George Frederick Handel’s most successful and best-known oratorio was composed in the year 1741. The music was written in 24 days from August 22nd to September 14th.
It was first performed in a concert given for charity in Dublin, Ireland on April 13, 1742, with Handel as the conductor. The Dublin Journal reviewed, “It gave universal satisfaction to all present; and was allowed by the greatest Judges to be the finest Composition of Musick that ever was heard.”
This was hardly the same reaction a year later when Messiah premiered in London. In fact, it took more than 10 years to finally reach the level of success of which we are now accustomed.
Handel’s Messiah has become a work that has been performed all over the world and has become a Fayetteville and CCA tradition. For many choirs, Messiah has become the main work that rests in the center their respective seasons, and the Cumberland Choral Arts share this sentiment.