HANDEL'S MESSIAH will forever have a place in the hearts and minds of Irish classical music enthusiasts as the work was premiered in Ireland, being performed as a charity fundraiser in Fishamble Street Hall, Dublin, in April 1742.
To mark the 275th anniversary of this work, Music for Galway will present Messiah in the Galway Cathedral on Saturday December 9 at 7.30pm, featuring an outstanding line-up of mezzo-soprano Sharon Carty, soprano Sarah Power, tenor Peter Harris, bass Brian McAlea, the Irish Baroque Orchestra, and the Resurgam Choir, directed by Peter Whelan.
The work was written in 24 days. The libretto was composed by English landowner and patron of the arts Charles Jennens. Handel received the text in July 1741 and began work on it on August 22. Part I was completed in outline by August 28, Part II by September 6, and Part III by September 12, followed by two days of "filling up" to produce the finished work on September 14. At the end of the manuscript Handel wrote the letters "SDG" - Soli Deo Gloria (To God alone the glory ). This inscription, taken with the speed of composition, has encouraged belief in the apocryphal story that Handel wrote the music in a fervour of divine inspiration in which, as he wrote the "Hallelujah" chorus, "he saw all heaven before him".
Tickets are available from Music For Galway (www.musicforgalway.ie, 091 - 705962 ) or from O’Maille’s Original House of Style, Shop Street.