Facsimile of the autograph score in the British Library, London.
The first performance of George Frideric Handels 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 Handels 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 Handels manuscript, describes the history of the works 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.