Handel’s MESSIAH by Gretchen Simmons Brown

$25.00

This book is designed as a manual to MESSIAH, following the masterwork chapter-by-chapter in an easy-to-understand manner. It is written for a new generation of music students, chorus singers, choir directors, organists, instrumentalists, ministers, conductors, or passionate concert listeners. This manual will: (1) Explain the scriptural text in its historic setting (2) Reveal how Handel was inspired to put Scripture to music (3) Offer some friendly tips on interpretation and performance (4) Explore a musical analysis of each movement (5) Provide background on particular solo arias or choruses (6) Surprise you with facts about the man behind the music

ISBN 978-1-886068-43-8

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This book is designed as a manual to MESSIAH, following the masterwork chapter-by-chapter in an easy-to-understand manner. It is written for a new generation of music students, chorus singers, choir directors, organists, instrumentalists, ministers, conductors, or passionate concert listeners. This manual will: (1) Explain the scriptural text in its historic setting (2) Reveal how Handel was inspired to put Scripture to music (3) Offer some friendly tips on interpretation and performance (4) Explore a musical analysis of each movement (5) Provide background on particular solo arias or choruses (6) Surprise you with facts about the man behind the music.

ISBN 978-1-886068-43-8

In every major city and in many small towns around the world, MESSIAH is conducted and sung by hundreds of people, around Christmas or Easter. Handel himself could never have imagined the thousands of choirs performing his music today, or even that there would be “MESSIAH Sing-Ins.” MESSIAH has been heard by the largest audiences and the greatest number of people than any other sacred music ever composed. From the moment he started working on MESSIAH, Handel was under an uninterrupted spell or trance. He spent 24 grueling days composing, and finally, after the last monumental Amen had been written, he said, “I think God has visited me.” So you’ve got tickets to hear Handel’s MESSIAH. Or, better yet, you’re singing in the choir. Hallelujah!

The Word of God and the gospel of Jesus Christ are elegantly and powerfully portrayed in Handel’s Messiah; don’t miss this annual tradition. Whether you’re among those who sing a gusty Hallelujah! in the choir, who applaud with the audience at a live performance, or who enjoy the music on CD at home, get into the holiday spirit with Handel’s epic masterpiece. This Christmas or Easter, enhance the memories by presenting the music-lovers in your life with a gift they will cherish: Gretchen Simmons Brown’s book: Handel’s MESSIAH: A Musical, Historical & Theological Study.

THE AUTHOR: Mezzo-soprano Gretchen Brown is a freelance writer, teacher, singer, and lecturer. She is also a private vocal coach and piano teacher, having prepared almost one thousand students for performance. She holds a music education degree from Westminster Choir College of Rider University in Princeton, New Jersey, and masters of theological studies from Episcopal Theological Seminary of Virginia. While at Westminster, she sang under the batons of Leonard Bernstein, Eugene Ormandy, Herbert von Karajan, and Sir Colin Davis at New York’s Lincoln Center for the Performing Arts and Carnegie Hall. She has taught countless Bible studies and directed many Broadway musicals, chorus performances, recitals, and endless Christmas pageants! Gretchen and her husband, The Rev. Rod Brown, have served in churches in Virginia, Maryland, and Delaware since 1976 and enjoy beach life in Rehoboth, Delaware.

WHAT OTHERS ARE SAYING:

Gretchen, dear Gretchen, Just hours ago, coming to our home for tea, Sue Schulze brought to us your indescribably wonderful gift, your masterpiece about a masterpiece, and what a joy it is to have it; Gretchen, what can I say–words limit, rather than enable, expression in this case–to congratulate you adequately on such an achievement! Of course, I have often and recently wondered about your progress toward this passionately pursued goal you made known to me years ago, and you cannot imagine my joy when Sue, telling me a day or two ago only that she was bringing something to us “from Rod and Gretchen,” today handed me the envelope, my still being ignorant of its content, and I see this wonderfully produced volume, which will be forever cherished in my library. How proud I am of YOU, Gretchen, for this fulfillment of your dream and to have, by your own hand, this work . . . I’m overwhelmed! I have (no surprise) just spent a few hours at selected parts of it . . . this may well be the inducement Jane and I need to somehow get a piano back into our home, our lives . . . my mind goes to ways I might use the volume in giving to others, yes, that will be done with phone orders to Fruitbearer, Santa’s helper this year I’m sure. Gretchen, the mix of the music itself, the history–secular and spiritual, the biography, the theology is marvelously presented. What an achievement! Well, can’t go on in this struggle to thank you adequately for this kindness. I’ll close, just as you did, just as Handel did: S.D.G.

Your admiring friend, Bob Hill

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Brown, Simmons

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