The first performance of George Frideric Handel’s oratorio “Messiah” on 13 April 1742 in Dublin aroused unqualified rapture. A newspaper report a few days later declared that it combined “the Sublime, the Grand, and the Tender”. Its success has remained undiminished ever since, and the “Messiah” has taken its place in musical life.
In 2009, to mark the 250th anniversary of Handel’s death, the British Library and Bärenreiter joined forces and made the autograph score of the “Messiah” available to the public in a meticulously reproduced, lavishly published facsimile.
The renowned Handel scholar Donald Burrows introduces the characteristics of Handel’s manuscript, describes the history of the work’s composition, and explains the differences between later versions of the “Messiah”, as reflected in the conducting scores. A two-page sketch from the Fitzwilliam Museum Cambridge completes the publication.