debi tenerle en alta estima, puesto que accedi al requerimiento de aqul de modificar algunas partes de la partitura que no le parecan suficientemente inspiradas. Segn parece, Jennens fue el autor de las siguientes lneas: Entregu a Hndel mis textos para Messiah, oratorio que valoro positivamente, pues opino que ha conseguido una obra entretenida. No obstante, no responde a las expectativas que haba puesto en l. Con gran dificultad le convenc para que corrigiera algunos de los errores ms llamativos, pero l mantuvo su obertura obstinadamente. En ella hay algunos pasajes que son indignos de Hndel, pero mucho ms indignos de mi libreto. Supuestamente Hndel ironiz en su rplica de la siguiente manera: Si tan slo he conseguido entretener, entonces no he conseguido mi propsito, que era el de volver mejores a las personas.

Oratorio (msica)
El Oratorio (del lat. oratorium = casa de oracin, del lat. orare = orar) es una forma de la msica clsica europea, que consta comnmente de coros, arias y recitativos y es interpretado por solistas, coro y orquesta. Comnmente, el oratorio tiene una trama derivada de la religin cristiana, aunque desde el siglo XIX tambin se han escrito oratorios de contenido no religioso. La trama de un oratorio consiste habitualmente en partes que describen las acciones de la trama y partes que comentan lo ocurrido. El trmino deriva del latn "oratorium" y significa "casa de oracin". Eso indica que los comienzos de la forma se encuentran en contemplaciones religiosas, pero no litrgicas. A diferencia del castellano, en otros idiomas hay trminos diferentes para el oratorio musical y el oratorio como casa de oracin. Esta se denomina en ingls "oratory", en francs "oratoire", mientras que la forma musical se denomina "oratorio" en ambos idiomas.

ndice [ocultar] 1 Diferencias con la pera 2 Forma 3 Historia 3.1 Antecedentes y formacin del oratorio 3.2 Los siglos XVII y XVIII en Italia, Austria y Francia 3.3 Alto Barroco 3.3.1 Italia 3.3.2 El Oratorio protestante de Alemania del Norte 3.4 Oratorios de Johann Sebastian Bach 3.5 Oratorios de George F. Haendel 4 Literatura Diferencias con la pera [editar] A diferencia de la pera, el oratorio es interpretado en forma de concierto sin representacin escnica. De ese modo, la trama se representa por los textos y la msica, mientras que las peras se presentan normalmente en un teatro construido especialmente para tal fin. El oratorio normalmente se representa en una iglesia. Forma [editar] El oratorio temprano tena generalmente dos partes. Eso da una idea de sus inicios. En las contemplaciones filipinas, la msica serva como marco del sermn, que se daba en dos partes. La duracin era de 40 - 50 minutos. El texto tena alrededor de 350 - 450 lneas en forma de un poema, comnmente rimado. Hasta mediados del siglo XVII, partes narrativas, representadas por un solista ( el "testo" , del lat. testo = testigo) eran el estndar. En la segunda mitad del siglo XVII, se constituy tambin una forma dramtica, sin partes narrativas. El nmero de los cantantes ("interlocutori") en oratorios tempranos era comnmente 3 a 5. El canto a cinco voces deriva del madrigal italiano. Grupos o masas se encuentran en oratorios tempranos, pero hasta el fin del siglo XVII se disminuy su uso. A su vez, partes contemplativas o de comentario fueron compuestas para grupos o coros. En su estructura, el oratorio empieza a parecerse a la pera. La secuencia de recitativo y aria reemplaz a la forma continua de la pera inicial. El elemento decisivo es el orden en pares de recitativo y aria, cuya estructura semeja a la de la pera barroca. El oratorio luterano alemn se basa en textos bblicos, de forma especial los que narran la Pasin de Cristo, muchas veces en formas que mezclan los textos de los cuatro evangelistas. Domina la forma de la Brockes-Passion. Un narrador, llamado Historicus, Testo o evangelista, cuenta la trama. Personas dentro de la trama hablan en forma de arioso, monodia o recitativo

Esos son acompaados por textos de comentario, presentados por coro y solistas, quienes comentan e interpretan lo ocurrido o lo complementan con estrofas de corales. Las partes de comentario se componan como aria da capo para solista o elenco con acompaamiento y bajo continuo. El coro tiene una triple tarea: representa las voces de las multitudes, comenta en forma de aria de coro o representa la comunidad de los creyentes y oyentes de la misa, cantando corales. De ese reparto de textos surge el llamado dramatismo de tres planas, caracterstico del oratorio: La primera plana es la trama, representada por el narrador y las personas, la segunda es la reaccin emotiva, representada por las arias con recitativo, la tercera es la comunidad de los creyentes, representada en los coros. Aunque se han dado muchas variaciones de esa forma, la estructura bsica sigue vigente hasta las obras de hoy en da, aun representando figuras no derivadas del universo cristiano. Historia [editar] Antecedentes y formacin del oratorio [editar] El Concilio de Trento (1545-1563) limitaba el uso de msica a un marco estrecho. Solo fueron admitidos el rgano y el canto, con la condicin de que no se usen de forma "exuberante" y "vana", y de que el texto sea siempre inteligible. En oposicin del concilio, se formaron varios movimientos de reforma catlica que tuvieron influencia en la vida eclesistica del siglo XVI, entre otros la Congregacin del Oratorio de San Felipe Neri. En los ambientes de esa orden, el llamado "oratorio", las congregaciones se daban en italiano en vez del latn. Se intercambiaban oraciones, sermones y piezas musicales. La lauda, un canto de varias voces sobre textos populares sacramentales de Italia, tena especial importancia. En 1600 se estrena una obra del poeta de laudes, Agostino Manni, en forma musical y escnica, la Rappresentazione di anima e di corpo. La msica es de Emilio de' Cavalieri (1550-1602). Fue escrita en el entonces "estilo moderno", intercambiando canto solstico, ensembles y coros. Se presentan figuras bblicas y alegricas, como el intellecto, el consejo, el ngel de la guardia, el mundo, las almas perdidas en el infierno, las almas dichosas en el cielo. La obra contena mucha ms vida y era ms intensa que las Laudes, de forma similar a la pera que surgi en la msma dcada. Otro precursor son los madrigales sacrales de Italia, en forma de dilogo. El representante ms importante fue Claudio Monteverdi con Il Combattimento di Tancredi e Clorinda en el Libro de Madrigales n.8 (1638). Los siglos XVII y XVIII en Italia, Austria y Francia [editar] Compositores de importancia son Marco Marazzoli, Domenico Mazzocchi, Pietro Della Valle, Luigi Rossi, Giacomo Carissimi, Francesco Foggia, Alessandro Stradella, Alessandro Scarlatti, Vincenzo De Grandis, Giovanni Carlo Maria Clari, Antonio Caldara, Carlo Francesco Pollaiolo, Tommaso Pagano, Donato Ricchezza y otros.

