George Frideric Handel is considered to be England's first and foremost composer of oratorios. Messiah is regarded as the epitome of this genre of sacred music and it is also one of the most performed works in German speaking countries. Yet, during his lifetime it never had a definitive form, since Handel undertook various alterations in the work, depending upon the ever-changing performance conditions and soloists. The present vocal score contains all alternative versions of the solo movements. It also includes a concordance which makes it possible to assign these movements to the various performances which took place under Handel's direction between the Dublin premiere in 1742 and the London concerts through 1754.