A review of Handel’s Messiah

December 9, 2010

John Newton called hearing the Messiah "one of the highest and noblest gratifications of which we are capable." Combining history, biography, music theory and theology, retired music professor Stapert gives a comprehensive account of the origins and legacy of Handel's masterpiece. He outlines the story of how a German opera composer came to write an oratorio in Protestant England and how it was received during and after his life. Aiming to educate the Messiah's admirers and inspire its novitiates, most of the book is given to a scene-by-scene examination of the oratorio, showing how skillfully the composition mirrors the scriptural text.