Angel Anecdotes Series #3–
Did George Fredric Handel have “help” writing one of the greatest pieces of music of all time? As a man in his mid-50’s Handel appeared to be well past his prime. A few years earlier he had suffered what was possibly a stroke, paralyzing his right hand. His ability to play a keyboard or conduct musicians had been severely impaired. He complained of blurry vision. He was a man in debt, discouraged, and depressed.
By 1741 he had fallen out of public favor. He had a single commission–to write a composition to benefit debtors in a Dublin prison. (A fate he himself had barely eluded). Handel found inspiration in a libretto received from a devout Anglican named Charles Jennens. Comprised almost entirely of King James Biblical Scripture, Jennens sought to highlight God’s interaction with mankind. Handel divided the work into three sections (1)–Old Testament prophecies (2)…
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