Friday, November 28, 2008

Messiah Fast

Every year, normally around the start of November, I impose a Messiah-Fast on myself. The reason is that normally I listen to Handel's Messiah too much, and it becomes overly familiar. By not listening to it for a month or two, it then has more impact when I hear it around Christmas time. Some years, we would go along to the performance by the Ulster Orchestra in the Waterfront Hall, but I don't think we're going this year.

The Messiah is a wonderful production - a series of Bible verses from the Scriptures detailing the story of the Messiah, Jesus Christ. From the promises of the Old Testament (Comfort, Comfort ye my people - and not, as I once thought, come for tea, my people!), to the birth (For unto us a child is given), to the death (He was despised), resurrection (Lift up your heads), to his glorification (Worthy is the Lamb). The text is brilliant, and the music fits it perfectly, incorporating the full range of emotion and fervency of faith in the Lord Jesus.

So here, for your enjoyment, is the most famous section of Handel's Messiah - the Hallelujah Chorus. In this particular video version, the score is included, so you can sing along with the sopranos, act with the altos, tremble with the tenors or boom with the basses.

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