MUSICAL JOURNEY (A) - GERMANY: A Musical Visit to the Benedictine Abbey Church at Ottobeuren

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- (Disc 1)

The Places

The Abbey of Ottobeuren was founded in 764 under the Frankish Emperor Pippin III, father of Charlemagne, and housed the relics of the Roman martyr St Alexander. In 960 Bishop Ulrich of Augsburg acquired the relics of the martyr St. Theodore for the Abbey, which remains dedicated to St. Alexander and St. Theodore. In the following years the Abbey underwent various vicissitudes, periods of prosperity and of warfare and destruction. The present buildings owe their existence to the Abbot Rupert II Ness, who in 1711 embarked on a program of restoration. The secularisation of the earlier 19th century brought its problems, but Ottobeuren finally regained its independent status in 1918, and the church, under Pope Pius XI, was
declared a Basilica Minor.

The Music

Written in 1741, Messiah is Handel's English language oratorio with text compiled by Charles Jennens from the King James Bible, and from the version of the Psalms included with the Book of Common Prayer. First performed in Dublin in 1741 but only achieved its lasting success after performances in 1750 in aid of the Foundling Hospital, established ten years earlier by Captain Thomas Coram. At his death in 1759 Handel left a fair copy of the score and all parts to the Hospital, an institution that continued to benefit from annual performances of the work.

Part 1

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