44. Hallelujah

This is perhaps the best known of all choral pieces, but the countless performances of it in every possible situation have perhaps prevented us from understanding it in the proper context as the conclusion to Part II of Messiah. It should not, by the way, be moved to the end of the oratorio as some misguided conductors have done! It is not just a general praise anthem, but is intended to dissolve the antagonism between God and man that has been expressed, especially in the brief recitative “He that dwelleth in heaven shall laugh them to scorn” and the aria “Thou shalt break them.” In those two movements God’s wrath against the rebellion of human beings is dramatically portrayed. The Hallelujah Chorus then shows that God has overcome the rebellion, and solved the conflict, which then causes the chorus to give praise for his overwhelming power. He is, in fact, called “the King of Kings and Lord of Lords,” whom we are reminded forcibly and repeatedly, “shall reign for ever and ever.” God may have been despised (No. 23), chastised (No. 24), rebuked (No. 29) and cut off (No. 31), but in the end, at the second coming (see the context of this biblical passage in the Book of Revelation) he is still “the Lord God omnipotent.” That is why the chorus sings “Hallelujah,” which literally means “Praise God!” A “Hallel” is a Jewish psalm of praise chanted during Passover and other feasts. “Yah” is a short form of one of the many sacred names for God: “Yahweh.” To praise, therefore, is to honor, worship or glorify, or “give a Hallel to Yah”.
“When the Hallelujah chorus was sung, Haydn wept like a child and exclaimed, “He is the master of us all.”

Theme A “Germ Motive” is found over 50 times always on “Hallelujah” or “forever” (sol-la-sol)

hallelujah – de-emphasize the last syllable

(UH) – l(EH) – l(oo) – y(UH)

SOPRANO measures 4,5; ALTO measure 6; emphasize ALTO & BASS measure 7
8-11 SOPRANO & BASS; 14-16 TENOR 1st 2, SOPRANO 2ND 2; 19-21 ALTO & TENOR; 

forever and ever

f(AW) – d(EH) – v(oo) (EH)nd (EH) – v(oo)

52-57 TENOR; 58-60 ALTO; 61-66 TENOR; 75-78 ALTO; 88-92 ALTO

Theme B – ALL, measures 12-14 (sostenuto and broadly)

For the Lord God OMnipotent reigneth –specially the “om-“; omit the “r” in “for” and “Lord”, 
flip the “r” in “reigneth”, emphasize th, L, d, p, t, n, ; glottal stop before “reigneth”

F(AW) th(oo) L(AW)d G(AW)d (AW)(OO)m – n(IH) – p(AW)(OO) – t(EH)nt 
R(EH)(EE)n – (EH)th

22-24 SOPRANO; 25-27 TENOR & BASS; 29-31 ALTO & TENOR; 

Theme C – measures 39-45 SOPRANO The kingdom of this world is become; ALTO the kingdom of our Lord and of His Christ- sing a G on “-dom” not a D; SOPRANO and of His Christ – lots of consonants,
Omit the “r” in “world”, “Lord”; flip the “r” in “Christ”

Th(oo) k(IH)ng – d(UH)m (UH)v th(IH)s (OO)(oo)ld (IH)z b(EE) – c(uh)m
Th(oo) k(IH)ng – d(UH)m (UH)v (UH)(OO)r L(AW)d (EH)nd (UH)v H(IH)z Chr(UH)(EE)st

Theme D – BASS, measures 41-43 – (sustained and broadly)

And He shall reign for ever and ever – flip the “r” in “for”; omit it in “ever”s; 
American “r” in “reign”

(EH)nd H(EE) sh(EH)ll r(EH)(EE)n f(AW)d (EH)v - (oo) (EH)nd (EH)v - (oo)

69-71 BASS; 71-74 SOPRANO; 78-81 BASS & ALTO; 85-88 BASS & SOPRANO

Theme E – SOPRANO & ALTO, measures 51-57 (sustained and vital)

King of Kings and Lord of Lords

K(IH)ng (UH)v K(IH)ngz (EH)nd L(AW)d (UH)v L(AW)dz

Cutoffs –SOPRANO - 52 “Kings” off on 1 of 54, 55 “Lords” off on 1 of 57, 58 “Kings” off on 1 of 60, 61 “Lords” off 
on 2 of 63, 64 “Kings” off on 2 of 66, 69 “Lords” of on the “and” of 2 ALTO - 52 “Kings” off on 1 of 54, 55 “Lords” 
off on 3 of 57

mf at beginning, reduce volume a bit at 81 and effectively crescendo to end
tempo full of joy – no rit. at end