A mediados de siglo, el oratorio se establece tambin en Viena, gracias a dos dignatarios venecianos con funciones musicales en la corte Giovanni Priuli (ca. 1580-1629) y Giovanni Valentini (1582-1644). En seguida se estableci el tipo del Oratorio al Sepolcro als Venerdi Santo, tambin denominado Sepolcro de vienna. Los oratorios de Vienna del siglo XVII raramente se denominan "Oratorio", sino "Rappresentazione sacra al Sepolcro", "Azione sacra" o "Componimento sacro al Sepolcro". Tienen como caracterstica la representacin escnica y la estructura de una sola parte. Varios maestros de la capilla real y compositores de pera escribieron obras. En el siglo XVII Giovanni Felice Sances, Antonio Draghi y Giovanni Battista Pederzuoli, en el siglo XVIII Marc Antonio Ziani, Johann Joseph Fux, Antonio Caldara y Francesco Bartolomeo Conti. El emperador Leopoldo I tambin compuso varios oratorios. En la segunda mitad del siglo XVIII Georg Christoph Wagenseil, Carl Ditters von Dittersdorf, Antonio Salieri y Joseph Haydn destacan con oratorios sobre textos italianos. Los libretistas predilectos en vienna fueron Nicol Minato, Pietro Metastasio y Apostolo Zeno. Despus de la muerte de Carlos VI se extingue la lnea de Habsburgo en Austria. Con eso termina tambin la poca gloriosa de la corte de Viena. Con las actividades musicales se extingue tambin la produccin de oratorios. En Francia, las Guerras contra los Hugonotes y el absolutismo causaron una pausa de casi un siglo, especialmente en el campo de la msica eclesisticas. Bajo esas condiciones, ni la pera del tipo italiano ni el oratorio podan establecerse. Marc-Antoine Charpentier (ca. 1645-1704) compuso algunos oratorios. Sin embargo, su obra fue un acontecimiento atpico cuya influencia en la historia fue muy limitada. Alto Barroco [editar] Italia [editar] Durante el siglo XVIII, Italia sigue siendo uno de los centros de creacin de oratorios. Alrededor de 1750, el bajo continuo es remplazado por los medios de la poca clsica (orquesta del tipo Mannheim). El dominio de la pera napolitana influye en el oratorio de tal manera que el aria da capo es parcialmente reemplazada por otras formas de aria como cavatinas y ronds). El nmero de coros, elencos y piezas instrumentales aumenta. Sin embargo, el oratorio se muestra estilsticamente ms conservador que la pera. Ni los elementos caractersticos de la pera bufa, ni el manejo de motivos y temas clsico encuentran uso en el oratorio. La mayor parte de las obras est escrita sobre textos italianos. Entre 1730 y 1740, el poeta Pietro Metastasio escribi siete libretos de oratorios que fueron puestos en msica innumerables veces durante las dcadas siguientes. En esos libretos hay un intercambio permanente entre recitativo y aria. El recitativo tiene un carcter altamente narrativo, contemplativo y moralizador. Un evangelista o testigo como instancia narrativa central normalmente no existe.

La mayora de los compositores de esa poca eran empleados de las grandes instituciones eclesisticas. Los ms importantes fueron Niccol Jommelli, Giovanni Battista Casali y Pietro Maria Crispi en Roma, Giovanni Battista Martini en Bolonia, Baldassare Galuppi en Venecia y Domenico Cimarosa in Npoles. El Oratorio protestante de Alemania del Norte [editar] El oratorio protestante en Alemania toma un desarrollo independiente al de Italia. Los inicios son Pasiones en forma responsorial e historias. Los textos no se limitan a la Biblia, sino que contienen comentarios y meditaciones. En el marco alemn, los Kleine Geistliche Konzerte, las exequias musicales (1635) y las siete palabras de Cristo en la cruz (1645) de Heinrich Schtz, escritas durante la Guerra de los Treinta Aos (1618 - 1648) fueron tempranas obras cumbres. Schtz estableci el rol central del evangelista y la dramaturgia de tres planos. El instrumentario fue limitado, acomodndose a las circunstancias del pas devastado por la guerra. Las obras de Schtz posteriores a la guerra (Pasiones segn San Lucas (en 1664), San Mateo (1665) y San Juan (1666) y la Historia de Navidad (1664)) recurren a instrumentarios ms amplios y precisamente definidos y a la dramaturgia de tres planos con testa, personae y coro. La forma puede considerarse el modelo para el oratorio protestante. Dietrich Buxtehude, cantor en Lbeck, escribi Abendmusiken (msicas para la tarde) para el uso eclesistico. Sus composiciones tenan cinco partes. Como textos usaba versos de la Biblia y poemas y corales eclesisticos. La forma tena semejanza al oratorio italiano. El primer oratorio del siglo XVIII fue Der blutige und sterbende Jesus, compuesto por Reinhard Keiser, cantor en Hamburgo. De esa obra solo ha sobrevivido el libreto de Christian Friedrich Hunold. El estreno fue en 1704 en Hamburgo. Lo nuevo de la obra es que el libreto no consiste en el texto bblico, sino de una parfrasis en forma de verso rimado. El tratamiento libre del texto fue razn de fuertes crticas por parte de la direccin eclesistica de Hamburgo. Los mismos tambin criticaban el desarrollo gil de la pera de Hamburgo. Por lo tanto, ni los oratorios de Keiser, ni los de Johann Mattheson o Georg Philipp Telemann fueron presentados en iglesias. Por lo tanto, en Hamburgo el oratorio perdi su lugar dentro de la liturgia y se convirti de un gnero eclesistico en un gnero de concierto. El oratorio Der fr die Snde der Welt gemarterte und sterbende Heiland de 1712 sobre un texto de Barthold Heinrich Brockes con msica de Reinhard Keiser es de suma importancia. El libreto, la llamada Brockes-Passion, fue utilizado posteriormente por varios compositores de renombre, como Georg Friedrich Hndel (1716), Johann Mattheson (1718), Georg Philipp Telemann (1722), entre otros. Con el texto de Brockes, el gnero del oratorio llego a tener xito duradero en Alemania. Los temas de oratorio barroco en Alemania se limitaban comnmente a la Semana Santa y la Navidad. Fuera de Hamburgo, solo pocos oratorios se conocen antes de la obra monumental de Johann Sebastian Bach. Hay oratorios de Semana Santa de Carl Heinrich

Graun (Dresde), Gottfried Heinrich Stlzel (Gotha) y Christian Friedrich Rolle (Magdeburg). Otros centros fueros temporalmente Danzig, Schwerin-Ludwigslust, Berln y Leipzig. Oratorios de Johann Sebastian Bach [editar] La culminacin del oratorio alemn protestante son las pasiones de Johann Sebastian Bach: la Johannes-Passion BWV 245, 1724 la Matthus-Passion BWV 244, 1727/29 (versin inicial) y 1736 (versin final); la Markus-Passion BWV 247, 1731). Bach mismo haba estudiado intensamente los oratorios hamburgueses de Reinhard Keiser y los haba presentado en su funcin de cantor de iglesia en Leipzig. Bach prestaba las formas musicales de sus antecesores Keiser y Telemann, pero los llenaba con una expresin musical propia. En diferencia a las Brockespassion, los textos de madrigal y coral no fueron usados como introduccin al texto bblico, sino como interpretacin teolgica. No fueron obras de sentido misionero, sino msica para el cristiano creyente, intelectual y consciente de sus tradiciones. Los otros oratorios de Bach (Weihnachtsoratorium BWV 248, Osteroratorium BWV 249, Himmelfahrtsoratorium BWV 11) fueron obras derivadas de cantatas de uso litrgico. Fueron compuestos inicialmente como cantatas y posteriormente titulados como cantatas. Como lo es costumbre en las cantatas, en eso "oratorios", el centro temtico no es el texto bblico, sino el coral atribuido a la semana eclesistica. Oratorios de George F. Haendel [editar] Haendel representa la cumbre del oratorio con obras como : Pasin segn San Juan (Sin catalogar) Pasin segn Brockes HWV 048 La Resurrezione HWV 047 Esther HWV 050 Sal HWV 053 Israel en Egipto HWV 054 El Mesas HWV 056 Sansn HWV 057 Belsasar HWV 061 Judas Macabeo HWV 063 Josu HWV 064 Salomn HWV 067 Teodora HWV 68 Jeft HWV 070 El festn de Alejandro HWV 075 El Mesas HW 56 (en ingls Messiah, en alemn Der Messias, en francs Le Messie) es la obra ms conocida de Georg Friedrich Hndel, aunque no debe ser considerada como

