If you had asked me earlier this year if I had ever sung Worthy Is the Lamb That Was Slain I would have said no. This is why I don’t trust my memory.
There’s a gentleman named Don Ingram who played organ. For his 70th birthday, he conducted a 2002 performance of the entire Messiah. I found the program I recently found in MY Messiah score. Doesn’t EVERYONE have a Messiah score? It sits on the shelf right next to my Mozart Requiem score, naturally.
Messiah was composed in 1741 by George Frideric Handel, and first performed in Dublin on 13 April 1742. It received “its London premiere nearly a year later. After an initially modest public reception, the oratorio gained in popularity, eventually becoming one of the best-known and most frequently performed choral works in Western music.”
The choruses for the first part of the Messiah I’ve sung several times. It’s often performed during Advent, that period just before Christmas. That includes And the Glory of the Lord, And He Shall Purify the Sons of Levi, For Unto Us a Child is Born, and Glory to God in the Highest. The first I’ve likely sung the most.
The second section addresses the Lent to Easter period. Behold the Lamb of God, Surely He Hath Borne Our Griefs and Carried Our Sorrows, and All We Like Sheep Have Gone Astray I’ve performed a few times, but there are other pieces less familiar to me.
But THE most familiar piece in the whole work is in that section. Hallelujah I’ve sung almost every Easter morning for decades.
Part the third
Part 3 is sometimes performed in that period between Easter and Pentecost. Since by Man Came Death I’ve sung a bit. But less so for Thanks Be to God.
If it had not been for the shutdown, I would be singing Worthy Is the Lamb That Was Slain/Amen tomorrow. I find it inspirational. And the final cadence of the Amen is even emotional. I find lots of final phrases in familiar classical music make me verklempt.
Listen to Mormon Tabernacle Choir
Handel Messiah Part 3 – Octopus Symphony Chorus.
Handel Messiah, complete – London Philharmonic.