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Today in Music History
A Daily Look at Music History For Violin Students
A Look at What Happened on Today's Date
Long, Long Ago . . . Or Maybe Just Last Year
April 13
Did You Guess?
Stories vary as to whether the King was so enraptured by the music that he stood in tribute, or he had fallen asleep and was startled.  Either way, the King stood, and the tradition of standing during the Hallelujah Chorus still is practiced today.
Can You Guess?
At the London premiere of Messiah, an interesting custom was started by the King.  Can You Guess what the King did that people still do today when they hear the Hallelujah Chorus?  Now, please excuse me for a moment while I stretch my legs.

Look at the bottom of the page for the answe
     What Else

1816 - Sir William Sterndale Bennett, English composer and conductor was born.  Bennett founded the Bach Society.

1919 - Broadway musical star Howard Keel (Annie Get Your Gun, Kiss Me Kate,  Showboat, Seven Brides for Seven Brothers) was born in Gillespie, Illinois.

1958 - Texas-born pianist Van Cliburn was the first American to win the Tchaikowsky competition in Moscow.

2003 - Premiere of Michael Tilson Thomas's Island Music Chamber ensemble of members of the New World Symphony, in Miami, FL.

2003 - Premiere  of Joan Tower's Percussian Quintet. New England Conservatory Percussian Ensemble, Boston, MA.
You are listening to a Midi version of the chorus Glory to God from Georg Friedrich Handel's oratorio Messiah.  The Text for the chorus is "Glory to God in the highest, and peace on earth, goodwill towards men" (Luke 2:13-14).

The first performance of Handel's Grand Oratorio,
Messiah occurred on April 13, 1742, in Dublin.
Georg Friederich Handel
Click Here to Go to a free PDF Copy of the Piano Score of Messiah
Click Here to Go to a Site Containing Midi Files and Scriptures for Messiah.
Audiences for Handelís compositions were extremely unpredictable.  The Church of England attacked him for writing biblical dramas to be performed in secular theaters.  Even when Handel experienced a commercial success, the competition in London's music scene was fierce.  Handel worked doggedly, despite experiencing health problems. 

By 1741 Handel was deep in debt.  On April 8 he gave what he believed to be his farewell concert, and it seemed certain that he would wind up in debtor's prison.

Then two unforeseen events befell him.  Charles Jennens, a wealthy friend, gave Handel a libretto based on the life of Christ.  The text was entirely taken from Scripture.  Jennens had placed the Scriptures so that the story of Christ was told without need for commentary.  The libretto was divided into three major parts.

  Old Testament Promises of The Coming Messiah
  The Birth of Messiah
  Messiah's Invitation To The People

  Sacrificial Mission Of The Messiah
  Rejection of Messiah By The Jews
  Crucifixion Of The Messiah
  Resurrection Of The Messiah
  Ascension Of Messiah To Glory
  Proclamation Of The Gospel By The Disciples
  Disciplining Of The Nations At The Second Advent of

  The Hope of The Redeemed
  The Confidence Of The Redeemed
  Final Triumph Of Messiah

Second, Handel received a commission from a charity (the Society for Relieving Prisoners, the Charitable Infirmary and Mercer's Hospital) to be composed for a benefit performance.

August 22, 1841 Handel set to work on the piece.  Handel usually worked quickly, but he became completely absorbed in this.  It is said that he rarely left his room, hardly stopping to eat.  He finished the first part in 6 days.  By the close of day 15 part two was complete.  At the end of the 24th day the work was done.  Six more days saw the completion of part three.  By September 15, orchestration had been completed.  The 260 page work had been completed in just 24 days.  The piece was simply titled, Messiah.

Messiah premiered on April 13, 1742 in Dublin, in the Fishamble Street Musick Hall. as a charitable benefit.
The choir consisted of 26 boys and 5 male soloists with Handel himself accompanying on the organ.  It raised 400 pounds and freed 142 men from debtorís prison.  A critic stated that it was "...the best judges allowed it to be the most finished piece of music," wrote the Dublin Gazette. "Words are wanting to express the exquisite delight it afforded..."
Howard Keel  Kiss Me Kate
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Howard Keel  Annie Get Your Gun
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Howard Keel  Seven Brides for Seven Brothers
Broadway's Best (Violin) - sheet music at www.sheetmusicplus.com
Broadway's Best (Violin)
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Cole Porter: Kiss Me, Kate - sheet music at www.sheetmusicplus.com
Cole Porter: Kiss Me, Kat...
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