caracterstica, ya que ocupa un lugarn mujica nico dentro de la extraordinaria coleccin de oratorios handelianos. Mientras que en los dems oratorios de Hndel puede reconocerse una marcada influencia italiana, la msica de El Mesas se arraiga en las antiguas pasiones y cantatas alemanas. Hndel compuso la obra en Londres en 1741, en apenas tres semanas. Aunque tradicionalmente asociado con la Navidad, este oratorio trata no slo el nacimiento de Jess, sino toda su vida. Unos meses despus de ser compuesta, la obra se estren en Irlanda, durante un viaje de Hndel, pero el gran estreno no lleg hasta 1742, en el New Music Hall de Dubln para un concierto benfico. El libretista Charles Jennens compuso el texto del oratorio, formado por fragmentos bblicos. Jennens present la obra como si fuese una pera, dividida en tres actos subdivididos en escenas. La primera parte tiene por tema el Adviento y la Navidad. Se anuncia la venida de Cristo, por lo que se encuentran algunos momentos de exaltacin marcados por una gran intensidad expresiva. La segunda parte ilustra la Pasin, la Resurreccin y la Ascensin finalizando con el famoso "Hallelujah". As pues, la segunda parte, que haba empezado en el dolor y la tristeza de la Pasin, se llena de jbilo con el "Hallelujah" arropado por el coro, trompetas y timbales. En la tercera, se relata la victoria de Cristo ante la muerte, el Juicio final y la palabra "Amen", que corona la obra. Exceptuando la "Sinfona" inicial, a modo de obertura o introduccin, y la "Pifa", que celebra el nacimiento de Cristo, ambas para orquesta, la obra es una sucesin de arias con algn arioso y algn duetto, recitativos y coros. Se puede decir que la obra destaca por su monumentalidad en cuanto a duracin y proporciones sonoras. Estructura de la obra [editar] La mayor parte del libreto procede del Antiguo Testamento. La primera seccin se basa en el Libro de Isaas, el cual profetiza la venida del Mesas. Hay algunas citas de los Evangelios, que estn al final de la primera seccin y al principio de la segunda. Se refieren al episodio de la Anunciacin del ngel a los pastores narrado en el Evangelio de San Lucas, dos enigmticas citas del Evangelio de San Mateo y una del Evangelio de San Juan: "Contemplad el cordero de Dios". El resto de la segunda seccin se compone de las profecas de Isaas y citas de los evangelistas. La tercera seccin incluye una cita de Job: "Yo s que mi redentor vive", y el resto proviene principalmente de la Primera Carta a los Corintios de San Pablo. Es interesante la interpolacin de coros del Apocalipsis. El conocido coro Aleluya al final de la parte II y los coros finales (Digno es el cordero que fue sacrificado y Amen), ambos tomados del Apocalipsis.

"Aleluya"

Representacin coral del "Aleluya"

-------------------------------------------------------------------------------Problemas al reproducir este archivo? El libreto fue compilado por Charles Jennes y consiste en fragmentos de versculos de la Biblia del Rey James. Jennes concibi el trabajo ms como una pera de tres actos que como un oratorio, constando cada parte de varias escenas: I El Nacimiento. I. La profeca de la Salvacin.II. La profeca de la llegada del Mesas.III. Anuncios al mundo en general.IV. Profeca del nacimiento virginal.V. La Aparicin del ngel a los pastores.VI. Los Milagros de Cristo. II La Pasin I El sacrificio, la flagelacin y la agona en la cruz.II Muerte, descenso a los Infiernos y Resurreccin.III La Ascensin.IV Dios revela su identidad en el Cielo.V El comienzo de la predicacin del Evangelio.VI El mundo y sus dirigentes rechazan el Evangelio.VII El triunfo de Dios. III Las Secuelas I La promesa de la redencin desde la cada de Adn.II El da del Juicio Final.III La victoria sobre la Muerte y el Pecado.IV La glorificacin de Cristo.V - Amn. Messiah (Handel) Messiah (HWV 56)[1] is an English-language oratorio composed in 1741 by George Frideric Handel, with a scriptural text compiled by Charles Jennens from the King James Bible, and from the Psalms included with the Book of Common Prayer . It was first performed in Dublin on 13 April 1742 and received its London premiere nearly a year later. After an initially modest public reception, the oratorio gained in popularity,

eventually becoming one of the best-known and most frequently performed choral works in Western music.[n 1] Handel's reputation in England, where he had lived since 1712, had been established through his compositions of Italian opera. He turned to English oratorio in the 1730s, in response to changes in public taste; Messiah was his sixth work in this genre. Although its structure resembles that of opera, it is not in dramatic form; there are no impersonations of characters and very little direct speech. Instead, Jennens's text is an extended reflection on Jesus Christ as Messiah. The text begins in Part I with prophecies by Isaiah and others, and moves to the annunciation to the shepherds, the only "scene" taken from the Gospels. In Part II, Handel concentrates on the Passion and ends with the "Hallelujah" chorus. In Part III he covers the resurrection of the dead and Christ's glorification in Heaven. Handel wrote Messiah for modest vocal and instrumental forces, with optional settings for many of the individual numbers. In the years after his death, the work was adapted for performance on a much larger scale, with giant orchestras and choirs. In other efforts to update it, its orchestration was revised and amplified by (among others) Mozart. In the late 20th and early 21st centuries the trend has been towards reproducing a greater fidelity to Handel's original intentions, although "big Messiah" productions continue to be mounted. A near-complete version was issued on 78 rpm discs in 1928; since then the work has been recorded many times.

