Because most philosophies that frown on reproduction don't survive.

Monday, April 02, 2007

Fun with Handel

Having volunteered to help swell the ranks of the overworked choir for Easter, I suddenly find that I have one week to learn the alto line of the Hallelujah Chorus. I take it that everyone else has had a bit more time to learn, but as a latecomer I get two full practices (one of which was last night -- sightreading Handel's polyphony is very tricky, let me say) and a score to take home. I'm relying on the piano and the choir on my "Selections from Handel's Messiah" cd to get me up to speed fast.

The Hallelujah Chorus is one of those cultural chestnuts -- everyone knows the basic melody because it crops up in movies, commercials, and in the mall blaring at grumpy holiday shoppers. It's a shame that's it's become so ubiquitous as to be dismissable. Handel's intricate vocal weaving is sheer harmonic genius, and the wonder of it is that his music still sounds marvelous when sung by an amateur choir in rehearsals.

It will sound even better when I can nail that funky bit coming in right after the sopranos sing, "For the Lord God omnipotent".

7 comments:

barbfromcincy said...

That is a challenge...but one I'm sure you're up to...it's in your blood...hehe..
A blessed Holy Week to all of you...

Kiwi Nomad 2006 said...

Most of that alto chorus is very predictable and almost boring on its own.... it's the tricky bits that are tricky ;-) So I guess the trick will be to find the tricky bits before the week is out! Have fun!

knit_tgz said...

Alto here too! I have never sang the Haendel's Halleluia, but I wish someday I'll sing it. Easter is such a strong time to sing :) Good luck learning!

mrsdarwin said...

Thanks, Kiwi and Knit.

I guess I've been practicing enough, because the girls are playing in the back yard and singing, "Hallelujah! Hallelujah!"

Dorian Speed said...

Yeah, just bob up and down and chirp, "Hallelujah! Hallelujah!" and you'll be just fine.

Have fun!

DMinor said...

Best of Luck, Mrs. D!
It is a tribute to Handel that his piece, intended for the concert hall, is also perfect for church, especially at Easter.

I wonder which, if any, contemporary works will have similar longevity and flexibility in a couple of centuries ;-)

Rick Lugari said...

Well MrsD, I think Paul found the help you need. Hallelujah!