"...the music lover who would like to know more about Handel and Messiah will find succinct history of English oratorio, a genre that Handel himself invented under circumstances and for reasons that remain unclear to this day, and a concise survey of the evolution of the genre to 1741 (Ch. 1). ...presents for the first time in English a clear and detailed chronology of the composition and the events leading up to the first performance of Messiah on 13 April, 1742." Charles Michael Carroll, The Eighteenth Century
The course of the Messiah is traced from Handel's initial musical response to the libretto, through the oratorio's turbulent initial years to its eventual rise to popularity with the Foundling Hospital performances.
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