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George Frideric Handel: A Song of Hallelujah

George Frideric Handel

The Hallelujah Chorus, within the oratorio called Messiah, is an easily recognizable piece of music and is often played throughout the Christmas season. Its creator was George Frideric Handel, a famous classical music composer and recognized as one of the most famous of the Baroque period in the 1700’s, whose other popular works include Water Music and Music for the Royal Fireworks.

Throughout his life, George Frideric Handel had an evident passion and interest for all things musical. His earthly father called him to the study of law, but his heavenly Father called him to make a greater impact. There is a purpose behind music. Handel used it rightly, channeling musical sound to glorify the Lord. As a result, Handel did not consider himself merely an entertainer of the masses. He was more than that — “I should be sorry if I only entertained them. I wished to make them better.”

Although born in Germany, Handel composed most of his notable works in England. He studied law before his father’s death, but also learned composition and organ. Spending just four years in Italy, where he played the violin, organ, and harpsichord, Handel studied law at the University of Halle. The door was soon shut on his law career, as an open door gaped wide for Handel in England. The Rinaldo opera brought Handel success quickly in London, and he chose to remain there.

As Handel continued his work inn England, he wove biblical messages throughout his works. However, some of his works were not without controversy. The Church of England did not approve of Bible stories being used in such entertainment or the Word of God being presented to the public in such a way. Holding his ground, Handel studied Scripture and reassured others that God had designed music for His purpose. Handel believed he was obeying the Lord, and so it was that he wrote Messiah. By the time it was allowed to be performed in London, the king was well aware of the hype surrounding the premiere. Tradition was created when the king stood as the sounds of the Hallelujah Chorus began.

The prominent musician of choral works, oratorios, vocal compositions, and orchestral compositions delved his life into the rhythms of musical sound. The goal and purpose of his music, of all music as it is designed, is bringing glory to God. Handel used tune and song to bring about spiritual meaning and understanding. By aligning physical sounds, the great composer created a spiritual sound, pleasing to the Lord.

God created all things to work a certain way. They can be cultivated to bring humans closer to Him. It was that way with Handel in writing his music: “I did think I did see all Heaven before me, and the great God himself.” The life of George Frideric Handel was a beautiful melody. Being in line with how God has designed things to be brings Handel’s work to a wondrous harmony. Together, the work and life of Handel became a divinely dancing rhythm unto the Lord.

References:

  • http://www.christianitytoday.com/ch/131christians/musiciansartistsandwriters/handel.html
  • http://www.baroquemusic.org/bqxhandel.html
  • http://www.britannica.com/EBchecked/topic/254169/George-Frideric-Handel
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