The Messiah

Sat 12 Dec 2009
The Messiah
St Margaret’s Swinton

The Messiah

Composed in England but first performed in 1742 in Dublin, ‘The Messiah’ has become without question both the best-known and generally best-liked oratorio in the repertoire. Though now an Advent ‘standard’ in church settings, it was in fact set for concert-hall production at Lent or Easter. In three sections, it’s part one depicts the Advent and Christmas story, part two Christ’s passion, resurrection and evangelisation, and part three the Book of Revelations.

PART ONE
“The Advent and Christmas story”

Sinfonia (Overture) Comfort ye my people
Ev’ry valley shall be exalted
And the glory of the Lord
Thus saith the Lord
But who may abide the day of his coming?
And he shall purify
Behold, a virgin shall conceive
o thou that tellest good tidings to Zion
For behold darkness shall Cover the eacth
The people that walked in darkness
For unto us a child is born
Pifa (‘Pastoral Symphony’)
There were shepherds abiding in the field
And lo, the angel of the Lord came upon them
And the angel said unto them
And suddenly there was with the angel
Glory to God
Rejoice greatly, 0 daughter of Zion
Then shall the eyes of the blind
He shall feed his flock
His yoke is easy, and his burthen is light

PART TWO
“Christ’s passion, resurrection and evangelisation”
Behold the Lamb of God He was despised
Surely he hath borne our griefs
And with his stripes we are healed
All we like sheep have gone astray
All they that see him laugh him to scorn
He trusted in God
Thy rebuke hath broken his heart
Behold, and see if there be any sorrow
He was cut off out of the land of the living
But thou didst not leave his soul in hell
Lift up your heads, 0 ye gates

INTERVAL
Free light refreshment (wine & mince pies) is offered in the interval.

Unto which of the angels said he at any time
Let all the angels of God worship him
Thou art gone up on high
The Lord gave the word
How beautiful are the feet
Their sound is gone out
Why do the nations so furiously rage together?
Let us break their bonds asunder
He that dwelleth in heavn
Thou shalt break them
Hallelujah

PART THREE
“The Book of Revelations”

I know that my redeemer liveth
Since by man came death
Behold, I tell you a mystery
The trumpet shall sound
Then shall be bought to pass
O death, where is thy sting?
But thanks be to God
If God be for us
Worthy is the lamb that was slain

The Messiah, without cuts and with all indicated repeats, is a very long work.
As is common practice, some of the items will not be performed tonight.

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