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Composed in London during the summer of 1741 and premiered in Dublin, Ireland in April 1742, it was repeatedly revised by Handel, reaching its most familiar version in the performance to benefit the Foundling Hospital in 1754. In 1789 Mozart orchestrated a German version of the work; his added woodwind parts, and the edition by Ebenezer Prout, were commonly heard until the mid-20th century and the rise of historically informed performance.
Today, 270 years later, this masterpiece still astounds people! Our church (Bethel Lutheran of Madison) featured it for the service today – complete with a 65 person choir and 20 piece orchestra from concertina to trumpet and all under the amazing direction of our own Gary Lewis.
There is nothing like sitting in a holy place, hearing timeless spiritual music, to touch your soul. Seriously, it was so beautiful that you were trying not to cry. (Or at least I was, LOL)
What a treat!
If they do it again next year, I will give you an advance notice so you can come, as a guest, to experience it yourself.
I wish I could describe it better — it was simply heavenly.