I have been, and still am, in the process of learning Handel’s Hallelujah Chorus, ready for performing on stage in Carols by the Lake. There is a lot of repetition of the line “Hallelujah, Hallelujah!”, so one might think it would be relatively easy to learn, despite the number of parts and harmonies woven throughout and timing being critical for a polished performance.
It is a rich, full bodied piece of music, but with playful notes intermingled – a true joy to sing – when it goes well.
The main challenge for me (and my fellow Soprano 1’s) is getting my tongue around the syllables, which are stressed differently in different parts of the long Christmas carol. In a way, this is akin to writing and visual arts, too. Where we choose to place our words, or colours and textures, affects the emphasis of certain parts, and subsequently the flow of the story and aesthetics of the whole.
On Tuesday night we shall practice with the band and we shall have guiding notes – the musical director has told the sop 1’s to “sit on the trumpet” as we share the same part. I know with practice we’ll be able to do it well and on Sunday the 11th, the night of Carol by the Lake, we’ll sound magnificent.