George Frideric Handel
Messiah HWV 56
The first performance of George Frideric Handel’s oratorio Messiah on 13 April 1742 in Dublin aroused unqualified rapture. A newspaper report a few days later declared that it combined “the Sublime, the Grand, and the Tender”. Its success has remained undiminished ever since, and the Messiah has taken its place in musical life. 2009 was the 250th anniversary of Handel’s death. To mark this jubilee year, the British Library and Bärenreiter have joined forces to make the autograph score of the Messiah available to the public in a meticulously reproduced, lavishly published facsimile. The renowned Handel scholar Donald Burrows introduces the characteristics of Handel’s manuscript, describes the differences between later versions of the Messiah, as reflected in the conducting scores. A two-page sketch from the Fitzwilliam Museum Cambridge completes the publication.