George Frideric Handel: And Lo, The Angel of the Lord

Messiah Part I


George Frideric Handel’s Messiah has remained one of the composer’s most beloved works. Incredibly, Handel completed this 260-page oratorio in just 24 days during the summer of 1741. The scriptural text was compiled by Charles Jennens, with the source being the King James Bible. The first performance of Messiah was on 13th April 1742, to celebrate Easter. 

Initially the oratorio garnered a lukewarm reception from audiences, however the work began to gain popularity over some years, with it now being the go-to work to perform during the Easter period. During this new Messiah exploration on Classicalexburns, blogs will be posted regularly to cover all of the pieces involved in making up this much-loved oratorio. 


The Lyrics


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)


The Music

As There Were Shepherds Abiding in the Field seamlessly segues into the fourteenth song of Part I of the Messiah, the soprano carries on with the new words taken from Luke 2:9. A fluctuating string accompaniment fizzes in the background as the soprano sings through the lines. The soprano moves upward so as to emphasise specific phrases to highlight the importance of Christ’s return. 


Ⓒ Alex Burns

Happy Reading!

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You might also enjoy… Project Messiah


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