Nota Bene: Music for the Masses

From Alex Ross’s “Handel’s ‘Messiah’ on Skid Row“:

The first performance of “Messiah,” in Dublin, in 1742, was, according to a contemporary announcement, presented “for the Relief of the Prisoners in the several Gaols.” Proceeds from the première helped the Charitable Musical Society to free a hundred and forty-two people from debtors’ prison…