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Handel – And the glory of the Lord Essay

‘And the glory of the lord’ is a chorus from Handle’s oratorio ‘Messiah’, it is written for a SATB choir with an orchestra accompaniment. It is written in a baroque style because it was written in the 18th Century.

The vocal lines can be broken down into 4 different melodic ideas: ‘And the glory, the glory of the lord’, this idea is Syllabic and is comprised of a major triad then an ascending scalic melody; ‘Shall be revealed’, this is one of the melismatic ideas, the word ‘revealed’ is elongated over a few beats with a scalic, descending melody;

‘And all flesh shall see it together’, this is the second melismatic idea, it’s melody is made up of a repeating, falling triad; ‘For the mouth of the lord hath spoken it’, the final syllabic idea, it uses a low and sustained note.

The vocal line is then used in the following order: (Strings intro), melody 1, melody 2 (with melody 1), melody 3 and melody 4 (together), then all the parts are used polyphonically towards the end, then Plagal cadence to finish the piece.

The instrumentation of the piece is an orchestra with no brass to play the accompaniment and a SATB (Soprano, Alto, Tenor, Bass) Choir to sing the melody.

The piece is in ¾ which gives it a dance like feel, however the use of dotted rhythm’s in the first two melodies give a syncopated feel, joined with the hemiola used in sections of the melodies give some of the melody a 2/4 feel. The piece opens in Allegro however this has changed to Adagio by the final cadence. The piece opens in Amaj then at bar 24 it modulates to Emaj; then at bar 47 modulates back too Amaj; bar 65 it modulates back to Emaj then to its dominant at bar 89 (Bmaj) then goes back to the home key at bar 106.

The texture varies throughout the piece, when a new melody line is introduced
it is monophonic or homophonic but slowly begins to build up into a polyphonic melody that interweaves with other vocal lines and the orchestra.

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