Handel was a German composer. Born in 1685 and died 1756 at the age of 71.
He wrote lots of music including oratorios, operas, choral music and orchestral pieces.
Messiah is a famous oratorio.
Written in 1741 it only took him 3 weeks to compose. It was popular with audiences because it had such uplifting choruses. Also, it was popular with other composers - Mozart arranged his own version of it.
Orignally composed for Easter but now if usually sung at Christmas.
The libretto (words) were put together by Charles Jennens who took them from the Old and New Testaments. Most of the words are from the King James Bible.
It was written for a SATB (soprano, alto, tenor, bass) choir, SATB soloists and a full Baroque orchestra. Handel wrote parts for oboes, bassoons, trumpets, timpani, strings and basso continuo - often a harpsichord. Mozart later arranged parts for flutes, clarinets, French horns, trombones and…