Wednesday, June 20, 2012

John Mathews Copy of Handel's Messiah 1798

My friend Michael, who just returned from a wonderful trip to Ireland, took this picture of John Matthew's copy of Handel's Messiah, at St. Patrick's Cathedral in Dublin. A beautiful work of art, certainly inspired by God.

This copy of the "Hallelujah Chorus" from Handel's Messiah is one of several pieces in manuscript copied for the Cathedral by John Mathews, a professional singer who lived in Dublin between 1776 and 1799. Mathews was a prolific copyist and examples of his hand can be found in many cathedrals and libraries throughout England and Ireland.

He was notorious for improving the music he copied but the "Hallelujah Chorus" escaped his elaborate embellishments. The Messiah has been cherished by Dublin audiences since its first performance here on 13 April 1742.

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