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Thread: Your Favorite Part of Handel's Messiah

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    Senior Member Florestan's Avatar
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    Default Your Favorite Part of Handel's Messiah

    Mine is "Worthy of the Lamb" (the Amen Chorus). Maybe it's two parts, but is usually on a single track together:

    So often the Hallelujah Chorus gets the limelight, but this Amen Chorus is absolutely beautiful.
    (tried to post the image of the CD but not working) It's likely the English Concert & Choir. Pinnock.
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    Last edited by Florestan; Nov-06-2013 at 05:45.
    It's fun to shop and buy CDs online and have music coming in the mail all the time.

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    Senior Member Winterreisender's Avatar
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    I have so many favourites: For Unto Us a Child is Born, Hallelujah, The Trumpet Shall Sound, Comfort Ye My People... I love the whole thing really.

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    Senior Member HaydnBearstheClock's Avatar
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    For Unto Us a Child is Born and And He Shall Purify always stuck out a bit, but the whole work is great.

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    Senior Member drpraetorus's Avatar
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    Very hard question. I am quite fond of the Passion choruses but I must admit that Worthy is the Lamb and the Amen chorus are right up there. That opening chord for "Worthy" is guaranteed to send shivers down the spine. The Amen chorus is a wonderful summation of the oratorio but is far too often messed up by a quirky performance from the conductor. Too slow and ponderous. Too fast and "musically correct". Too marcato. Too legato.

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    Senior Member Ukko's Avatar
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    Ferrier, singing anything in there.
    I spent a fortune on deodorant before I realized that people don't like me anyway.

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    Senior Member starthrower's Avatar
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    Haven't listened to it in ages. I have the Robert Shaw CD on Telarc. But I've always enjoyed the male vocal parts in the first section. Every Valley...

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    Senior Member Celloman's Avatar
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    "The people that walked in darkness" is one of my favorite parts - the sudden jump from minor to major is always a dramatic moment.

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    Senior Member Eschbeg's Avatar
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    I always get a chuckle in "Ev'ry valley shall be exalted" at the line "the crooked straight" (and the rough places plain, etc.): the melody vacillates up and down before resting on a single sustained note. In other words, the contour is crooked on the word "crooked" and straight on the word "straight." That never gets old for me.

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    "He was Despised" is my favorite aria from the work. Definitely not the type of music most today associate with the key of E-flat major. It works well with only a little bit of ornamentation from the soloist and, although I'm not usually big on countertenors, I enjoy Suzuki's version with Yoshikazu Mera here.

    I think I'll agree with the OP that the Amen fugue is my favorite chorus from the work, although maybe I'm just being contrarian by not choosing the most famous...

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    Senior Member hreichgott's Avatar
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    These might be considered slight movements in contrast to some of the others, but I have always loved "O death, where is thy sting?" and the chorus right after it "But thanks be to God." They have been a great comfort to me at necessary times, perhaps because the gentle unsettled questioning tone of "O death" is so easy to relate to.
    Heather W. Reichgott, piano
    http://heatherwreichgott.blogspot.com

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    Senior Member Florestan's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by hreichgott View Post
    "O death, where is thy sting?"
    Ah yes that is an especially good one and very comforting.
    It's fun to shop and buy CDs online and have music coming in the mail all the time.

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    Junior Member Aquos's Avatar
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    And he shall purify....!!!

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    Senior Member Florestan's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Aquos View Post
    And he shall purify....!!!
    Splendid! Let's hear it:


    But as a previous poster said, the whole thing is great!
    Last edited by Florestan; Nov-19-2013 at 05:58.
    It's fun to shop and buy CDs online and have music coming in the mail all the time.

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    Senior Member Il_Penseroso's Avatar
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    So many for me: almost the entire work!

    The most heavenly numbers:

    Chorus: For unto us a Child is born (Isaiah 9:6)

    Pastoral Symphony

    Aria: He shall feed His flock like a shepherd (Isaiah 40:11) - Come unto Him all ye that labour (Matthew 11:28-29)

    Chorus: Lift up your heads, O ye gates (Pslams 24:7-10)

    Aria: I know that my Redeemer liveth (Job 19:25-26, I Corinthians 15:20)

    "He shall feed... Come unto Him" Beecham rendition, Pastoral Symphony and "Lift up your heads" Malcolm Sargent, and "For unto us..." either as well as "I know that my Redeemer liveth".
    Last edited by Il_Penseroso; Nov-19-2013 at 07:27.
    The ceremony of innocence is drowned... (William Butler Yeats)

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