The Front Blog

Conversations from the Four Rivers Region

Datebook: September 14 – Handel completes Messiah 270 years ago

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George Frideric Handel was a German-British Baroque composer, famous for his operas, oratorios, and concertos and is largely regarded as one of the greatest composers of all time. One of his best-known works is his English-language oratorio Messiah, which he finished on September 14, 1741. He wrote the music in an amazingly swift 24 days, having recieved most of the texts in advance from writer Charles Jennens (from the King James Bible and the Book of Common Prayer). At the end of his manuscript Handel wrote “SDG”— Soli Deo Gloria, “To God alone the glory”. This inscription, taken with the speed of composition, has encouraged belief in the apocryphal story that Handel wrote the music in a fervour of divine inspiration. Messiah was first performed in Dublin on April 13, 1742, and received its London premiere a year later. After an initially modest public reception the oratorio gained in popularity, eventually becoming one of the best-known and most frequently performed choral works in Western music.

It’s Wednesday, September 14

The exhibition “We 3 – New Works,” opens tomorrow at Tribeca Gallery, 127 South Second Street in Paducah with a reception from 5:30 to 7:30 p.m.. See paintings by Wil MacKay of Stornoway House Gallery, William F. Renzulli of Gallery 5, and Keyth Kahrs of Leaping Trout Studio – all LowerTown artists.

The 37th Annual Midway Fall Festival is Saturday and Sunday. The Festival includes antique locomotives, arts and craft exhibitors, live music and entertainments, food vendors, attractions for kids and more. See Midway is between Frankfort and Lexington.

A Chili Cook Off celebrates Freedom Friday of Christian County Salutes Fort Campbell Week. Teams start cooking at 1 p.m. Friday and booths must be decorated with a patriotic theme. Public sampling begins at 4 p.m. There’s a $50 entry fee. Contact the Hopkinsville Chamber of Commerce to see the rules and register teams.

The audience is going to have fun November 5 when A Prairie Home Companion broadcasts from Murray State. See how to be there at


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