Holy Face Devotion

Handel's Messiah for Christmas - CD

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Handel's Messiah for Christmas - CD
Our Price:  £16.50(Inc. 20% VAT)(£13.75 Exc. VAT)

Product Code:  M0220



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Christmas Music for Choir & Orchestra by Ensemble Cor et Vox from St John Cantius, Chicago.

Handel's Messiah is a tradition at Christmastime. Just as children love decorating trees and hanging stockings, choirs around the world love singing Handel's Messiah for Christmas, the most famous piece of sacred music in the English language. In his book, Spiritual Lives of the Great Composers, Patrick Kavanaugh tells how Handel barely ate during the 24 days he wrote Messiah. Just after composing the famous Hallelujah Chorus the composer had tears in his eyes and cried out to his servant, "I did think I did see all Heaven before me, and the great God Himself." When you consider record time in which Handel wrote Messiah, you understand the laud of Ludwig van Beethoven, who said of Handel: "He is the greatest composer that ever lived. I would uncover my head and kneel before his tomb."

King George II was present at the first performance of Messiah in London, and while he did not "stand" in awe of Handel's music the way Beethoven did, the King did introduce a unique custom of standing during the Hallelujah Chorus. It is said that the monarch fell asleep, and at the opening of the Hallelujah Chorus, he rose to his feet, thinking it was his cue. Whatever the reason, he stood, and that has been the custom ever since-to stand during the Hallelujah Chorus. About 100 years later, even the aged Queen Victoria, who sat in her wheelchair as the chorus began, struggled to her feet as the choir sang, "King of kings and Lord of lords." She said, "No way will I sit in the presence of the King of kings." It inspires us to learn that Handel wrote Messiah during a low point in his life and just after suffering a stroke. Out of his suffering arose this work of beauty that continues to uplift millions of souls. Kavanaugh notes the secret of Handel's success, "He was a relentless optimist whose faith in God sustained him through every difficulty."

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