9. O Thou that tellest good tidings
Track 7 on Rehearsal CD

This uplifting aria and chorus is preceded by a short alto recitative in which the amazing announcement is made that a son shall be born to a virgin! His name, we are told, shall be “God with us.” Such good news has to be shared! And after the soloist has sung the announcement – “Behold your God! Thy light is come!” – the whole chorus takes up this cry of joy. The original alto soloist was celebrated actress/singer Mrs. Cibber, who gave a moving and emotional performance in the premier. This should give the present day soloist a clue to keep drama at the forefront yet today, though the aria must remain lyrical. The string melody in this aria and chorus actually looks like the mountains and valleys wherein lie the cities of Judah to whom the message is directed. Once again (as in No. 4) we sing about the Glory of the Lord, which refers to the resplendent light God has shone down upon human beings in the form of a Savior
Let this movement dance in a joyous two filled with verve, and lightness and avoid any hint of pontification.

Theme A – BASS, measures 108-111

Thou that tellest good tidings to Zion, good tidings to Jerusalem. – strong L’s, NG’s, N’s, L’s, M’

(AW)(OO) TH(UH)(OO) th(EH)t T(EH)LL - (IH)st g(oo)d T(UH)(EE) – d(IH)ngs t(oo)(OO)

Z(UH)(EE) – (UH)n, g(oo)d T(UH)(EE) – d(IH)ngs T(oo)(OO) J(EH) – R(oo) – z(UH) – l(EH)m

Rest of Chorus pronunciation

Arise, say unto the cities of Judah behold your God

(UH) – R(UH)(EE)Z, s(EH)(EE) (UH)n – t(oo)(OO) th(oo) c(IH) – t(EE)s (UH)v J(oo)(OO) –

d(UH) B(EE) – H(AW)(OO)LD (EE)(oo)(OO)r G(AW)D

the glory of the Lord is risen upon thee

ALTO emphasized – 122-124 and 133-end

BASS emphasized – low note in 132 – basses crescendo down to it, other voices decrescendo to it.

ALTO emphasized – held C in 135-136

Rhythmic figure in 114, 115, 199, 128 and 129 – two thirty-second notes and a sixteenth note – not a triplet.

No retard at end of solo, no retard at end of chorus – but brief pause after the chorus