Composition Analysis Paper
Robert April 19, 2011 MUSI200 B005 Spr 12
Composition Analysis Paper of “Messiah, Hallelujah Chorus” by George Frideric Handel
When we were given the information on this assignment it didn’t take me long to decide on which piece of music I would want to do my paper on. I decided to write my paper on the Hallelujah Chorus of Messiah by Handel. I have heard this piece throughout my whole life and not until now did I even know who had composed it or its origin. Most would recognize this piece as being sung during the Christmas timeframe however according to (http://www.smithsonianmag.com) this piece was originally debuted as an Easter offering on April 13, 1742. The women in the debut audience were asked not to wear the traditional hoop dresses of the time period so the venue could accommodate as many people as possible. Because of this the crowd was at a record 700. Before I discuss and breakdown the chorus I would like to share some background information on the piece and composer. George Frideric Handel was one of the few composers who did not come from a family of music. His father, a celebrated surgeon in northern Germany wanted Handel to study law. One of his father’s colleagues heard an 11 year old Handel playing an organ and convinced his father to let the boy pursue music. Handel joined an orchestra at an opera center in Hamburg. He spent his teens in Germany before traveling to London, which at the time was beginning to rival Paris. As stated in (http://www.smithsonianmag.com) at the age of 18, Handel had composed his first opera, Almira, which was initially performed in Hamburg in 1705. (Kerman & Tomlinson, 2011, page 145.) Handel was a big, vigorous man, hot-tempered but quick to forgive, humorous and resourceful. At the end of his life he became blind but he continued to play the organ brilliantly and composed by dictating using a secretary. (Kerman & Tomlinson, 2011, page 146.) Handel’s oratorio...
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