George Frideric Handel (1685-1759): Messiah
'Messiah': autograph composition draft
British Library R.M.20.f.2., f.132v
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Messiah, written in 1741, remains Handel's best-loved composition, with its famous 'Hallelujah Chorus' performed by choirs the world over. The first performance in Dublin in 1742 was a triumph, but it was not so favourably received in London, until a performance at Thomas Coram's Foundling Hospital in Bloomsbury. Handel was born in Germany, but settled in London in 1712. Messiah established his popularity at a time when he was considering leaving England because of his lack of operatic success. The manuscript is written entirely in the composer's hand.