Tuesday, December 25, 2012

No. 1 on The 2012 XMAS Countdown - Somebody Say Hallelujah

It's The Day of Celebration in All of Christendom

There really is only one choice for No. 1 on any Christmas list of songs. In my humble opinion, the greatest work of religious music ever written - and performed by thousands of choirs, ensembles, singers, churches and even flash mob singers in food courts since it was written in 1741 by George Frideric Handel - is The Hallelujah Chorus from Messiah.

One source (unconfirmed) states that while Handel was composing this piece, he imagined seeing heaven before his very eyes and 'the great God Himself' enthroned in glory. And whatever the origin of the custom, the piece has such emotional power that to this day in the English speaking world audiences rise as if in prayer as soon as the opening notes are struck.

The history of this master work may be disputed, but its majesty and power is beyond question.

No. 1 on The 2012 XMAS Countdown - As originally composed - The Hallelujah Chorus by The Mormon Tabernacle Choir.


And as a Christmas Day Bonus - The greatest contemporary arrangement of this ancient work featuring a 200 voice choir and orchestra with soloists Twila Paris, Sandi Patty, Wayne Watson, Michael English, Larnelle Harris and Steve Green -

Worthy Is The Lamb That Was Slain / Hallelujah.


And finally for those who have managed to develop a liking for "new" interpretations of old songs we will finish the Countdown with a haunting arrangement of the Longfellow Christmas poem -

I Heard The Bells On Christmas Day by The Civil Wars.

God is not dead, nor doth He sleep / The Wrong shall fail / The Right prevail / With peace on earth, good-will to men.

Peace & Merry Christmas To You and Yours

d.l. stafford


No comments:

Post a Comment