About the Music

About the Music
GEORGE FRIDERIC HANDEL (1685–1759) Messiah represents the quintessential classical music highpoint of the Christmas season. Handel’s inspired setting of Biblical texts is a three-part meditation on the prophecy and fulfillment of God’s plan to redeem the world through a savior.

People may come to this concert to be entertained by Handel’s Messiah.  However, over 250 years ago, Handel himself reacted to this thought when he said to a friend, “I do not wish to entertain them, sir, but to make them better.”  Messiah, with voices and orchestra, tells of the redemption of sinful mankind by Emmanuel, Jesus Christ.  The complete libretto (the words) uses only words from 79 Scripture verses from the Old and New Testaments.

Part I is filled with the joy of anticipation of that savior (epitomized in the jubilant chorus “For Unto Us a Child is Born”). Part II reflects the sorrow and agony surrounding Christ’s passion and death, and the exultation of the resurrection, captured in the stirring “Hallelujah” chorus. Part III is a hymn of thanksgiving for the final defeat of death and for life eternal.

About the Music
Through the generous donations from Christine and William Aupperle, Norma and Nat Bauer, Lynette Danzl-Tauer, Mary Ann Manzullo, Marcie McMahon, Pittman Family Fund of the Community Foundation of Northern Illinois, and friends of RCU, the Rockford Choral Union purchased a custom-built Hubbard and Broekman harpsichord.

This stunning harpsichord was built in the Flemish tradition by Hubbard Harpsichord in Massachusetts in 1983.  It features beautiful decorative accents, a hand-painted sound board, and a Latin inscription under the lid, which reads, “Ars non habet inimicum nisi ignoratum,” or “Art has no enemy but the ignorant.” The 2013 performances  were dedicated, in part, to this harpsichord in its inaugural performance with the Rockford Choral Union.

"Let every instrument be tuned for praise! Let all rejoice who have a voice to raise! And may God give us faith to sing always.  Alleluia!"
from the hymn, When In Our Music God Is Glorified text by Fred Pratt Green

Rockford Choral Union Harpsichord Photo Gallery

Dedicated to the Glory of God