The Spiritual Architecture of Handel’s “Messiah” (Paul Krause, 12/24/23, Voegelin View)

Classical music, by contrast, especially the Baroque style to which Handel belonged, is different. On this note, Gregory Athnos, the great music professor and conductor, offers readers an introductory overview of Handel’s greatest triumph.

Unlike the pop music that Scruton derides as distraction and not having much of a purpose beyond that, Athnos writes, “At the center of the [Baroque] doctrine was the belief that composer could create a piece of music capable of producing a particular and specific involuntary emption/spiritual response in their audience.” The transcendental feeling and experience we have listening to classical music is not accidental. It is intentional. What undergirded the Baroque spirit was an understanding that the beauty, power, and passion of music expressed and communicated deeply interior and spiritual truths to its audience. And this is exactly what Handel set out to achieve with the help of Charles Jennens in composing “Messiah.”