Tuesday, May 19, 2015

6: Hallelujah Chorus - Handel

Music just doesn't get much better than this. A majestic, many-bodied choir vocal over a glorious fanfare from a full orchestra. It doesn't just lift your spirit, it ties it to the back of an Airbus A380 and launches you through the clouds and into orbit.

As we've previously discussed (mainly with Nessum Dorma up at number 9), you can't just DO LOUD THINGS and expect it to work. Nessun Dorma works because it earns the final crescendo through a slow, delicate build. Here, however, Handel just launches straight in with possibly the most recognisable first few bars of a song in the entire history of human music. Just four notes (see, Intel weren't the first to produce catchy motifs), everyone in choir and orchestra on the same wavelength, it hits you full in the face.

And then it continues, quieter phrases interrupted with loud 'Hallelujahs' at regular intervals, drums and horns augmenting the strings as it tells, in very few words, the story it tells over three minutes. It's glorious, rejoicing and - as with the best music - works in any circumstance where the feeling is the same, whether it's the resurrection of Christ or the successful launch of a new intranet site. It works, always and everywhere, and the process of its creation was said to have brought Handel to tears, exclaiming to his assistant that he thought he had seen the face of God.

Bold claims and big ideas indeed, but the outcome shows they are totally justified. Simply incredible.

No comments: