I had a thought ("Worthy is the Lamb" for Christ the King)
  • vansensei
    Posts: 191
    If you had the capable singers, brass and strings, wouldn't Worthy is the Lamb from Messiah be a good recessional on Christ the King/King of the Universe Sunday?

    Yes, it's from a Protestant translation of Scripture, but it's one of the best parts imo. What say y'all?
  • Liam
    Posts: 4,601
    Putting aside the translation, at 7.5 minutes it's really long (I assume you'd do the Amen, of course; would be passing strange not to) for a recessional, so I'd say no. A choral postlude at most. Also too long (for entrance) or overwhelming (for offertory or communion) for any other place in the Mass.
  • Kathy
    Posts: 5,431
    Agreed, but if the strings etc are there for the Mass anyway, how about a choral fanfare before Mass, just up to the second "blessing?"

    Especially if you're not worried that many of your congregation are Messiah purists.

    I think it would be lovely.
  • Liam
    Posts: 4,601
    One *could* do it as a prelude. But at the risk of making everything else that follows seem smaller, as it were. (It will still seem strange to *precede* the Mass with such a musically emphatic final Amen.) If the rest of the Mass is being offered in a very grand manner, then that risk may be worth it.

  • Handel can't bear the entire burden of solemnity in the Mass. If everything else is there - incense, altar servers, and a normatively sung Mass - then I don't see why not. The texture is about as sober as you can get for the text in question.

    For a shorter setting that uses the same text and roughly the same approach to it, see the concluding movement of BWV 21 - slow introduction and a (briefer) fugue.
    Thanked by 1CHGiffen
  • SalieriSalieri
    Posts: 3,090
    If such a piece were sung in a BIG liturgical context, like St. Agnes's in St. Paul, Minn., I could see it working. "Worthy" as a prelude, Mass with Gregorian Propers and Mozart's Trinitatismesse.
  • Richard MixRichard Mix
    Posts: 2,529
    8' or even 12' for a postlude is only excessive if the doors are bolted. For the Sunday of the Announcement of the Movable Date of the Messiah Singalong we've several times sung "Worthy is the Lamb" at offertory, sometimes with "Amen" after the recessional (this year though it'll be Gounod's 2ieme Parole).
    But I like the idea of BVW 21 with a 3rd trumpet!
    Thanked by 2chonak CHGiffen
  • chonakchonak
    Posts: 8,921
    [I edited the title of this thread to indicate the topic more clearly.--admin]
  • I believe that Handel's 'Worthy is the Lamb' is one of the most profoundly beautiful and powerful choruses and religious works ever written. There is nothing like it by Handel himself or anyone else - nor will there ever be its equal. However! It is so great that it is inappropriate for liturgy - at offertory or any other time. It is too long. Too much of an experience all in and of itself. And, like the rest of Messiah, is not and was not conceived to be, liturgically apt. It would dwarf the entire liturgical experience, the entire mass. So, what about as a 'postlude'? It would dwarf everything that had happened before it - and, it would be thoughtless, sort of a musical lese majeste, to make of it a sort of 'add on'. (Besides, I do not share the enthusiasm that some seem to have for 'choral' preludes or postludes.)
    Sometimes we just get an 'itch' to do some work that we are all excited about at some given time - an itch that hides from us the inaptness of the glorious piece that we think just has to be done. Some very sober reflection will open our eyes to reality.
  • Richard MixRichard Mix
    Posts: 2,529
    What is this dwarfable mystery being celebrated, and is it in turn capable of dwarfing guitar music?