George Frideric Handel’s choral masterpiece Messiah was composed in 1741 with a scriptural text compiled by Charles Jennens from the King James Bible, and from the version of the Psalms included with the Book of Common Prayer. It was first performed in Dublin on April 13, 1742 and 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 beloved and frequently performed choral works in Western music.
Jubilate Music Group offers three distinctly different versions of this masterwork suited to different rehearsal and performance needs:
- Complete work. The entire oratorio in a comb-bound edition featuring magnificent engravings created from Handel's original manuscript. The comb binding not only offers ease during choral performance for conductor and performer, but also creates a lay-flat book that is perfect for study. The comb bound edition is also particularly useful for accompanists.
- 30-minute version. This work is carefully edited by Hal H. Hopson and contains the Christmas portion only.
- 11-minute version. Also carefully edited by Hal H. Hopson, this choral suite for SAB voices contains three Christmas choruses with spoken, underscored recitatives (instead of sung).
In addition to the complete and Christmas-only versions of Messiah, we offer a 21-minute Lenten/Easter version (edited by Hal H. Hopson). As a bonus to the choral and solo inclusions in this edition, a Sinfonia prelude is adapted from the chorus Worthy Is the Lamb. The optional chamber orchestration offers flexible “mix and match” instrumentation, so that the work can be enhanced with as many or few instruments at your disposal.