George Frideric Handel: And Suddenly There Was An Angel

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 suddenly there was with the angel a multitude of the heavenly host praising God, 

and saying:


The Music

An excitable string introduction opens this short soprano recitative. Following on from And Lo, The Angel Came Upon Them, the voice continues to tell of the arrival of the new heavenly host. The bright string accompaniment supports the more sporadic vocal line, which places emphasis on fourths and fifths. This sweet recitative leads into the final part of Scene 4. 


Ⓒ Alex Burns

Happy Reading!

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You might also enjoy… Project Messiah


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