Saturday, 5 April 2008

The Oratory's Hallelujah Chorus

Tonight Ex Cathedra, the professional ensemble in which our Fr. Guy Nicholls sings in, has been performing Handel's Messiah. Unfortunately I have been unable to come to this event, but seeing it is on I thought I might give you a sample of some traditional Oratory music you will not find elsewhere. Here is a Latin adaptation of the Hallelujah chorus by William Sewell, the Director of Music at the turn of the nineteenth and twentieth centuries. You can download it in PDF format here: the orchestral and organ parts are exactly the same as those published by Vincent Novello for the original.

It is sung at communion in the Easter Vigil mass. For us in the choir, it causes much mirth as rolled Rs and Xs fly all over the place when we sing 'Surrexit Christus de Sepulcro'! Nevertheless, it is a very joyous expression of the resurrection, and it is completely appropriate for the occasion: a piece that St. Philip Neri would highly approve of.

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