George Frideric Handel
The  Hallelujah Chorus 
The Messiah
A Keyboard Reduction for Organ Accompaniment

(5 pages)


       The Hallelujah Chorus from Handel’s beloved Messiah is one of the staples of Baroque choral repertoire; it has appeared in countless editions, transcriptions, and guises since its original composition and earliest performances. It found new life in the Classical period when Mozart rescored it for the ‘modern’ orchestra of his time. Since then, the "Hallelujah" chorus has reappeared perennially in churches and concert halls, accompanied by ensembles and instruments of numerous descriptions and sizes.

        This keyboard reduction is notated for a three-manual organ (with pedal), and registration is suggested for terraced dymanics of mp, mf, and f. The recommended comoposition for the mp manual would include flues at 8', 4', and 2', (with light mixtures if needed); for the mf division, flues at 8', 4', and 2', also with mixtures as needed; for the f manual, flues at 16', 8', 4', 2', with mixtures as appropriate, and with the subsequent addition of 8' reeds; pedal registration could include 16', 8', and 4' flues, with the subsequent addition of 16' and/or 8' reeds and a 32' flue; intra-manual and manual-to-pedal couplers could be added to balance the ensemble.

        The above registration scheme can be easily adapted to a two-manual instrument. For piano use, the bass line will be effectively enhanced if played in octaves with the left hand, where appropriate. The tempo notation of Allegro is not necessarily compatible with modern metronomic parameters or equivalents; a more conservative quarter-note equivalent might be found in the range from an adagio to an andante. The addition of the interpretive marking, leggiero, is editorial and will allow the chorus to be heard with the clarity and transparency characterisitic of Baroque performance practices.

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