All We Like Sheep Analysis
The Passion of Jesus Christ is such a compelling truth that has drawn many of the great composers of history to attempt doing it justice through music. George Fredric Handel, from England, is recognised as a great composer of the Baroque era (1600-1750). He composed the magnificent oratorio the “Messiah”. This took him 260 manuscripts and just 24 days to complete and it became a legendary piece in the history of music. An oratorio is basically a large musical composition including an orchestra, a choir, and soloists. It is similar to an opera although operas tend to be about secular issues whereas oratorios deal with sacred topics making it appropriate for performances in the church. Oratorios are also not dramatized, and there is very little or no dialogue to join the music the way operas do.
George Fredric Handel was a master of Italian-style operas and he also wrote beautiful scores for instruments only. The composer’s inspiration often came from the sounds he could produce at the organ keyboard. He was also motivated by the words that were written to tell a story in an opera or oratorio. He wrote his music to fit the images that those words produced in his mind.
The Messiah (1742) is about Jesus Christ’s nativity, passion, resurrection and ascension. It is considered by many to be the greatest oratorio ever written. The complete work contains 50 sections and requires two and a half hours to perform. Handel’s composition is structured in three section. In the first, Handel composed about the Redeemer’s coming. After it is announced, there is descriptions of the events of the nativity. Part one ends with the chorus singing “His yoke is easy, His burden is light”. Part two describes the Passion, death and resurrection of Jesus. It concludes with the well known Hallelujah Chorus. In part three, the spiritual messages represented by Christ’s teachings are set forth for the instruction and benefit of all. It opens with the...
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