George Frideric Handel: Thy rebuke hath broken His heart

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

Thy rebuke hath broken His heart

(Psalm 69:20)


The Music

This short accompagnato sees the tenor return to the stage to sing a verse of Psalm 69: Thy rebuke hath broken His heart. Accompanied by suspended strings, this solemn piece sees Handel using lots of chromatic movement and harmony to create a weeping effect and that of a broken heart. Staying at a quiet dynamic throughout, this delicate piece is effective in its overarching message. 


Ⓒ Alex Burns

Happy Reading!

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You might also enjoy… Project Messiah


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