Handel's Messiah is a treasured masterpiece of musical composition admired by Christians around the world. With overwhelming beauty it explores the birth of Jesus Christ in an expression whose voice transcends mere words. It is enriching, it is meaningful, and it is powerful.
But, as with many great accomplishments, there remains an untold story. In Handel's Messiah: Comfort for God's People, Calvin Stapert fills in the historical gap and tells us the fascinating story of how one of the world's most revered musical masterpieces came into being. Many of us know Handel's Messiah by heart, and coming to a better understanding of the man who composed it, the world in which it was penned, as well as its reception and impact from Handel's day down to our own, only deepens our appreciation of the music and the power with which it reveals the story of the Christ to us.
In addition to the historic background, Stapert devotes much his book to a scene-by-scene musical and theological commentary on the entire score, demonstrating how the music of Messiah wonderfully and beautifully intertwines with and illuminates the biblical text. In doing so, Stapert reaches down into the theological depths of the Christmas message, and opens the biblical text and our minds and spirits to utter beauty of Handel's presentation of the gospel.