Musical Journey: Germany
The Places - the monastery at Ottobeuren was founded in 764 and included buildings from the succeeding centuries, subsequently destroyed by fire. The present buildings date from the beginning of the 18th century, with the church rebuilt under the architect Johann Michael Fischer. It remains a remarkable monument to it's period, and the ornate Abbey Church, with it's frescoes and elaborate rococo decoration is bewildering in it's splendor. The Music - Music accompanying the visit to Ottobeuren consists of choruses from Handel's oratorio Messiah, written in 1741. Of all English oratorios Handel's Messiah has always been the most overwhelmingly popular. It is the least theatrical of all his oratorios and the most purely sacred in it's choice of subject, the Messiah, a compendious version of the coming of Christ, His death and resurrection. The text, by Charles Jennens, drew extensively on the Authorized Version of the Bible, and an additional attraction has always been the large number of choruses included, a larger number than in any other of Handel's oratorios.