George Frideric Handel: He That Dwelleth in Heaven

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


He that dwelleth in heaven shall laugh them to scorn: the Lord shall have them in derision  

(Psalm 2:4)


The Music

Before heading into the final scene of Part II of Messiah, the text continues from Let us break their bonds asunder, with a short tenor recitative. Accompanied by the harpsichord only, the text is sung with intention by the soloist. This recitative acts as s bridge between the end of Scene 6 and the start of Scene 7, which is an Air for tenor.


Ⓒ Alex Burns

Happy Reading!

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You might also enjoy… Project Messiah


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