Set work: 'And the Glory of the Lord'

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Structure of the Oratorio in Messiah

An oratorio is a musical work based on words and stories from the bible.

Through the use of recitatives, arias and choruses, the oratorio in Messiah closely follows the forms of Italian operas. 'And the Glory of the Lord' is the fourth movement of the whole work and is the first chorus scored for a four-part SATB (soprano, alto, tenor and bass).


In the recitative, the fundamental idea is to concentrate on getting the words of the narration over with a minimal use of music.


The aria is essentially a solo song which often reflects on a mood or emotion. For example, a minor song could reflect a sad emotion.


The chorus has the function of summing up the action of the story at that particular point in the drama. The chorus in Messiah are powerful and contribute to the drama of the story.

'And the Glory of the Lord' is a chorus from Messiah by Handel. Like other choruses in Messiah it is built up with a number of musical ideas, and each idea relates to a line of text.
In this chorus we can identify four main ideas:
  • And the glory of the Lord
  • Shall be revealed
  • And all flesh shall see it together
  • For the mouth of the Lord hath spoken it
Russell Meyers,
Jul 13, 2011, 6:14 AM