Discover Handel’s Messiah in this installment of First Nights, which will explore five masterpieces of western music.
About this course
While Italian opera set the standard in the Baroque era, German composer George Frederic Handel quickly gained popularity for his oratorios, which put operatic techniques to work in the service of sacred music. Handel’s Messiah premiered in Dublin on April 13, 1742, and remains popular to this day. Harvard’s Thomas Forrest Kelly (Morton B. Knafel Professor of Music) guides learners through Messiah’s musical highlights while detailing Handel’s composition process, the preparations and rehearsals, and the premiere performance.
Learners in this module of First Nights need not have any prior musical experience. In this unit, you will learn the basics of musical form and analysis, the genres and styles used in Messiah, the circumstances of its first performance, and its subsequent history.
Additional First Nights Modules:
- Monteverdi’s L’Orfeo and the Birth of Opera
- Handel’s Messiah and Baroque Oratorio
- Beethoven’s “Ninth Symphony”
- Berlioz’s Symphonie Fantastique and Program Music in the 19th Century
- Igor Stravinsky’s The Rite of Spring: Modernism, Ballet, and Riots
What you will learn?
- Get to know some wonderful music
- Identify genres and subgenres of 18th-century opera and oratorio
- Understand text-music relationships in the Baroque period
- Distinguish basic aspects of musical texture and musical form
- Appreciate cultural context and performance circumstances of Handel’s Messiah
Lesson_1: Handel’s Messiah: Introduction
Lesson_2: Musical Styles in Messiah
Lesson_3: Handel’s Messiah: Performance by Harvard Baroque Chamber Orchestra
Lesson_4: Handel’s Messiah: Dublin and the First Performance
Introduction to the First Nights Series (Optional)
Music Theory (Optional)
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- Harvard University
- Online Course
- 1-4 Weeks
- Free Course (Affordable Certificate)
- Culture History Musical instruments Opera