The Revelation of Jesus Christ Set To Music

Speaking to yourselves in psalms, hymns and spiritual songs...(Colossians 3:16) Making melody in your hearts to the Lord. (Ephesians 5:19)


For more than 3 weeks, George Frideric Handel stayed in his room working on a piece of music. So intent was he on his work, that he'd not left the room in all this time. As his servant brought his meals, he ate little, as he immmersed himself in reading his bible. As the faithful servant put his hand to the door of George Handel's room, yet again, and pushed it open, balancing the tray of food a strange and unexpected sight met his eyes. There was Handel, with tears streaming down his face. And looking into his servants eyes, he exclaimed:

"I did see all of heaven opened before me, and the great God himself!"


Georg Friedrich Handel was born in the Prussian town of Halle-in-Saxony, on February 23, 1685. His father was a wealthy barber, who was sufficiently skilled to be appointed barber-surgeon of the Court of Saxe-Weissenfels.

Handel who did not grow up in a particularly musical family, used his travel time, while accompanying his father to court, to teach himself music. By the age of six, he had mastered the family clavichord. Although his father recognized his sons gift of music, nevertheless wished he would become a lawyer. When Handel was 9 years old, he was invited to play the organ interlude at a royal church service.

A duke who was present that day thought his playing was so wonderful that he pressed Handel's father to allow him to take formal lessons. By age 10, the young musician had composed several sonatas for oboe and bassoon, and performed at the Prussian court in Berlin. By the age of 12, he became the assistant organist at the cathedral in Halle.

To please his father, George entered the University of Halle when he was 17, to study law, dividing his time between studying music and law.


By age 18, He was a gifted composer in the music field.

His mother was a pious woman whom Handel respected all of his life. The daughter of a Luthern minister, she encouraged him in music, and got him a harpsicord. Following his father's purpose, he pursued his music career in Germany as well as Italy. In England he obtained employment as composer for the Chapel Royal, and wrote operas. The timing for this was not good, as this form of music was falling off in England at this time. Soon crowds at the box office were dwindling. In the year 1761, Handel's career as a composer had not going well. In fact, to put it bluntly; his composing business was bankrupt.

To make things worse, he suffered a mild stroke, which had left him partially paralyzed on his left side. Handel's creditors were at his door. He was depressed. He could not sleep and he was plagued by rheumatism. If he did not come up with a musical success soon the 56-year-old composer feared he would finish out his days in a London debtor's prison.

Handel had been working on a very special sacred musical oratorio on the life of Esther, and the church which was not used to seeing God's word and sacred music utilized outside of the church in a theatre type setting, was outraged! The production involved a lot of work. Pastors preached against him, sending children to tear his concert notices down; and these conflicts caused deep grief for him, yet he did not retaliate. with lovely scenery, and colorful costumes and Handel felt deeply discouraged. Rival competors in the field of music were not always kind. Georg Handel was so discouraged at times that he felt like giving up. His dreams were shattered, and life seemed to be falling apart. Trouble was pressing in on him from all sides. It seemed that his days as a composer were Messiah! While George Handel wrote oratorio's such as Esther, his first English oratorio in 1732, followed by the biblical Deborah, in 1733, and Jeptha, his last, in 1752; Messiah is Handel's most famous oratorio. George Fridrich Handel is buried in Westminster Abbey, where on his grave stone are engraved the precious words of one of Messiah's arrangements: "I know my Redeemer liveth."Handel's Messiah

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