Archive for Apr, 2017

Hallelujah, but no Amen

We recently attended a performance of Handel’s Messiah by the Philharmonia Choir of Cape Town. My key sense misled me a few times in arias in sharp keys, especially pushing E major up into F. ‘My Redeemer liveth’ in F major, for example. At the end of Part 2 we all stood for the Hallelujah Chorus as is traditional. I did not think about its key (bright D major) throughout its choral and fugal excitement. No need to – not a hint of a shift. Likewise for Blessing and Honour, the penultimate chorus. Attacca into the glorious climax of the repeated amens. The Amen chorus progressively winds up the tension towards a top A for the sopranos. Long before that high moment I was aware of the ground shifting. Yes, the chorus was now in E flat major, a magnificent heroic key in its own right. I tried to enjoy the amens in their new colours. Think Berlioz Requiem, think Eroica, Schumann Rhenish, I exhorted myself. But was no good. I need full on D major to end Messiah happily, grandly, triumphantly.

He made the stars to shine – F major

A children’s song from an earlier age. These parts are written for children.

He made the stars to shine – Horn

He made the stars to shine – Recorder

He made the stars to shine – Bassoon

He came to earth – D major

A song for Passiontide. These parts were written for young players, including recorder players.

He came to earth – Oboe

He came to earth – Recorder

He came to earth – Violin

He came to earth – Bassoon

He came to earth – Horn

Great is your faithfulness – E flat

Many parts for a famous old standard.

Great is your faithfulness – Bassoon

Great is your faithfulness – Bassoon2

Great is your faithfulness – Bassoons

Great is your faithfulness – Clarinet

Great is your faithfulness – Flute

Great is your faithfulness – Horn

Great is your faithfulness – Trombone

Great is your faithfulness – Trumpet in Bb

Great is your faithfulness – Trumpet in C

Great is your faithfulness – Violin

Great is your faithfulness (hand written) – Horn

Great is your faithfulness (hand written) – Trumpet 1

Great is your faithfulness (hand written) – Trumpet 2

God is our strength and refuge (Dambusters) – D major

Eric Coates’ wonderful march tune matched with Psalm 47. Here is a trumpet part.

God is our strength and refuge – Trumpet

Return top