Messiah

Sacred oratorio
George Frideric Handel, 1741
HWV 56

Part I

1.
Symphony
(no title)
ob · str · bc
ob · str · bc

Scene 1: Isaiah’s Prophecy of Salvation

2.
Accompagnato
Comfort ye my people
T · str · bc
T · 
str · bc
3.
Air
Ev’ry valley shall be exalted
T · str · bsn · bc
T · 
str · bsn · bc
4.
Chorus
And the glory of the Lord
SATB · 2 ob · str · bc
SATB · 
ob · str · bc

Scene 2: The Coming Judgment

5.
Accompagnato
Thus saith the Lord of hosts
B · str · bc
B · 
str · bc
6.
Air
But who may abide the day of His coming
A · str · bsn · bc
A · 
str · bsn · bc
7.
Chorus
And he shall purify the sons of Levi
SATB · 2 ob · str · bc
SATB · 
ob · str · bc

Scene 3: The Prophecy of Christ’s Birth

Recitative
A · 
bc
8.
Air + Chorus
O thou that tellest good tidings to Zion
SAATB · 2 ob · 2 vln · bsn · bc
SAATB · 
ob · 2 vln · bsn · bc
9.
Accompagnato
B · 
str · bc
10.
Air
B · 
str · bc
11.
Chorus
For unto us a child is born
SATB · 2 ob · str · bc
SATB · 
ob · str · bc
12.
Instrumental
(no title)
str · bc
str · bc

Scene 4: The Annunciation to the Shepherds

Recitative
S · 
bc
13.
Accompagnato
S · 
str · bc
Recitative
S · 
bc
14.
Accompagnato
S · 
str · bc
15.
Chorus
Glory to God in the highest
SATB · 2 ob · 2 tr · str · bc
SATB · 
ob · 2 tr · str · bc

Scene 5: Christ’s Healing and Redemption

16.
Air
Rejoice greatly, O daughter of Zion
S · 2 vln · bsn · bc
S · 
vln · bsn · bc
Recitative
A · 
bc
17.
Duet
He shall feed his flock like a shepherd
SA · str · bsn · bc
SA · 
str · bsn · bc
18.
Chorus
His yoke is easy
SATB · 2 ob · str · bc
SATB · 
ob · str · bc

Part II

Scene 1: Christ’s Passion

19.
Chorus
Behold the Lamb of God
SATB · 2 ob · str · bc
SATB · 
ob · str · bc
20.
Air
He was despised and rejected of men
A · str · bsn · bc
A · 
str · bsn · bc
21.
Chorus
SATB · 
ob · str · bc
22.
Chorus
And with his stripes we are healed
SATB · 2 ob · str · bc
SATB · 
ob · str · bc
23.
Chorus
All we like sheep have gone astray
SATB · 2 ob · str · bc
SATB · 
ob · str · bc
24.
Accompagnato
T · 
str · bc
25.
Chorus
He trusted in God that he would deliver him
SATB · 2 ob · str · bsn · bc
SATB · 
ob · str · bsn · bc
26.
Accompagnato
T · 
str · bc
27.
Arioso
T · 
str · bc

Scene 2: Christ’s Death and Resurrection

28.
Accompagnato
He was cut off
T · str · bc
T · 
str · bc
29.
Air
But thou didst not leave his soul in hell
T · 2 vln · bsn · bc
T · 
vln · bsn · bc

Scene 3: Christ’s Ascension

30.
Chorus
Lift up your heads, O ye gates
SSATB · 2 ob · str · bc
SSATB · 
ob · str · bc

Scene 4: Christ’s Reception in Heaven

Recitative
T · 
bc
31.
Chorus
Let all the angels of God worship Him
SATB · 2 ob · str · bc
SATB · 
ob · str · bc

Scene 5: The Beginnings of Gospel Preaching

32.
Air
Thou art gone up on high
A · 2 vln · bc
A · 
vln · bc
33.
Chorus
The Lord gave the word
SATB · 2 ob · str · bc
SATB · 
ob · str · bc
34.
Duet + Chorus
How beautiful are the feet
SAAATB · 2 ob · str · bc
SAAATB · 
ob · str · bc
35.
Arioso
T · 
bc
34a.
Air
How beautiful are the feet
S · 2 vln · bc
S · 
vln · bc
35a.
Chorus
Their sound is gone out
SATB · 2 ob · str · bc
SATB · 
ob · str · bc

Scene 6: The World’s Rejection of the Gospel

36.
Air
B · 
str · bc
37.
Chorus
Let us break their bonds asunder
SATB · 2 ob · str · bc
SATB · 
ob · str · bc
Recitative
T · 
bc

Scene 7: God’s Ultimate Victory

38.
Air
T · 
vln · bc
39.
Chorus
Hallelujah
SATB · 2 ob · 2 tr · timp · str · bc
SATB · 
ob · 2 tr · timp · str · bc

Part III

Scene 1: The Promise of Eternal Life

40.
Air
I know that my Redeemer liveth
S · 2 vln · bsn · bc
S · 
vln · bsn · bc
41.
Chorus
Since by man came death
SATB · 2 ob · str · bc
SATB · 
ob · str · bc

Scene 2: The Day of Judgment

42.
Accompagnato
Behold, I tell you a mystery
B · str · bc
B · 
str · bc
43.
Air
The trumpet shall sound
B · tr · str · bc
B · 
tr · str · bc

Scene 3: The Final Conquest of Sin

Recitative
A · 
bc
44.
Duet
AT · 
bc
45.
Chorus
But thanks be to God
SATB · 2 ob · str · bc
SATB · 
ob · str · bc
46.
Air
If God be for us, who can be against us
S · 2 vln · bsn · bc
S · 
vln · bsn · bc

Scene 4: The Acclamation of the Messiah

47.
Chorus
Worthy is the Lamb
SATB · 2 ob · 2 tr · timp · str · bc
SATB · 
ob · 2 tr · timp · str · bc

Appendix

Part I

Scene 2: The Coming Judgment

6a.
Air
B · 
str · bc
6a.
Recitative
B · 
bc

Scene 4: The Annunciation to the Shepherds

13a.
Arioso
S · 
bc

Scene 5: Christ’s Healing and Redemption

16a.
Air
Rejoice greatly, O daughter of Zion
S · 2 vln · bsn · bc
S · 
vln · bsn · bc
Recitative
S · 
bc
17a.
Air
He shall feed his flock like a shepherd
S · str · bsn · bc
S · 
str · bsn · bc

Part II

Scene 5: The Beginnings of Gospel Preaching

32a.
Air
Thou art gone up on high
B · 2 vln · bsn · bc
B · 
vln · bsn · bc
32b.
Air
Thou art gone up on high
S · 2 vln · bc
S · 
vln · bc
34b.
Air
How beautiful are the feet
A · 2 vln · bc
A · 
vln · bc

Scene 7: God’s Ultimate Victory

Recitative
T · 
bc

Instrumentation

  • Soprano solo
  • Alto solo I
  • Alto solo II
  • Tenore solo
  • Basso solo
  • Soprano I chorus
  • Soprano II chorus
  • Alto chorus
  • Tenore chorus
  • Basso chorus
  • Oboe I
  • Oboe II
  • Fagotto I
  • Fagotto II
  • Tromba I
  • Tromba II
  • Violino I
  • Violino II
  • Viola
  • Violoncello
  • Violone
  • Cembalo

About the text

  • Author: Charles Jennens

Resources

Send feedback on this page