‘The Messiah’ by Handel (1741) – from the Book of Isaiah

RECITATIVE. (Accompanied – Tenor) Comfort ye, comfort ye My people, saith your God; speak ye comfortably to Jerusalem; and cry unto her, that her warfare is accomplished, that her iniquity is pardoned. The voice of him that crieth in the wilderness:-Prepare ye the way of the Lord: make straight in the desert a
highway for our God.

AIR (Tenor)
Every valley shall be exalted, and every mountain and hill made low, the crooked straight and the rough places plain.

CHORUS And the glory of the Lord shall be revealed, and all flesh shall see it together;for the mouth of the Lord hath spoken it.

RECITATIVE. (Accompanied – Bass)
Thus saith the Lord of Hosts:-Yet once a little while and I will shake the heavens and the earth, the sea and the dry land; and
I will shake all nations; and the desire of all nations shall come. The Lord, whom ye seek, shall suddenly come to His temple, even the messenger of the covenant, whom ye delight in: behold, He shall come, saith the Lord of Hosts.

AIR (Bass) But who may abide the day of His coming? and who shall stand when He
appeareth? For He is like a refiner’s fire.

CHORUS
And He shall purify the sons of Levi, that they may offer unto the Lord an offering in righteousness.

RECITATIVE. (Alto)
Behold, a virgin shall conceive and bear a Son, and shall call his name Emmanuel, God with us.

AIR (Alto)
and CHORUS O thou that tellest good tidings to Zion, get thee up into the high mountain: O thou that tellest good tidings to Jerusalem, lift up thy voice with strength; lift it up, be not afraid; say unto the cities of Judah, Behold you God! Arise, shine, for thy light is come, and the glory of the Lord is risen upon thee.

RECITATIVE. (Accompanied – Bass)
For Behold, darkness shall cover the earth, and gross darkness the people; but the Lord shall rise upon thee, and His glory
shall be seen upon thee, and the Gentiles shall come to thy light, and kings to
the brightness of thy rising.

AIR (Bass) The people that walked in darkness have seen a great light; and they
that dwell in the land of the shadow of death, upon them hath the light shined.

CHORUS
For unto us a Child is born, unto us a Son is given, and the government shall be upon His shoulder; and His name shall be called Wonderful, Counsellor, The Mighty God, The Everlasting Father, The Prince of Peace.

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