Contents [hide] 1 Background 2 Synopsis 3 Writing history 3.1 Libretto 3.2 Composition 4 Premiere and early performances 4.1 Dublin, 1742 4.2 London, 174359 5 Later performance history 5.1 18th century 5.2 19th century 5.3 20th century and beyond 6 Music 6.1 Organisation and numbering of movements 6.2 Overview 6.3 Part I 6.4 Part II 6.5 Part III 7 Recordings 8 Editions 9 See also 10 Notes and references

11 Sources 12 External links Background [edit]

The statue erected in Handel's honour, in Vauxhall Gardens, London George Frideric Handel (German: Georg Friedrich Hndel; pronounced [hndl]) (born in Germany, 1685), became a prominent German-British Baroque composer, famous for his operas, oratorios, anthems and organ concertos. Handel received critical musical training in Halle, Hamburg and Italy before settling in London in 1712. He became a naturalised British subject in 1727.[3] By 1741, Handel's pre-eminence in British music was evident from the honours he had accumulated, including a pension from the court of King George II, the office of Composer of Musick for the Chapel Royal, andmost unusually for a living persona statue erected in his honour, in Vauxhall Gardens.[4] Within a large and varied musical output, Handel was a vigorous champion of Italian opera, which he had introduced to London in 1711 with Rinaldo. He had subsequently written and presented more than 40 such operas in London's theatres.[5] By the early 1730s public taste was beginning to change, and the popular success of John Gay and Johann Christoph Pepusch's The Beggar's Opera (first performed in 1728) had heralded a spate of English-language ballad-operas that mocked the pretensions of Italian opera.[6] With box-office receipts falling, Handel's productions were increasingly reliant on private subsidies from the nobility, and such funding became harder to obtain after the launch in 1730 of the "Opera of the Nobility", a rival company to his own. Handel overcame this challenge, but he spent large sums of his own money to do so. [7] Future prospects for Italian operas in London declined during the 1730s; Handel remained committed to the genre, but began to introduce English-language oratorios as occasional alternatives to his staged works.[8] As a young man in Rome in 170708 he had written two Italian oratorios at a time when opera performances in the city were temporarily forbidden under papal decree.[9] His first venture into English oratorio had been Esther which was written and performed for a private patron in about 1718.[8] In 1732 Handel brought a revised and expanded version of Esther to the King's Theatre, Haymarket, where members of the royal family attended a glittering premiere on 6 May. Its success encouraged Handel to write two more oratorios (Deborah and Athalia), and all three oratorios were performed to large and appreciative audiences at the Sheldonian Theatre in Oxford in mid-1733. Undergraduates reportedly sold their furniture to raise the money for the five-shilling tickets.[10] In 1735 Handel received the text for a new oratorio named Saul from its librettist Charles Jennens, a wealthy landowner with musical and literary interests.[11] Because

Handel's main creative concern was still with opera, he did not write the music for Saul until 1738, in preparation for his 173839 theatrical season. The work opened at the King's Theatre in January 1739 to a warm reception, and was quickly followed by the less successful oratorio Israel in Egypt (which may also have come from Jennens).[12] Although Handel continued to write and present operas, the trend towards English-language productions became irresistible as the decade ended, and after three performances of his last Italian opera Deidamia in January and February 1741, he abandoned the genre.[13] In July 1741 Jennens sent him a new libretto for an oratorio, and in a letter dated 10 July to his friend Edward Holdsworth, Jennens wrote: "I hope [Handel] will lay out his whole Genius & Skill upon it, that the Composition may excell all his former Compositions, as the Subject excells every other subject. The Subject is Messiah".[14] Synopsis [edit] Main article: Structure of Handel's Messiah In the Christian tradition, the figure of the "Messiah" or redeemer is identified with the person of Jesus, known by his followers as the Christ or "Jesus Christ". Handel's Messiah has been described by the early-music scholar Richard Luckett as "a commentary on [Jesus Christ's] Nativity, Passion, Resurrection and Ascension", beginning with God's promises as spoken by the prophets and ending with Christ's glorification in heaven.[15] In contrast with most of Handel's oratorios, the singers in Messiah do not assume dramatic roles, there is no single, dominant narrative voice, and very little use is made of quoted speech. In his libretto, Jennens's intention was not to dramatise the life and teachings of Jesus, but to acclaim the "Mystery of Godliness",[16] using a compilation of extracts from the Authorized (King James) Version of the Bible, and from the Psalms included with the Book of Common Prayer (which are worded slightly differently from their King James counterparts).[17] The three-part structure of the work approximates to that of Handel's three-act operas, with the "parts" subdivided by Jennens into "scenes". Each scene is a collection of individual numbers or "movements" which take the form of recitatives, arias and choruses.[16] There are two instrumental numbers, the opening Sinfony[n 2] in the style of a French overture, and the pastoral Pifa, often called the "pastoral symphony", at the mid-point of Part I.[19] In Part I, the Messiah's coming and the Virgin Birth are predicted by the Old Testament prophets. The annunciation to the shepherds of the birth of the Christ is represented in the words of St Luke's Gospel. Part II covers Christ's Passion and his death, his Resurrection and Ascension, the first spreading of the Gospel through the world, and a definitive statement of God's glory summarised in the "Hallelujah". Part III begins with the promise of Redemption, followed by a prediction of the Day of Judgment and the "general Resurrection", ending with the final victory over sin and death and the acclamation of Christ.[20] According to the musicologist Donald Burrows, much of the text is so allusive as to be largely incomprehensible to those ignorant of the biblical accounts.[16] For the benefit of his audiences, Jennens printed and issued a pamphlet explaining the reasons for his choices of scriptural selections.[21]

Writing history [edit] Libretto [edit]

A portrait of Charles Jennens from around 1740 Charles Jennens was born around 1700, into a prosperous landowning family whose lands and properties in Warwickshire and Leicestershire he eventually inherited.[22] His religious and political viewshe opposed the Act of Settlement of 1701 which secured the accession to the British throne for the House of Hanoverprevented him from receiving his degree from Balliol College, Oxford, or from pursuing any form of public career. His family's wealth enabled him to live a life of leisure while devoting himself to his literary and musical interests.[23] Although the musicologist Watkins Shaw dismisses Jennens as "a conceited figure of no special ability",[24] Donald Burrows has written: "of Jennens's musical literacy there can be no doubt". He was certainly devoted to Handel's music, having helped to finance the publication of every Handel score since Rodelinda in 1725.[5] By 1741, after their collaboration on Saul, a warm friendship had developed between the two, and Handel was a frequent visitor to the Jennens family estate at Gopsall.[22] Jennens's letter to Holdsworth of 10 July 1741, in which he first mentions Messiah, suggests that the text was a recent work, probably assembled earlier that summer. As a devout Anglican and believer in scriptural authority, part of Jennens's intention was to challenge advocates of Deism, who rejected the doctrine of divine intervention in human affairs.[15] Shaw describes the text as "a meditation of our Lord as Messiah in Christian thought and belief", and despite his reservations on Jennens's character, concedes that the finished wordbook "amounts to little short of a work of genius".[24] There is no evidence that Handel played any active role in the selection or preparation of the text, such as he did in the case of Saul; it seems, rather, that he saw no need to make any significant amendment to Jennens's work.[14] Composition [edit] The music for Messiah was completed in 24 days of swift composition. Having received Jennens's text some time after 10 July 1741, Handel began work on it on 22 August. His records show that he had completed Part I in outline by 28 August, Part II by 6 September and Part III by 12 September, followed by two days of "filling up" to produce the finished work on 14 September. The autograph score's 259 pages show some signs of haste such as blots, scratchings-out, unfilled bars and other uncorrected errors, but according to the music scholar Richard Luckett the number of errors is remarkably small in a document of this length.[25]

