"He was praying, or he was weeping, or he was staring into eternity" -late summer, 1741
Ludwig Von Beethoven (1770-1827), in his own hand, copied every word and note of the Messiah, so much did he desire to absorb every detail and nuance. It is my desire that you have the matchless experience of reading the Holy Scriptures of the libretto, aloud to yourself, and then to someone else. You will enter into an intimate fellowship with Handel and Beethoven. And then, hearing, or participating in, the great performances of this saga of redemption will bring new thrills for your spirit. Beethoven was reputed to have first picked up Handel's Messiah with these words, "Here is a different fellow" and proceeded to play the most interesting looking passages. On another occasion he is said to have remarked, "Handel is the greatest composer that ever lived", and spoke of the oratorio as having "sublimity of language". The music of Messiah so permeated Beethoven's being that on his deathbed he is reputed to have quoted from The Messiah stating that if there were a physician that could help him "His name shall be called Wonderful".Handel, upon reading these Scriptures from the Old and New Testaments (compiled by a friend) (August, 1741) was overcome by their power. The music began dancing and exploding within him. He immediately shut himself in and worked night and day, often forgetting to eat. The servants could, from time to time, hear his sobs as he labored over the inspired text. He finished the original libretto and score in twenty-four days. A complete musical performance requires nearly three hours; the Scripture texts, thirty minutes. Read these as Handel did and you will experience God and eternity.
Rejoice, the time draws near, and relax put on Handel's Messiah "For Unto Us A Child is Born"