Based on four main ideas:
The prophecy of Jesus' birth
And finally his resurection
Key: A major
Modulates to E major
Uses perfect cadence to switch key - the end of the introduction also uses perfect cadence.
The piece ends in Plagal Cadence for a grander finish ('Amen')
Pitch / Harmony
Harmony is Diatonic
No dissonace - no lack of harmony
In simple triple time ¾ although though it feels like ¼
Allegro – Fast and Joyful
Last four bars are Adagio – slightly slower than Allegro. This was to give the piece a grander ending.
An oratorio – Religious Opera
4 motifs base around the lyrics–
1“And the glory of the Lord”
2“Shall be revealed”
3“All flesh shall see together”
4“For the mouth of the Lord hath spoken it”
Parts are played in p – piano (softly,quiet)
Other forte – f (loud)
Terraced dynamics – instruments going loud and quiet at different parts and times.
Like melody, rhythm for each motif is different.
Motif 1: Simple rhythm, dotted crotchet quaver rhythm in 2nd bar
Motif 2: Dotted rhythm
Motif 3: repeated crotchet, quaver, quaver, crotchet pattern
Motif 4: long dotted crotchets, this expresses the seriousness of the words being sung.
[Mostly] Homophonic – where parts move together
[Sometimes] Polyphonic – where many parts weave in and out of each other.
Singers sing in unison and in harmony.
Imitation is also used, basses & sopranos copy tenors.
Instrumentation / Voice
Large scale string orchestra
Cello and Chamber organ
Aria – vocal solo with accompaniment
Recitative – like spoken song, narrative, tells a story
Choir – sung together
Syllabic – Note played for each syllable