Title page of Handel's autograph score At the end of his manuscript Handel wrote the letters "SDG"Soli Deo Gloria, "To God alone the glory". This inscription, taken with the speed of composition, has encouraged belief in the apocryphal story that Handel wrote the music in a fervour of divine inspiration in which, as he wrote the "Hallelujah" chorus, "he saw all heaven before him".[25] Burrows points out that many of Handel's operas, of comparable length and structure to Messiah, were composed within similar timescales between theatrical seasons. The effort of writing so much music in so short a time was not unusual for Handel and his contemporaries; Handel commenced his next oratorio, Samson, within a week of finishing Messiah, and completed his draft of this new work in a month.[26][27] In accordance with his frequent practice when writing new works, Handel adapted existing compositions for use in Messiah, in this case drawing on two recently completed Italian duets and one written twenty years previously. Thus, Se tu non lasci amore from 1722 became the basis of "O Death, where is thy sting?"; "His yoke is easy" and "And he shall purify" were drawn from Quel fior che alla'ride (July 1741), "Unto us a child is born" and "All we like sheep" from N, di voi non vo' fidarmi (July 1741).[28][29] Handel's instrumentation in the score is often imprecise, again in line with contemporary convention, where the use of certain instruments and combinations was assumed and did not need to be written down by the composer; later copyists would fill in the details.[30] Before the first performance Handel made numerous revisions to his manuscript score, in part to match the forces available for the 1742 Dublin premiere; it is probable that his work was not performed as originally conceived in his lifetime.[31] Between 1742 and 1754 he continued to revise and recompose individual movements, sometimes to suit the requirements of particular singers.[32] The first published score of Messiah was issued in 1767, eight years after Handel's death, though this was based on relatively early manuscripts and included none of Handel's later revisions.[33] Premiere and early performances [edit] Dublin, 1742 [edit]

The Great Music Hall in Fishamble Street, Dublin, where Messiah was first performed Handel's decision to give a season of concerts in Dublin in the winter of 174142 arose from an invitation from the Duke of Devonshire, then serving as Lord Lieutenant of Ireland.[34] A violinist friend of Handel's, Matthew Dubourg, was in Dublin as the Lord Lieutenant's bandmaster; he would look after the tour's orchestral requirements.[35] Whether Handel originally intended to perform Messiah in Dublin is uncertain; he did not inform Jennens of any such plan, for the latter wrote to Holdsworth on 2 December 1741: "... it was some mortification to me to hear that instead of performing Messiah here he has gone into Ireland with it."[36] After arriving in Dublin on 18 November 1741, Handel

arranged a subscription series of six concerts, to be held between December 1741 and February 1742 at the Great Music Hall, Fishamble Street. These concerts were so popular that a second series was quickly arranged; Messiah figured in neither series.[34] In early March Handel began discussions with the appropriate committees for a charity concert, to be given in April, at which he intended to present Messiah. He sought and was given permission from St Patrick's and Christ Church cathedrals to use their choirs for this occasion.[37][38] These forces amounted to 16 men and 16 boy choristers; several of the men were allocated solo parts. The women soloists were Christina Maria Avoglio, who had sung the main soprano roles in the two subscription series, and Susannah Cibber, an established stage actress and contralto who had sung in the second series.[38][39] To accommodate Cibber's vocal range, the recitative "Then shall the eyes of the blind" and the aria "He shall feed his flock" were transposed down to F major.[31][40] The performance, also in the Fishamble Street hall, was originally announced for 12 April, but was deferred for a day "at the request of persons of Distinction".[34] The three charities that were to benefit were prisoners' debt relief, the Mercer's Hospital, and the Charitable Infirmary.[38] In its report on a public rehearsal, the Dublin News-Letter described the oratorio as "... far surpass[ing] anything of that Nature which has been performed in this or any other Kingdom".[41] Seven hundred people attended the premiere on 13 April.[42] So that the largest possible audience could be admitted to the concert, gentlemen were requested to remove their swords, and ladies were asked not to wear hoops in their dresses.[38] The performance earned unanimous praise from the assembled press: "Words are wanting to express the exquisite delight it afforded to the admiring and crouded Audience".[42] A Dublin clergyman, Rev. Delaney, was so overcome by Susanna Cibber's rendering of "He was despised" that reportedly he leapt to his feet and cried: "Woman, for this be all thy sins forgiven thee!"[43][n 3] The takings amounted to around 400, providing about 127 to each of the three nominated charities and securing the release of 142 indebted prisoners.[35][42] Handel remained in Dublin for four months after the premiere. He organised a second performance of Messiah on 3 June, which was announced as "the last Performance of Mr Handel's during his Stay in this Kingdom". In this second Messiah, which was for Handel's private financial benefit, Cibber reprised her role from the first performance, though Avoglio may have been replaced by a Mrs Maclaine;[45] details of other performers are not recorded.[46] London, 174359 [edit] The warm reception accorded to Messiah in Dublin was not repeated in London when Handel introduced the work at the Covent Garden theatre on 23 March 1743. Avoglio and Cibber were again the chief soloists; they were joined by the tenor John Beard, a veteran of Handel's operas, the bass Thomas Rheinhold and two other sopranos, Kitty Clive and Miss Edwards.[47] The first performance was overshadowed by views expressed in the press that the work's subject matter was too exalted to be performed in a theatre, particularly by secular singer-actresses such as Cibber and Clive. In an attempt to deflect such sensibilities, in London Handel had avoided the name Messiah and presented the work as the "New

Sacred Oratorio".[48] As was his custom, Handel rearranged the music to suit his singers. He wrote a new setting of "And lo, the angel of the Lord" for Clive, never used subsequently. He added a tenor song for Beard: "Their sound is gone out", which had appeared in Jennens's original libretto but had not been in the Dublin performances.[49] The custom of standing for the "Hallelujah" chorus originates from a belief that, at the London premiere, King George II did so, which would have obliged all to stand. There is no convincing evidence that the king was present, or that he attended any subsequent performance of Messiah; the first reference to the practice of standing appears in a letter dated 1756.[50][51][52]

The chapel of the London's Foundling Hospital, the venue for regular charity performances of Messiah from 1750 London's initially cool reception of Messiah led Handel to reduce the season's planned six performances to three, and not to present the work at all in 1744to the considerable annoyance of Jennens, whose relations with the composer temporarily soured.[48] At Jennens's request, Handel made several changes in the music for the 1745 revival: "Their sound is gone out" became a choral piece, the soprano song "Rejoice greatly" was recomposed in shortened form, and the transpositions for Cibber's voice were restored to their original soprano range.[32] Jennens wrote to Holdsworth on 30 August 1745: "[Handel] has made a fine Entertainment of it, though not near so good as he might & ought to have done. I have with great difficulty made him correct some of the grosser faults in the composition ..." Handel directed two performances at Covent Garden in 1745, on 9 and 11 April,[53] and then set the work aside for four years.[54] The 1749 revival at Covent Garden, under the proper title of Messiah, saw the appearance of two female soloists who were henceforth closely associated with Handel's music: Giulia Frasi and Caterina Galli. In the following year these were joined by the male alto Gaetano Guadagni, for whom Handel composed new versions of "But who may abide" and "Thou art gone up on high". The year 1750 also saw the institution of the annual charity performances of Messiah at London's Foundling Hospital, which continued until Handel's death and beyond.[55] The 1754 performance at the hospital is the first for which full details of the orchestral and vocal forces survive. The orchestra included fifteen violins, five violas, three cellos, two double-basses, four bassoons, four oboes, two trumpets, two horns and drums. In the chorus of nineteen were six trebles from the Chapel Royal; the remainder, all men, were altos, tenors and basses. Frasi, Galli and Beard led the five soloists, who were required to assist the chorus.[56][n 4] For this performance the transposed Guadagni arias were restored to the soprano voice.[58] By 1754 Handel was severely afflicted by the onset of blindness, and in 1755 he turned over the direction of the Messiah hospital performance to his pupil, J.C. Smith.[59] He apparently resumed his duties in 1757 and may have continued thereafter.[60] The final performance of the work at which Handel was present was at Covent Garden on 6 April 1759, eight days before his death.[59]

