IT took George Frideric Handel 24 days to compose Messiah.
It took Huddersfield Choral Society a little less last night to convice me of its worth as a musical masterpice.
The public performance of the most performed and best-loved piece in the choral repertoire was a brilliant triumph - at least to my relatively untrained ears.
Handel must have anguished long and hard in those three and a bit weeks back in 1741 as he constructed the magnificent oratorio, which had its premiere in Dublin.
Since then it has become a favourite with choral groups around the world, but perhaps none more so than with Huddersfield Choral Society.
The society, formed in 1836 as a group of some 70 singers and instrumentalists, is now among the world's best and Messiah is one of the reasons.
If the Huddersfield Choral are the Manchester United of the musical world, then Messiah is the Champions League final against Real Madrid.
The magnificent splendour of Huddersfield Town Hall's concert hall had never looked better; packed to the rafters with choral afficiandos from across the country.
The 1,500 people with tickets last night had entered a ballot through The Examiner, and the concert could have been sold ouit many times over.
They sued to sleep outside the Town Hall for the chance to buy a ticket; times have moved on but the quiet appreciation of a fine musical masterpiece remains the same.
Huddersfield can be rightly proud of its Choral Society on a night like this; nothing short of stunning.
The performance - repeated tonight to a sell-out subscribers audience - more than justifies the praise heaped upon it.
I am something of a peasant when it comes to choral or classical music.
My musical tastses are a little eclectic. Hours of violin practice under Mr Gill at Dalton Junior School landed me a place alongside Lorraine Williams, a fellow Dalton pupil, in Huddersfield Youth Orchestra. I remember with pride the performances of the Pomp and Circumstance March in various school and public halls.
But then came the 70s and pop music, and I switched on to Bowie, to Slade and to Rod Stewart. Later tastes mellowed to the likes of U2 and REM and I'm afraid choral and orchestral recitals remained a mystery.
More than 40 years in Huddersfield without hearing a rendition of Messiah by the town's top outfit had to be put right. Conductor Martyn Brabbins, the Northern Sinfonia, the solosists and the 220-strong Choral took to the stage and did just that.
From the opening wall of sound from the Christmas hymn, Christians Awake, to the crescendo of the Amen chorus, it was an experience.
The Hallelujah Chorus, ending Part 2, was breathtaking; the chorus of The Lord Gave The Word a stunning remidner of just how good these people are.
The Choral have already pencilled in performances of messiah in the Town Hall up to 2009. Make sure you see one of them.