Chapter-a-Day Revelation 11

HandelThe seventh Angel trumpeted. A crescendo of voices in Heaven sang out, "The kingdom of the world is now the Kingdom of our God and his Messiah! He will rule forever and ever!" Revelation 11:15 (TM)

Of course, I read the verse and I hear the music of Handel. How long has it been since you heard the Hallelujah Chorus? Do you know the story? When he was handed the libretto for "Messiah" he was broken, discouraged and ready to give up on music.

Handel set to work composing on August 22 in his little house on Brook Street in London.  He grew absorbed in the work that he rarely left his room, hardly stopping to eat.  Within six days part one was complete.  In nine days more he had finished part two, and in another six, part three.  The orchestration was completed in another two days.  In all 260 pages of manuscript were filled in the remarkable short time of 24 days.

Sir Newman Flower, one of Handel’s many biographers, summed up the consensus of history: Consdering the immensity of the world, and the short time involved, it will remain, perhaps forever, the greatest feat in the whole history of music composition.”  Handel’s title for the commissioned work was simply Messiah.

Handel never left his house for those three weeks.  A friend who visited him as he composed found him sobbing with intense emotions.  Later, as Handel groped for words to describe what he had experienced, he quoted St. Paul, saying “whether I was in the body or out of my body when I wrote it I know not"

I’m no expert, but it wouldn’t be surprising for me to arrive in heaven and hear it being sung just as Handel transcribed it. I can’t hear it without being moved.

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Flickr photo courtesy of Char111

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