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 Balthasar Denner - National Portrait Gallery | Wikimedia
The Enduring Power of Handel's 'Messiah' December 21, 2017
You know it’s Christmas when you hear Handel’s Messiah, an 18th century oratorio best known for the 'Hallelujah' chorus. What you might not know is that its words are taken from the King James Bible and the Book of Common Prayer, covering the entire story arc of Jesus as the Christian savior – from the prophecy that he would be “be born of a virgin”, to his cruxification and ascension into heaven.

Ellen Harris, a professor of music Emeritus at MIT and author of George Frideric Handel: A Life with Friends

The final bars of the "Hallelujah" chorus, from Handel's manuscript.