Wednesday, December 5, 2012

Handel's Messiah - Part I

After my last post about a song that quoted Luke 2, I kept thinking about a recitative from Handel's Messiah.  A recitative is a song that is usually short and uses ordinary speech rhythms to sound as if it is being recited or spoken.  The specific recitative on my mind was "And suddenly there was with the angel a multitude of the heavenly host praising God, and saying," which then launches into the more familiar "Glory to God".  Handel's Messiah is one of my favorite oratorio and is often thought of at Christmas (though it really depicts much more about our Savior than just his birth).  I couldn't resist sharing this scriptural concert with you.

I was introduced to Handel's Messiah as a child, hearing it at concerts.  During the 90's, my parents took our family to Handel's Young Messiah concerts.  I am so thankful that they drove us more than two hours to go to concerts where the popular Christian singers of the day like Steven Curtis Chapman, 4Him, Sandi Patty, Carman, and the Winans rocked modern versions of Handel's Messiah.  If you have yet to hear this, I highly recommend it.

In my college years, I was blessed to join the college choir that performed this and other oratorios.  That only enhanced my appreciation for this masterpiece as I finally understood all of the emotion Handel built into it.  First, Handel ushers into the holy sanctuary with the Overture and then captures the feeling behind each scripture perfectly.  From the comforting Comfort Ye, to the glorious Glory of the Lord.  From the dark The People That Walked in Darkness, to the joyful Rejoice Greatly.  From the pastoral He Shall Feed His Flock to the light His Yoke is Easy.  This masterpiece definitely helps the listener to comprehend the depth of our Promised One, the Messiah.

(1) Overture

(2) Comfort Ye
Isaiah 40:1-3 Comfort ye, comfort ye my people, saith your God. Speak ye comfortably to Jerusalem, and cry unto her, that her warfare is accomplished, that her iniquity is pardoned. . . .The voice of him that crieth in the wilderness, Prepare ye the way of the Lord, make straight in the desert a highway for our God.

(3) Every Valley
Isaiah 40:4 Every valley shall be exalted, and every mountain and hill made low, the crooked straight, and the rough places plain.

(4) And the Glory of the Lord
Isaiah 40:5 And the glory of the Lord shall be revealed, and all flesh shall see it together: for the mouth of the Lord hath spoken it.

(5) Thus saith the Lord
Haggai 2:6,7 Thus saith the Lord of Hosts; Yet once, a little while and I will shake the heavens, and the earth, and the sea, and the dry land; And I will shake all nations, and the desire of all nations shall come
Malachi 3:1 The Lord, whom ye seek, shall suddenly come to His temple, even the messenger of the covenant, whom ye delight in: Behold, He shall come, saith the Lord of Hosts.

(6) But who may abide the Day of His Coming?
Malachi 3:2 But who may abide the day of His coming? and who shall stand when He appeareth? For He is like a refiner's fire.

(7) And He shall Purify
Malachi 3:3 And He shall purify the sons of Levi. . . that they may offer unto the Lord an offering in righteousness.

(8) Behold A Virgin Shall Conceive
Isaiah 7:14 (Matthew 1:23) Behold, a virgin shall conceive, and bear a Son, and shall call his name EMMANUEL, God with us.

(9) O thou that tellest good tidings to Zion
Isaiah 40:9 O thou that tellest good tidings to Zion, get thee up into the high mountain; O thou that tellest good tidings to Jerusalem, lift up thy voice with strength; lift it up, and be not afraid; say unto the cities of Judah, Behold your God!
Isaiah 60:1 Arise, shine; for thy light is come, and the glory of the Lord is risen upon thee.

(10) For behold, darkness shall cover the earth
Isaiah 60:2,3 For, behold, darkness shall cover the earth, and gross darkness the people; but the Lord shall arise upon thee, and His glory shall be seen upon thee. And the Gentiles shall come to thy light, and kings to the brightness of thy rising.

(11) The people that walked in darkness
Isaiah 9:2 (Matthew 3:16) The people that walked in darkness have seen a great light: and they that dwell in the land of the shadow of death, upon them hath the light shined.

(12) For unto Us a Child is born
Isaiah 9:6 For unto us a Child is born, unto us a Son is given: and the government shall be upon His shoulder: and His name shall be called Wonderful, Counselor, the mighty God, the everlasting Father, the Prince of Peace.

(13) Pastoral Symphony

(14) There were shepherds abiding in the field
Luke 2:8-9 There were shepherds abiding in the field, keeping watch over their flocks by night. And lo! the angel of the Lord came upon them, and the glory of the Lord shone round about them: and they were sore afraid.
(15) And the Angel said unto them
Luke 2:10,11 And the angel said unto them, Fear not; for, behold, I bring you good tidings of great joy, which shall be to all people. For unto you is born this day in the city of David a Savior, which is Christ the Lord.

(16) And suddenly there was with the Angel
Luke 2:13 And suddenly there was with the angel a multitude of the heavenly host praising God, and saying,
(17) Glory to God
Luke 2:14 Glory to God in the highest, and on earth peace, good will toward men.

(18) Rejoice greatly, O Daughter of Zion
Zechariah 9:9,10 (Matthew 21:5) Rejoice greatly, O daughter of Zion; Shout, O daughter of Jerusalem: behold, thy King cometh unto thee. He is the righteous Savior. . And he shall speak peace unto the heathen.

(19) Then shall the eyes of the blind
Isaiah 35:5,6 Then the eyes of the blind shall be opened, and the ears of the deaf shall be unstopped. Then shall the lame man leap as an hart, and the tongue of the dumb shall sing.

(20) He shall feed his flock like a shepherd
Isaiah 40:11 He shall feed his flock like a shepherd; and he shall gather the lambs with His arm, and carry them in His bosom, and shall gently lead those that are with young.
Matthew 11:28, 29 Come unto [Him], all ye that labour and are heavy laden, and [He shall]give you rest. Take [his] yoke upon you, and learn of [Him]; for [he is] meek and lowly of heart: and ye shall find rest unto your souls.

(21) His yoke is easy
Matthew 11:30 [His] yoke is easy, and [his]burden is light.

For the rest of Handel's Messiah, click below:

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