Today, we will hear 2 movements from Handel's masterpiece that was composed in only 24 days and initially exhibited a low number of compositional errors before its first performance on April 13, 1742 in Dublin. Handel stated the following on composing the oratorio with texts selected from the King James Bible by Charles Jennens: "I did think I did see all Heaven before me and the great God Himself." On composing the "Hallelujah Chorus" he exclaimed after weeping: "Whether I was in my body or out of my body as I wrote it I know not. God knows." When his assistant checked on him in his work area, Handel held up the famous chorus and proclaimed: "I have seen the face of God!" There is no doubt that The Messiah of the most performed works of any composer and interestingly enough Handel did not want the credit. At the end of his score, Handel wrote the letters "SDG" for Soli Deo Gloria, which means , "To God Alone The Glory."