Part I Scene 1: Isaiah's prophecy of salvation 1. Sinfony (instrumental) 2. Comfort ye my people (tenor) 3. Ev'ry valley shall be exalted (tenor) 4. And the glory of the Lord (chorus) Scene 2: The coming judgment 5. Thus saith the Lord of hosts (bass) 6. But who may abide the day of His coming (alto) 7. And he shall purify the sons of Levi (chorus) Scene 3: The prophecy of Christ's birth 8. Behold, a virgin shall conceive (alto) 9. O thou that tellest good tidings to Zion (alto and chorus) 10. For behold, darkness shall cover the earth (bass) 11. The people that walked in darkness have seen a great light (bass) 12. For unto us a child is born (chorus) Scene 4: The annunciation to the shepherds 13. Pifa ("pastoral symphony": instrumental) 14a. There were shepherds abiding in the fields (soprano) 14b. And lo, the angel of the Lord (soprano) 15. And the angel said unto them (soprano) 16. And suddenly there was with the angel (soprano) 17. Glory to God in the highest (chorus) Scene 5: Christ's healing and redemption 18. Rejoice greatly, O daughter of Zion (soprano) 19. Then shall the eyes of the blind be opened (soprano) 20. He shall feed his flock like a shepherd (alto and soprano) 21. His yoke is easy (chorus) Part II Scene 1: Christ's Passion 22. Behold the Lamb of God (chorus) 23. He was despised and rejected of men (alto) 24. Surely he has borne our griefs and carried our sorrows (chorus) 25. And with his stripes we are healed (chorus) 26. All we like sheep have gone astray (chorus) 27. All they that see him laugh him to scorn (tenor) 28. He trusted in God that he would deliver him (chorus) 29. Thy rebuke hath broken his heart (tenor or soprano) 30. Behold and see if there be any sorrow (tenor or soprano) Scene 2: Christ's Death and Resurrection 31. He was cut off (tenor or soprano) 32. But thou didst not leave his soul in hell (tenor or soprano) Scene 3: Christ's Ascension

33. Lift up your heads, O ye gates (chorus) Scene 4: Christ's reception in Heaven 34. Unto which of the angels (tenor) 35. Let all the angels of God worship Him (chorus) Scene 5: The beginnings of Gospel preaching 36. Thou art gone up on high (soprano) 37. The Lord gave the word (chorus) 38. How beautiful are the feet (soprano) 39. Their sound is gone out (chorus) Scene 6: The world's rejection of the Gospel 40. Why do the nations so furiously rage together (bass) 41. Let us break their bonds asunder (chorus) 42. He that dwelleth in heaven (tenor) Scene 7: God's ultimate victory 43. Thou shalt break them with a rod of iron (tenor) 44. Hallelujah (chorus) Part III Scene 1: The promise of eternal life 45. I know that my Redeemer liveth (soprano) 46. Since by man came death (chorus) Scene 2: The Day of Judgment 47. Behold, I tell you a mystery (bass) 48. The trumpet shall sound (bass) Scene 3: The final conquest of sin 49. Then shall be brought to pass (alto) 50. O death, where is thy sting (alto and tenor) 51. But thanks be to God (chorus) 52. If God be for us, who can be against us (soprano) Scene 4: The acclamation of the Messiah 53. Worthy is the Lamb (chorus) Amen (chorus) Overview [edit] The final bars of the "Hallelujah" chorus, from Handel's manuscript Handel's music for Messiah is distinguished from most of his other oratorios by an orchestral restrainta quality which the musicologist Percy M. Young observes was not adopted by Mozart and other later arrangers of the music.[107] The work begins quietly, with instrumental and solo movements preceding the first appearance of the chorus, whose entry in the low alto register is muted.[40] A particular aspect of Handel's restraint is his limited use of trumpets throughout the work. After their introduction in the Part I chorus "Glory to God", apart from the solo in "The trumpet shall sound" they are heard only in "Hallelujah" and the final chorus "Worthy is the Lamb".[107] It is this rarity, says Young, that makes these brass interpolations particularly effective: "Increase them and the thrill is diminished".[108] In "Glory to God", Handel marked the entry of the trumpets as da lontano e un poco piano, meaning "quietly, from afar"; his original intention had been to

place the brass offstage (in disparte) at this point, to highlight the effect of distance.[29] [109] In this initial appearance the trumpets lack the expected drum accompaniment, "a deliberate withholding of effect, leaving something in reserve for Parts II and III" according to Luckett.[110] Although Messiah is not in any particular key, Handel's tonal scheme has been summarised by the musicologist Anthony Hicks as "an aspiration towards D major", the key musically associated with light and glory. As the oratorio moves forward with various shifts in key to reflect changes in mood, D major emerges at significant points, primarily the "trumpet" movements with their uplifting messages. It is the key in which the work reaches its triumphant ending.[111] In the absence of a predominant key, other integrating elements have been proposed. For example, the musicologist Rudolf Steglich has suggested that Handel used the device of the "ascending fourth" as a unifying motif; this device most noticeably occurs in the first two notes of "I know that my Redeemer liveth" and on numerous other occasions. Nevertheless, Luckett finds this thesis implausible, and asserts that "the unity of Messiah is a consequence of nothing more arcane than the quality of Handel's attention to his text, and the consistency of his musical imagination".[112] Allan Kozinn, The New York Times music critic, finds "a model marriage of music and text ... From the gentle falling melody assigned to the opening words ("Comfort ye") to the sheer ebullience of the "Hallelujah" chorus and the ornate celebratory counterpoint that supports the closing "Amen", hardly a line of text goes by that Handel does not amplify".[113] Part I [edit] The opening Sinfony is composed in E minor for strings, and is Handel's first use in oratorio of the French overture form . Jennens commented that the Sinfony contains "passages far unworthy of Handel, but much more unworthy of the Messiah";[112] Handel's early biographer Charles Burney merely found it "dry and uninteresting".[40] A change of key to E major leads to the first prophecy, delivered by the tenor whose vocal line in the opening recitative "Comfort ye" is entirely independent of the strings accompaniment. The music proceeds through various key changes as the prophecies unfold, culminating in the G major chorus "For unto us a child is born", in which the choral exclamations (which include an ascending fourth in "the Mighty God") are imposed on material drawn from Handel's Italian cantata N, di voi non vo'fidarmi.[40] Such passages, says the music historian Donald Jay Grout, "reveal Handel the dramatist, the unerring master of dramatic effect".[114] The pastoral interlude that follows begins with the short instrumental movement, the Pifa, which takes its name from the shepherd-bagpipers, or pifferare, who played their pipes in the streets of Rome at Christmas time.[109] Handel wrote the movement in both 11-bar and extended 32-bar forms; according to Burrows, either will work in performance.[32] The group of four short recitatives which follow it introduce the soprano soloistalthough often the earlier aria "But who may abide" is sung by the soprano in its transposed G minor form.[115] The final recitative of this section is in D major and heralds the affirmative chorus "Glory to God". The remainder of Part I is largely carried by the soprano in B flat, in what Burrows terms a rare instance of tonal stability.[116] The aria "He shall feed his flock" underwent several transformations by Handel, appearing at

