George Frideric Handel was born in 1685, in Germany. He became the "royal composer" to George I and lived and worked in England. His sight failed him in later years and her died in 1759 and is buried under Westminster Abbey.
"And the Glory of The Lord" is the first chorus for both voices and orchestra in his oratorio - Messiah, which he wrote in 1741in only 24 days.
Handel is a baroque composer and the main features of Baroque music are:
♫ Ornamentation in the melody line (e.g. trills and turns etc)
♫ Major/Minor key tonaities - replacing "modes"
♫ Basso Continuo played by harpsichord and cello to "fill in harmonies"
♫ Different musical textures - Homophonic, Polyphonic
♫ A Baroque orchestra: violin family, harpsichord, trumpets, horns and timpani.
♫ One "mood" throughout the piece
♫ Terraced dynamics - loud or soft, nothing in between
♫ The time signature of the piece is 3/4 and the tempo of it is Allegro. The piece is in the key of A major.
♫ The dynamics of the piece are mf, and f which reflect the joyful mood of the piece. These are terraced dynamics, so no crescendos or diminuendos.
♫ The rhythm is "driving" and is always in time and on the beat. The rhythms match the stately/grand mood. The use of hemiolas are also evident, which is when notes are grouped into 2-beat units e.g. a dotted crotchet and a quaver which is worth 3 beats, is played in a 2-beat period.
♫ The harmonies in this piece are major because minor harmonies were avoided in order for the music to match the joyful words.
♫ The texture is alternating between Homophonic and Polyphonic sections, howevedr the chorus ends with a Chordal Homophonic coda.
The Musical features of this piece are:
♫ Imitation - when a phrase is repeated with slight changes each time, it is especially effective when more than one instrument/voice imitate one another and then overlap. This is seen in bars 63-68 between the altos and tenors.
♫ Syllabic - This is when there is one word per note. e.g. when it goes "And the glo-ry the glo-ry of the Lord". Each of these syllables has its own note.
♫ Melismatic - The opposite of syllabic, so, not every syllable has its own note. This is seen when it goes "Shall be re-veal-ed. The word 'revealed' is spreadacross 3 bars. The "re" is spread across 3 notes, 'Veal' 4 notes, and 'ed' 2 notes.
♫ Sequences - When the pattern of a phrase is repeated but it starts on a different note.
- Ascending sequences go up, and descending sequences go down.