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Monday, January 10, 2011

THE HALLELUJAH CHORUS

Years ago in Cincinnati, Handel’s Messiah was rendered by perhaps the greatest chorus on earth: Patti, then in her prime, was the leading soprano; Whitney, the bass; Theodore Toedt, the tenor; Carey, the alto; and this quartet was supported by more than four thousand voices.

Just before the Hallelujah Chorus a stillness fell over the vast assembly. Suddenly the bass sang For he shall reign for ever and ever; the tenor lifted it a little higher — For ever and ever, and the alto lifted it still higher — For ever and ever; then Patti broke in as though inspired — King of Kings, and Lord of Lords. As she broke off, paused and lifted her eyes, a voice seemed to float down from above as the voice of an angel flinging out through the great hall the question, How long shall he reign? — and a thousand sopranos in unison responded For ever and ever. Then the four thousand voices of the chorus broke forth like the shout of an angelic host, Hallelujah! Hallelujah! Hallelujah!


What a glorious day for this poor old sin-ruined, storm-torn, heart-broken, groping-in-the-dark world — when he shall take his rightful throne and reign in all hearts and over all lives for
ever and ever!

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