History of Christmas Music: More than just Carols?

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England

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Fines in the Agreement of 1647

Ireland

No musical work is more closely associated with the Christmas season than “Messiah” by George Frederick Handel (1685–1759). It may come as something of a surprise that it had nothing to do with the Christmas season when Handel originally composed it. It was initially performed during Easter season, but since Handel’s death, this music is usually performed during the Advent season.

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Handel’s autograph
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St Patrick's Cathedral
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Neal’s Music Hall
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England

It premiered in London a year later, but it was not as well received. You can read about how it was promoted by the name “A Sacred Oratorio.” Ironically, the best performance I’ve seen of Messiah was in London several years ago by the Academy of Ancient Music at the Barbican Theatre with authentic period-instruments.

Silicon Valley Tech Exec: Cloud, Data Storage, Automation. Author of fascinating articles about history, tech trends, andpop culture. Blog: http://billpetro.com

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