Enjoying Handel’s Sublime Gift

The Palladium at the Center for the Performing Arts, Indianapolis

Pastor Dan and his wife graciously treated us by inviting us to join them last night for a performance of Handel’s Messiah at the Center for the Performing Arts here in Indianapolis. It was magnificent. The Palladium is a state of the art concert venue, and the Indianapolis Symphony Orchestra and Symphonic Choir, directed by remarkable young conductor Jacob Joyce, captured the emotion and drama of the Christ story beautifully.

Take time to listen to Messiah during this holiday season, and if possible see it performed, or better yet, join a Messiah sing in your community. Ads for the concert we saw called it the greatest story ever told set to the most majestic music ever conceived. I guarantee you’ll be moved. And the great thing is, the focus is on Christ the entire time.

Perhaps you’ve had some of your own experiences with this sublime oratorio that you’d like to share today. Feel free, and enjoy this sample, which comes from the Warsaw Philharmonic Orchestra and Choir.

11 thoughts on “Enjoying Handel’s Sublime Gift

  1. CM , good to hear, I personally like the tradition and hope it does get transmitted down to the next generations.


  2. Christiane and others, My question is this about the standing , which is tradition as you state and most know, is it a tradition that is being kept viable in todays culture? I know people my age ,63, we stand and majority still do but in an event with a majority of young people, you can define you own young, is it still being done. Is the story, the tradition and the sense of awe being passed down. I am asking as I do not have the opportunity to go to a more youthful attended event. What do you guys think, thanks,


  3. My wife and I once attended a performance of “Messiah” by Musica Sacra (New York City) at Carnegie Hall. It was far more than I could absorb at the time, as a “Messiah” neophyte; but over the years my wife has patiently tutored me in the appreciation of Handel’s masterpiece. “For unto us a child is born…”


  4. it’s the standing that I love so much . . . I know the story of how that started, the king stood up and all stood, but there is something so compelling in the music that makes us want to recognize it . . . . .

    we stand up in Church when the Holy Gospel is read, as a way of honoring it’s importance . . . . it seems so natural to us to do this and I think the King must have felt moved to respond in the way he did and all stood because you did not sit when the King stood up in those times . . . . tradition, yes, but also something more . . .


  5. I’ve heard “Messiah” done (and done well) by amateurs in mostly “churchy” settings. Last year we heard it performed by the Chicago Symphony, and I came out of Symphony Center saying to my wife, “Oh my gosh, that was the closest thing to an evangelistic meeting I’ve experienced in a long while”. What a moving thing to experience this diverse audience standing without hesitation at the beginning notes of the “Hallelujah Chorus”. I found myself wanting someone to give an “altar call” at the end. Thanks for reminding me of this incredible experience.


  6. inspired, yes . . . .

    I remember how JOYFUL people were when this showed up on the web a few years back:


  7. … and Händel wrote it all – not just the Christmas portion, but the whole magilla – in three weeks.



  8. ps: I have a recording by the Atlanta Symphony conducted by Robert Shaw from the early 90s on the Telarc label that is magnificent which I can recommend without qualification


  9. I’ve commented before semi-seriously about growing up with the hymns of Fanny J Crosby, but my parents did own a box LP set of Handel’s Messiah and every Christmas season out it would come, and for a glorious time that glorious music could be appreciated. But right after, sometimes on Dec 26th, the tree would come down and Handel would be packed away for another year.

    To this day I am absolutely in love with the sound of Handel’s music. Talk about finding an oasis in a dry and dusty land! Looking back it’s clear most of my church community, rural hardcore fundamentalist, found some solace in Crosby’s work that I never could. So be it.


  10. During the Season of Advent and during Holy Week, I always listens to Handel’s Messiah. It is the great piece of putting Holy Scripture to beautiful music. I never tire from listening to this masterpiece.

    I even stand during the Hallelujah chorus if I’m not driving.


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