Handel's Messiah

HANDEL’S MESSIAH and THE TABERNACLE CHOIR  

Messiah is one of the best known, most beloved, and most frequently performed choral works in all of Western music. The oratorio, composed by George Frideric Handel in 1742 in just 24 days with a scriptural text compiled by Charles Jennens, recounts the story of Christ’s life in three sections from His birth to His death and eventual Resurrection.

The Tabernacle Choir has a long history with Handel’s Messiah

  • The first Messiah oratorio performance with the Choir and local community members took place in Salt Lake City in 1875—just a few years after the railroad connected the country.

  • In 1893, “Worthy Is the Lamb” from Messiah was the first of three numbers sung by the Choir in the World’s Fair music competition in Chicago, Illinois—the Choir’s first tour outside the state of Utah.

  • In 1910, the first recording session of the Choir included the “Hallelujah” Chorus from Messiah—a “milestone in the history of recorded music” because it was the first successful acoustic recording of a large choral group.

  • The Choir’s 1959 recording of Messiah with Richard Condie and Eugene Ormandy and the Philadelphia Orchestra earned a gold record and was later placed in the National Recording Registry by the Library of Congress for its significance.

In March 2016, The Tabernacle Choir and Orchestra at Temple Square released a landmark recording of Handel’s beloved oratorio in an edition by Mack Wilberg for large choir and orchestra which still retains the Baroque aesthetics and sound of Handel’s original masterpiece. Relying on history and musical tradition, Wilberg created a Messiah for our own time. These 2016 Tabernacle Choir Messiah Recordings were #1 and #2 on Billboard® Magazine’s Classical charts when they were released.

MESSIAH PERFORMANCE BY THE CHOIR AND ORCHESTRA

As a gift for music lovers and Christians everywhere, The Tabernacle Choir and Orchestra at Temple Square performed George Frideric Handel’s Messiah with renowned guest soloists Amanda Woodbury, Tamara Mumford, Tyler Nelson, and Tyler Simpson in a special performance of Messiah, recorded and streamed throughout the world at Easter in 2018. Streamed again in 2020, this performance has been archived for on-demand viewing to enable individuals and families worldwide to draw closer to Jesus Christ in their homes at any time through the music and text of Messiah.

HOW TO ENRICH YOUR MESSIAH VIEWING EXPERIENCE

Here are additional resources to help enrich your on-demand viewing of the Choir and Orchestra’s Messiah performance:

OTHER RESOURCES ABOUT HANDEL’S MESSIAH

The Tabernacle Choir website (tabchoir.org/messiah) contains many rich background information sources about Handel, the writing of Messiah, talks about Messiah by leaders of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, and more. These resources can be used for lessons with families prior to or after listening to the stream at home. Some of these resources are also available in French, German, Portuguese, and Spanish.

Videos – English only

Articles available in English, French, German, Portuguese, and Spanish

Articles – English only