How Haydn came to write his masterpiece (and fun facts from Carl Grapentine):
Handel’s Messiah hasn’t seen a minute of obscurity since the day it was born—Dublin, Easter, 1742. Messiah snowballed throughout the 18th century. Singers and choruses clamored for sheet-music; some well-meaning persons made re-orchestrations (one of whom was Mozart). Haydn had to confront Messiah head on.