Handel’s “Messiah” is one of the most popular choral works in European art music. An Easter tradition in most of the Latin world, it is a Christmas tradition in New York.
This is not Latin music. Handel was a German British composer, but classical music has Italian roots and during the medieval period was mostly church music in the Roman Catholic church.
Christmas is the world’s most popular Latin holiday. Though a historical figure, nobody knows when Christ was born. His birthday was chosen by an Italian pope, probably to do a takeover of the Roman solstice celebration of Saturnalia which bracketed the northern winter solstice.
Handel’s “Messiah” at the NY Phil
The New York Philharmonic conducted by Baroque specialist Fabio Biondi with the Handel and Haydn Society Chorus, performs Handel’s “Messiah;” in the Wu Tsai Theater at David Geffen Hall in Lincoln Center; on Tuesday-Saturday, December 12-16, 2023, at 7pm. From $66. 🇩🇪 🇬🇧 🇮🇹
George Frideric Handel (German, 1685 – 1759) was a German English Baroque composer. Baroque music is Italian in character. The church was a major inspiration.
Handel’s English-language choral work was written in 1741. It premiered in Dublin, Ireland in 1742.