December 2009 | Jonathan Shipley

Hallelujah! Handel's Messiah Manuscript Available to Leaf Through

The British Library has recently placed online the draft of Handel's masterwork. Thumb through the pages of the score and see the musical genius in action. Written in 1741, Handel completed the entire oratorio in a mere 24 days. It premiered in Dublin, Ireland on April 12, 1742 with Handel leading from the harpsichord and Matthew Dubourg conducting.

The piece evolved throughout Handel's life, and far beyond it (Mozart himself re-orchestrated it 40 years after Handel's death), and is now a staple for orchestras and choral groups during the holidays....