53a. Amen

This is not really a separate chorus, but is being treated as such here because it requires considerable attention. Although the word “Amen” has come to mean “so be it”, it has another connotation as well. In Revelation 3:4 we find: “And to the angel of the church on Laodicea write: The words of the Amen, the faithful and true witness, the origin of God’s creation…” The New English Bible says: “The Amen is Jesus Christ (2 Cor. 1:20)”. And God is called “The Amen” in the Hebrew text of Isaiah 65:16 according to The Interpreter’s One Volume Commentary on the Bible. When we sing it here we are, therefore, evoking the name of God and/or Christ.
This final movement seems at first to be a fugue, but it only has a fugal exposition, after which imaginative sections of stretto follow one another in marvelous succession, interrupted by two brief instrumental interludes. Handel made very detailed sketches for this grand, but simple ending to Messiah, which can still be studied in the Fitzwilliam Museum in Cambridge. The monumental scope of this final movement only becomes clear when one studies in detail. The blending of inspiration and craftsmanship evident in this final chorus put the final seal of excellence and uniqueness on Messiah—a special gift to the world.

(AW) – m(EH)n

Theme 1 – Fugue Subject - BASS, measures 72-76, beat 3
Imagine the bar lines rearranged – actually this theme is Renaissance-like “unbarred” music:
5/4 then 4/4 then 3/4, 3/4, 3/4, then 2/4 finally 4/4. As each voice enters, they repeat like this;
TENOR – 5/4 then 4/4, then 3/4, 3/4, then 5/4 then 4/4
ALTO – 5/4, then 4/4, then 3/4, 3/4, then 4/4 then 5/4
SOPRANO – 5/4, then 4/4, then 3/4, then 4/4
BASS has the fugue theme at 102-106 – all voices MENO FORTE at 102 then crescendo through 106
BASS has the fugue theme at 109-113 – all voices MENO FORTE at 109 then crescendo through 113

SOPRANO and TENOR have the same theme 113-121; ALTO and BASS have the same theme
All voices MENO FORTE at 113 and crescendo through 116 then
All voices MENO FORTE at 116 and crescendo through 121
All voices MENO FORTE at 122 and crescendo through 133
All voices MENO FORTE at 134 and crescendo through 138
All voices MENO FORTE at 139 and crescendo through 142
All voices MENO FORTE at 143 and crescendo through 150
All voices MENO FORTE at 151 and crescendo through 155 – SOPRANO emphasized 153-154

All Voices break after 157