Apparently "Christmas isn???t Christmas without Auckland Choral's Messiah" which is why a group of us are off to see it tonight.?? One of my friends is in the choir.?? She's excited about the performance for a couple of reasons – 1. they've sung new music throughout the rest of the year; this is familiar so they'll be able to concentrate on performance not just getting the notes right 2. the music itself is dramatic and uplifting.??
A little bit of investigation (okay, Wikipedia) tells me that Handel was an intensely private person who was born in Germany.?? He trained in Italy and then moved to England.?? He was a renter and despite losing money in the operatic game he had enough left to leave some to his niece when he died.?? His Messiah??was banged out in just 24 days. It may have lasted this long due to the??fact that it can be adapted for different voices and instruments depending on what's available.?? Even Handel did this! (Just as well otherwise the original performance score for 26 boys and 5 men would leave my friend out in the cold.)
I studied the Messiah at school but the only bit I really remember is the Hallelujah chorus.?? Wikipedia tells me that it's tradition in many parts of the world to stand for this section.?? Good to know!