Handel’s Messiah – Comfort for God’s People

by Calvin Stapert
$17.95 @ MooreBooks

So it’s Christmas season. It turns out that Christmas season is the traditional time of the year for bringing out Handel’s most famous work, his oratorio Messiah. Had I not been preaching in a sermon series on Messiah, I probably wouldn’t have gotten this book – it fell into the ‘intriguing but def. not a priority’ category. Now that I have read it, and now that I’ve actually heard a performance of Messiah, I feel that I better appreciate it. For example, because I came armed with some knowledge of the workings of Handel’s musical devices, I appreciated and enjoyed them better when they came.

The book has three parts: a history of oratorio and Messiah, an essay on the purpose of Messiah, and a commentary. It’s like a Bible commentary, only on a piece of music. It’s easy to read, and you could get away with having it with you if you decide to cheap out on the program.

Why get this? Well:
1) Christmas present for a classical music lover?
2) semi-evangelistic gift for a classical music lover?
3) Make you sound like less of a n00b about 1 classic oratorio
4) Make you want to enjoy hearing the gospel in music
5) You’re doing a sermon in a series on Messiah

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