Messiah is an English-language oratorio composed by George Frideric Handel, and is one of the most popular works in the Western choral literature. The libretto by Charles Jennens is drawn entirely from the King James Bible and Book of Common PrayerMessiah differs from Handel's other oratorios by telling no story, instead offering an extended contemplation on the idea of the Messiah, through prophetic utterances, the life and Passion of Christ, his resurrection and untimate triumph over sin.

Composed in London during the summer of 1741 and premiered in Dublin, Ireland on 13 April 1742, it was repeatedly revised by Handel, reaching its most familiar version in the performance to benefit the Foundling Hospital in 1754. In 1789 Mozart orchestrated a German version of the work; his version, with added contemporary woodwind parts, and the edition by Ebenezer Prout were commonly heard until the mid-20th century and the rise of historically informed performance.

Structure of Messiah

Part 1 consists of prophesies foretelling the coming of the Messiah, with the words being taken from both the Old and Testaments.
Part 2 tells of the suffering and crucifixion of Jesus, set mainly to words from the New Testament.
Part 3 recounts the resurrection of Jesus from the dead.
Subpages (1): Oratorio