Most of the piece alternates between contrapuntal and homophonic passages. For example the first passage sung by the whole choir is homophonic. This is then followed by a contrapuntal section that introduces the phrase ‘shall be revealed’. Handel also uses imitation, for example the tenors sing ‘shall be revealed’ and it is then repeated by the basses and sopranos.
Dynamics and Tempo
In ‘And the Glory of the Lord’, like most pieces composed in the baroque era, the dynamics are terraced. The change in volume is rather sudden and abrupt rather than slow and gradual. The tempo in allegro- fast.
Harmony and Cadences
The piece is in A major but modulates to is two relative keys: B major and E major. The piece ends with a plagal cadence in A major. The harmony is diatonic.
Melody and form & structure
The movement is based on four different motifs. The first, ‘and the glory the glory of the lord’, is first sung be altos and clearly outlines the key of A major. The second, ‘shall be revealed’ is first sung be the tenors and uses a descending sequence and melisma on the word revealed. The third ‘and all flesh shall see it together’ is first sung be the altos. And the last motif, ‘for the mouth of the lord hath spoken it’, is first sung by the tenors and basses and uses long repetitive notes making it seem rather solemn. The piece starts with an orchestral introduction, called a ritornello. There is no set form for this piece of music; it is based on different combinations of the four motifs.
There is a mixture of syllabic and melismatic word setting. For example motif four is syllabic, whereas the word ‘revealed in motif two is melismatic. The different phrases of text are repeated many times, helping to make the words as clear as possible.