DVD Review: Handel’s Messiah

There is perhaps no other music associated with Christmas that people know but know so little about than Handel’s Messiah.

In a documentary shown widely on PBS this holiday season BYU Television travels the world to showcase the everlasting popularity of the work and to explore the story of it’s creation. And what a story it is.

George Frederich Handel‘s prolific talents were known long before he wrote Messiah but he has endured for three centuries because of this signature work. His story is interwoven with two others who helped to bring Messiah to the forefront of holiday celebration and it is their tales of sorrow, intrigue, greed, power, lust, suicide and eventually redemption that makes the overall epic of Handel’s Messiah a story worth knowing and understanding.

Narrated by Jane Seymour this 75-minute documentary shows the world of Handel in exquisite detail, provides context from academia and religious leaders world wide, and explains the Hallelujah spoken of in nearly every language.

Like Messiah itself this documentary may not necessarily be solely Christmas related but it certainly fits within the seasonal realm of what great storytelling can and should be at Christmas time. This production belongs next to It’s a Wonderful Life and A Christmas Carol as must viewing each holiday season.

Though sure to be repeated on PBS for seasons to come fans can get the documentary on DVD as part of post-Christmas sales for just $8.

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