George Frideric Handel: And with His stripes we are healed

Messiah Part II


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 with His stripes we are healed.

 (Isaiah 53:5)


The Music

Continuing in the same key as the previous piece, And with His stripes we are healed carries the fugue onwards. With one line of text taken from Isaiah 53:5, this short chorus piece opens with a five-note theme. Handel uses lots of melismatic movement on the word ‘healed’ which stresses that part of the text much more than any other part. The five-note theme is countered by an ascending fourth theme sung by the upper voices. As the two entangle, the piece finishes on a resolution chord. 


Ⓒ Alex Burns

Happy Reading!

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You might also enjoy… Project Messiah


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