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The story behind Handel’s ‘Messiah’


In 2019, CBN wrote a story about George Frideric Handel’s composition, “Messiah” often performed at Christmas.

Born in 1685 in Germany, Handel, who composed operas and organ concertos, had moved to England in 1712. However, with people losing interest in his style of music, Handel was considering ending his music career and possibility returning to Germany.

But that changed when Charles Jennens provided him the words, actually a series of Old and New Testament verses that prophesied of Christ’s birth and spoke of the Lord’s deity, as the basis for a new oratio.

Jennens, a literary scholar and committed Christian, was hoping this new song would counter the growing interest in Deism, which did not believe Jesus was God.

For the next 24 days, Handel never left his house as he composed the “Messiah.” Friends reported visiting and seeing him sobbing as he wrote the music.

Later revelations suggested that Handel may have even had a vision as he composed the music for the Hallelujah chorus, stating, “I did think I did see all Heaven before me, and the great God Himself.”

Handel finished his composition with the words ‘SDG’-Siol Deo Gloria, ‘To God alone the glory.’

READ: The True Story Behind Handel’s ‘Messiah’ and the Day He Had a Vision of God in Heaven

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