12 Days of Christmas: “Hallelujah” by a Soulful Celebration

The Hallelujah Chorus from Handel’s Messiah is one of the most well-known and beloved orchestral pieces among fans of classical music. If you ever have the opportunity to see a live performance of the Messiah, know that it’s traditional for the audience to stand during the Hallelujah Chorus. The entire work is equally suited to Christmas and Easter.

It’s also one of the most fun pieces a choir can sing, because of how the melody passes from part to part, and how everyone gets equal moments to shine, even the altos! {e:delight} Not to mention how uplifting and inspirational the piece is.

Some traditionalists dislike the Soulful Celebration arrangement of this piece because “you can’t mess with perfection” and blah blah blah. Yes, the original sounds like angels singing. But you can’t tell me that the additions of trumpets, organ, drums, guitar, bass, and a hand-clappin’ gospel choir featuring syncopated rhythms adds nothing to the piece. I my opinion, it breaths new life into an old classic. I’ve included the original below for comparison. In the original, notice the rustling sound of the audience standing as they recognize the introduction to the piece.

Hallelujah, Hallelujah!
For the Lord God Omnipotent reigneth!
The kingdom of this world is become
The Kingdom of our Lord and of His Christ
And He shall reign for ever and ever!
King of Kings, for ever and ever
And Lord of Lords, Hallelujah Hallelujah

For comparison, here is the original Hallelujah Chorus by G. F. Handel:

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