Handel- And the Glory of the Lord 1741
- This piece is an oratorio which is a type of sacred opera sung in English, it was based for a biblical text but designed for concert performance.
- Long melodic lines, often ornamented
- Imitation to create polyphonic textures, balanced with homophonic writing
- The use of harpsichord to play continuo
- Terraced dynamics – contrasting blocks of loud and soft sounds, but no crescendos
- Baroque orchestra: strings + harpsichord, trumpets and drums. Limited woodwind (no clarinets).
- Theme A And the glory of the Lord; 3 notes outline a triad, followed by stepwise movement down then up & the word setting is syllabic
- Theme B Shall be revealed; 2 one-bar descending sequences & the word setting is melismatic
- Theme C And all flesh shall see it together; 3 repeated statements of an idea with descends through 4 notes
- Theme D For the mouth of the Lord; long repeated notes in the bass part (doubled by tenors)
- The joyful mood is maintained, by a fast dance-like tempo in triple time and the use of major keys; A, E and B.
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Handel- And the Glory of the Lord (Bars 1-73)
- Bars 1-11: Orchestral introduction using A and B. One-bar descending sequence, a hemiola (9-10) and suspensions (9-10)
- Bars 11-14: First entry of choir (alto) with A. Throughout the piece the orchestra doubles the vocal parts
- Bars 14-17: Other voices enter (homophonic texture). Theme A in the bass part
- Bars 17-22: Imitation used as theme B passed between voices and the music modulates to the dominant (E major)
- Bars 22-33: Themes A and B combined, giving two-part counterpoint. Handel changes the combination of pairs giving variety to the texture.
- Bars 33-38: 4-part homophonic statement of theme A (in bass)
- Bars 38-43: Orchestral link, using same features as in introduction
- Bars 43-50: Music returns to tonic key and theme C is heard for the first time, again in the alto part. Tthin texture with just one vocal line at a time
- Bars 51-57: Tenor and bass parts combine to present theme D for the first time. This theme acts as a tonic pedal while the soprano and alto sing theme C
- Bars 58-63: Soprano sing theme 4 as an inverted dominant pedal. Section ends with a plagal cadence
- Bars 63-73: Imitation between alto and tenor as the music modulates to E major, then C and D combined for further modulation to B major.
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Handel- And the Glory of the Lord (Bars 74-138)
- Bars 74-83: Still in B, an orchestral link leads to a 4-part homophonic statement of theme A, followed by theme C, where alto/tenor is followed 1 bar later by soprano/bass. All four parts singing together, ends on an imperfect cadence
- Bars 83-93: Soprano start with theme D, but for the first time combines all four themes
- Bars 93-102: Music modulates back to E major with soprano/alto singing theme D while tenor/bass sing A and B
- Bars 102-105: The section begins straight away in tonic key, altos singing a shortened version of theme C. Texture reduces in preparation for the final sections of piece
- Bars 105-117: All four voices together. Soprano has theme 1 and the climax is reached at bar 110 ollowed by imitative entries for the alto, tenor and bass
- Bars 118-124: Altos, followed by soprano and tenor sing theme C, while basses sing theme D as a dominant pedal
- Bars 124-129: Soprano start with theme D, answered by other voices
- Bars 129-133 : A repeat of bars 51-55 except that soprano/alto and tenor/bass parts swapped around. This is called invertible counterpoint
- Bar 133: A sudden and dramatic silence. Handel frequently does this to add tension just before the end of a chorus
- Bars 134-138: Marked adagio (slowly), this is a plagal cadence, four-part homophonic texture emphasizing the text.
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