Tuesday, December 21, 2004
The Christmas season isn't complete for my friend Brian if he doesn't sing in that wonderful combined choir presentation of one of the most glorious musical compositions of all time - Handel's "Messiah" - with its unforgettable "Hallelujah Chorus." For many, it's a special part of their Christmas season. When George Friedrich Handel wrote that "Hallelujah Chorus," it was hardly a hallelujah time in his life. He was broke, indigent, and almost despondent. Then an acquaintance contacted him about writing an oratorio for a benefit concert to raise money to help some people get out of debtors' prison. In those days, if you couldn't pay your debts, you got thrown into prison. Maybe you're especially glad they don't still do that today! Well, in less than a month, Handel composed that masterpiece that would end up inspiring millions for centuries to come. Its first performance was life changing for him and for many people. Because of that night of "Hallelujah Chorus" for the "Messiah," 142 prisoners went free!