different times as a recitative, an alto aria and a duet for alto and soprano before the original soprano version was restored in 1754.[40] The appropriateness of the Italian source material for the setting of the solemn concluding chorus "His yoke is easy" has been questioned by the music scholar Sedley Taylor, who calls it "a piece of word-painting ... grieviously out of place", though he concedes that the four-part choral conclusion is a stroke of genius that combines beauty with dignity.[117] The second Part begins in G minor, a key which, in Hogwood's phrase, brings a mood of "tragic presentiment" to the long sequence of Passion numbers which follows.[43] The declamatory opening chorus "Behold the Lamb of God", in fugal form, is followed by the alto solo "He was despised" in E flat major, the longest single item in the oratorio, in which some phrases are sung unaccompanied to emphasise Christ's abandonment.[43] Luckett records Burney's description of this number as "the highest idea of excellence in pathetic expression of any English song".[118] The subsequent series of mainly short choral movements cover Christ's Passion, Crucifixion, Death and Resurrection, at first in F minor, with a brief F major respite in "All we like sheep". Here, Handel's use of N, di voi non vo'fidarmi has Sedley Taylor's unqualified approval: "[Handel] bids the voices enter in solemn canonical sequence, and his chorus ends with a combination of grandeur and depth of feeling such as is at the command of consummate genius only".[119] Problems listening to this file? See media help. The sense of desolation returns, in what Hogwood calls the "remote and barbarous" key of B flat minor, for the tenor recitative "All they that see him".[43][120] The sombre sequence finally ends with the Ascension chorus "Lift up your heads", which Handel initially divides between two choral groups, the altos serving both as the bass line to a soprano choir and the treble line to the tenors and basses.[121] For the 1754 Foundling Hospital performance Handel added two horns, which join in when the chorus unites towards the end of the number.[43] After the celebratory tone of Christ's reception into heaven, marked by the choir's D major acclamation "Let all the angels of God worship him", the "Whitsun" section proceeds through a series of contrasting moodsserene and pastoral in "How beautiful are the feet", theatrically operatic in "Why do the nations so furiously rage"towards the Part II culmination of "Hallelujah". This, as Young points out, is not the climactic chorus of the work, although one cannot escape its "contagious enthusiasm".[122] It builds from a deceptively light orchestral opening,[43] through a short, unison cantus firmus passage on the words "For the Lord God omnipotent reigneth", to the reappearance of the long-silent trumpets at "And He shall reign for ever and ever". Commentators have noted that the musical line for this third subject is based on Wachet auf, Philipp Nicolai's popular Lutheran chorale.[43][123] Part III [edit] Main article: Messiah Part III

First page of the concluding chorus "Worthy is the Lamb": From Handel's manuscript The opening soprano solo in E major, "I know that my Redeemer liveth" is one of the few numbers in the oratorio that has remained unrevised from its original form.[124] its simple unison violin accompaniment and its consoling rhythms apparently brought tears to Burney's eyes.[125] It is followed by a quiet chorus that leads to the bass's declamation in D major: "Behold, I tell you a mystery", then the long aria "The trumpet shall sound", marked pomposo ma non allegro ("dignified but not fast").[124] Handel originally wrote this in da capo form, but shortened it to dal segno, probably before the first performance. [126] The extended, characteristic trumpet tune that precedes and accompanies the voice is the only significant instrumental solo in the entire oratorio. Handel's awkward, repeated stressing of the fourth syllable of "incorruptible" may have been the source of the 18th century poet William Shenstone's comment that he "could observe some parts in Messiah wherein Handel's judgements failed him; where the music was not equal, or was even opposite, to what the words required".[124][127] After a brief solo recitative, the alto is joined by the tenor for the only duet in Handel's final version of the music, "O death, where is thy sting?" The melody is adapted from Handel's 1722 cantata Se tu non lasci amore, and is in Luckett's view the most successful of the Italian borrowings.[125] The duet runs straight into the chorus "But thanks be to God".[124] The reflective soprano solo "If God be for us" (originally written for alto) quotes Luther's chorale Aus tiefer Not. It ushers in the D major choral finale: "Worthy is the Lamb", leading to the apocalyptic "Amen" in which, says Hogwood, "the entry of the trumpets marks the final storming of heaven".[124] Handel's first biographer, John Mainwaring, wrote in 1760 that this conclusion revealed the composer "rising still higher" than in "that vast effort of genius, the Hallelujah chorus".[125] Young writes that the "Amen" should, in the manner of Palestrina, "be delivered as though through the aisles and ambulatories of some great church".[128] Part I Comfort ye Tenor Comfort ye, comfort ye my people, saith your God. Speak ye comfortably to Jerusalem, and cry unto her, that her warfare is accomplished, that her iniquity is pardoned. The voice of him that crieth in the wilderness; prepare ye the way of the Lord; make straight in the desert a highway for our God. (Isaiah 40:1-3) Every valley shall be exalted Tenor

Ev'ry valley shall be exalted, and ev'ry mountain and hill made low; the crooked straight and the rough places plain. (Isaiah 40:4) And the glory of the Lord Chorus And the glory of the Lord shall be revealed, and all flesh shall see it together: for the mouth of the Lord hath spoken it. (Isaiah 40:5) Thus saith the Lord Bass Thus saith the Lord, the Lord of hosts: Yet once a little while and I will shake the heavens and the earth, the sea and the dry land. And I will shake all nations; and the desire of all nations shall come. (Haggai 2:6-7) The Lord, whom ye seek, shall suddenly come to His temple, even the messenger of the Covenant, whom you delight in; behold, He shall come, saith the Lord of hosts. (Malachi 3:1) But who may abide Alto or Soprano But who may abide the day of His coming, and who shall stand when He appeareth? For He is like a refiner's fire. (Malachi 3:2) And He shall purify Chorus And He shall purify the sons of Levi, that they may offer unto the Lord an offering in righteousness. (Malachi 3:3) Behold, a virgin shall conceive Alto Behold, a virgin shall conceive and bear a son, and shall call His name Emmanuel, God with us. (Isaiah 7:14 = Matthew 1:23) O thou that tellest Alto O thou that tellest good tidings to Zion, get thee up into the high mountain. O thou that tellest good tidings to Jerusalem, lift up thy voice with strength; lift it up, be not afraid; say unto the cities of Judah, behold your God! (Isaiah 40:9) Arise, shine, for thy light is come, and the glory of the Lord is risen upon thee. (Isaiah 60:1)

Chorus O thou that tellest. . . da capo For behold, darkness shall cover Bass For behold, darkness shall cover the earth, and gross darkness the people; but the Lord shall arise upon thee, and His glory shall be seen upon thee. And the Gentiles shall come to thy light, and kings to the brightness of thy rising. (Isaiah 60:2-3) The people that walked in darkness Bass The people that walked in darkness have seen a great light; and they that dwell in the land of the shadow of death, upon them hath the light shined. (Isaiah 9:2) For unto us a child is born Chorus For unto us a child is born, unto us a son is given, and the government shall be upon His shoulder; and His name shall be called Wonderful, Counsellor, the mighty God, the Everlasting Father, the Prince of Peace. (Isaiah 9:6) There were shepherds Soprano There were shepherds abiding in the field, keeping watch over their flocks by night. (Luke 2:8) And lo, the angel of the Lord came upon them, and the glory of the Lord shone round about them, and they were sore afraid. (Luke 2:9) And the angel said unto them Soprano And the angel said unto them: "Fear not, for behold, I bring you good tidings of great joy, which shall be to all people. For unto you is born this day in the city of David a Saviour, which is Christ the Lord." (Luke 2:10-11) And suddenly there was with the angel Soprano And suddenly there was with the angel, a multitude of the heavenly host, praising God, and saying: (Luke 2:13)

