The Messiah is an oratorio composed by George Frideric Handel in the summer of 1741 based on the libretto by Charles Jennens. Drawn entirely on the Christian doctrine that Jesus Christ is indeed the Messiah or “anointed one,” Jennens chronicled the work into three fragments and showcased the prophecies about the coming of Jesus Christ, His birth, miracles, crucifixion, resurrection, ascension and his glorious return on earth. Although envisioned for secular theatre, this tour de force has become a well-loved tradition at Christmas time especially after Handel’s death. Its most famous part, the Hallelujah Chorus speaks volumes about who Christ really is as portrayed in Isaiah 9 verse 6:
and the government shall be upon his shoulder
and his name shall be called Wonderful, Counsellor
The mighty God, The everlasting Father, The Prince of Peace.”
To make our celebration more meaningful, here’s the Hallelujah Chorus in a recording done by the Orchestra and Chorus of the Academy of Santa Cecilia with Myung-Whun Chung at the helm, for the album Andrea Boccelli sings Sacred Arias.