The magnificent interweaving of harmonies and dialogue-like Voices in Handel’s For Unto Us A Child Is Born make it a perfect addition to the festive choral repertoire.
German-born, British Baroque composer George Frideric Handel originally composed this piece in 1741, for the English-language oratorio Messiah, which eventually became one of the best-known and most frequently performed choral works in Western music. As the last song of Scene 3 of Part I of the oratorio, which addresses Isaiah's specific prophecy about the virgin birth of a Messiah, For Unto Us A Child Is Born tells the news of Christmas, the birth of a son, in Isaiah’s words as found in the Scripture (Isaiah 9:6).
The delicate, familiar theme is introduced by the Sopranos and taken up by their counter-voices, the Tenors, later the same dialog is given over to the Altos and Basses. The tutti culminates in "Wonderful", "Counselor", "The Mighty God", "The Everlasting Father" and "The Prince of Peace".
As an individual piece, this song, arranged for SATB Voices with Piano accompaniment, is perfect for Christian settings, especially during the Christmas season.