Glory to God Chorus "Glory to God in the highest, and peace on earth, good will towards men." (Luke 2:14) Rejoice greatly Soprano Rejoice greatly, O daughter of Zion; shout, O daughter of Jerusalem! Behold, thy King cometh unto thee; He is the righteous Saviour, and He shall speak peace unto the heathen. (Zechariah 9:9-10) Rejoice greatly. . . da capo Then shall the eyes of the blind Alto Then shall the eyes of the blind be opened, and the ears of the deaf unstopped. Then shall the lame man leap as an hart, and the tongue of the dumb shall sing. (Isaiah 35:5-6) He shall feed His flock Soprano (& Alto) He shall feed His flock like a shepherd; and He shall gather the lambs with His arm, and carry them in His bosom, and gently lead those that are with young. (Isaiah 40:11) Come unto Him, all ye that labour, come unto Him that are heavy laden, and He will give you rest. Take his yoke upon you, and learn of Him, for He is meek and lowly of heart, and ye shall find rest unto your souls. (Matthew 11:28-29) His yoke is easy Chorus His yoke is easy, and His burden is light. (Matthew 11:30)

Part II
Behold the Lamb of God Chorus Behold the Lamb of God, that taketh away the sin of the world. (John 1:29) He was despised

Alto He was despised and rejected of men, a man of sorrows and acquainted with grief. (Isaiah 53:3) He gave His back to the smiters, and His cheeks to them that plucked off His hair: He hid not His face from shame and spitting. (Isaiah 53:6) He was despised. . . da capo Surely He hath borne our griefs Chorus Surely He hath borne our griefs, and carried our sorrows! He was wounded for our transgressions, He was bruised for our iniquities; the chastisement of our peace was upon Him. (Isaiah 53:4-5) All we, like sheep, have gone astray Chorus All we like sheep have gone astray; we have turned every one to his own way. And the Lord hath laid on Him the iniquity of us all. (Isaiah 53:6) All they that see him laugh him Tenor All they that see Him laugh Him to scorn; they shoot out their lips, and shake their heads, saying: (Psalm 22:7) He trusted in God Chorus "He trusted in God that He would deliver Him; let Him deliver Him, if He delight in Him." (Psalm 22:8) Thy rebuke hath broken His heart Tenor Thy rebuke hath broken His heart: He is full of heaviness. He looked for some to have pity on Him, but there was no man, neither found He any to comfort him. (Psalm 69:20) Behold, and see Tenor Behold, and see if there be any sorrow like unto His sorrow. (Lamentations 1:12) He was cut off

Soprano or Tenor He was cut off out of the land of the living: for the transgressions of Thy people was He stricken. (Isaiah 53:8) But Thou didst not leave Soprano or Tenor But Thou didst not leave His soul in hell; nor didst Thou suffer Thy Holy One to see corruption. (Psalm 16:10) Lift up your heads Chorus Lift up your heads, O ye gates; and be ye lift up, ye everlasting doors; and the King of Glory shall come in. Who is this King of Glory? The Lord strong and mighty, The Lord mighty in battle. Lift up your heads, O ye gates; and be ye lift up, ye everlasting doors; and the King of Glory shall come in. Who is this King of Glory? The Lord of Hosts, He is the King of Glory. (Psalm 24:710) Unto which of the angels Tenor Unto which of the angels said He at any time: "Thou art My Son, this day have I begotten Thee?" (Hebrews 1:5) Let all the angels Chorus Let all the angels of God worship Him. (Hebrews 1:6) Thou art gone up on high Bass, Alto or Soprano Thou art gone up on high; Thou hast led captivity captive, and received gifts for men; yea, even from Thine enemies, that the Lord God might dwell among them. (Psalm 68:18) The Lord gave the word Chorus The Lord gave the word; great was the company of the preachers. (Psalm 68:11) How beautiful are the feet Soprano or Alto (or Soprano, Alto and Chorus)

How beautiful are the feet of them that preach the gospel of peace, and bring glad tidings of good things. (Isaiah 52:7 = Romans 10:15) Their sound is gone out Chorus (or Air for Tenor) Their sound is gone out into all lands, and their words unto the ends of the world. (Romans 10:18 = Psalm 19:4) Why do the nations Bass Why do the nations so furiously rage together, and why do the people imagine a vain thing? The kings of the earth rise up, and the rulers take counsel together against the Lord, and against His anointed. (Psalm 2:1-2) Let us break their bonds Chorus Let us break their bonds asunder, and cast away their yokes from us. (Psalm 2:3) He that dwelleth in heaven Tenor He that dwelleth in Heav'n shall laugh them to scorn; The Lord shall have them in derision. (Psalm 2:4) Thou shalt break them Tenor Thou shalt break them with a rod of iron; thou shalt dash them in pieces like a potter's vessel. (Psalm 2:9) Hallelujah Chorus Hallelujah: for the Lord God Omnipotent reigneth. (Revelation 19:6) The kingdom of this world is become the kingdom of our Lord, and of His Christ; and He shall reign for ever and ever. (Revelation 11:15) King of Kings, and Lord of Lords. (Revelation 19:16) Hallelujah!

Part III
I know that my redeemer liveth Soprano I know that my Redeemer liveth, and that He shall stand at the latter day upon the earth. And though worms destroy this body, yet in my flesh shall I see God. (Job 19:25-26) For now is Christ risen from the dead, the first fruits of them that sleep. (I Corinthians 15:20) Since by man Chorus Since by man came death, by man came also the resurrection of the dead. For as in Adam all die, even so in Christ shall all be made alive. (I Corinthians 15:2122) Behold I tell you Bass Behold, I tell you a mystery; we shall not all sleep, but we shall all be changed in a moment, in the twinkling of an eye, at the last trumpet. (I Corinthians 15:51-52) The trumpet shall sound Bass The trumpet shall sound, and the dead shall be raised incorruptible, and we shall be changed. For this corruptible must put on incorruption and this mortal must put on immortality. (I Corinthians 15:52-53) The trumpet. . . da capo Then shall be brought to pass Alto Then shall be brought to pass the saying that is written: "Death is swallowed up in victory." (I Corinthians 15:54) O death, where is thy sting? Alto & Tenor O death, where is thy sting? O grave, where is thy victory? The sting of death is sin, and the strength of sin is the law. (I Corinthians 15:55-56)

But thanks be to God Chorus But thanks be to God, who giveth us the victory through our Lord Jesus Christ. Corinthians 15:57) If God be for us Soprano If God be for us, who can be against us? (Romans 8:31) Who shall lay anything to the charge of God's elect? It is God that justifieth, who is he that condemneth? It is Christ that died, yea rather, that is risen again, who is at the right hand of God, who makes intercession for us. (Romans 8:33-34) Worthy is the Lamb Chorus Worthy is the Lamb that was slain, and hath redeemed us to God by His blood, to receive power, and riches, and wisdom, and strength, and honour, and glory, and blessing. Blessing and honour, glory and power, be unto Him that sitteth upon the throne, and unto the Lamb, for ever and ever. Amen. (Revelation 5:12-14) (I