Moved right into the Christmas season last night! I went to the Cathedral of St. John the Baptist to hear George Frideric Handel’s oratorio masterpiece Messiah for the 5th time in my life. It was a sold out performance with 60 singers and 24 musicians from the Charleston Symphony and Chamber Chorus. Of course, the highlight of the evening was the Hallelujah chorus which is regarded by most of the world as the greatest choral piece of music ever written. The 4-part harmonies and powerful movements are incredible, especially the resounding climax when the entire ensemble stops on a dime and is silent for three seconds and then the final word Hal-le-lu-jah is slowly sung. Even though you know it’s coming, it still is a goose-bump experience! What is beyond comprehension is that Handel composed the complete musical 259 page score for voices and instruments in 24 days. It was first performed in Dublin on April 13, 1742.