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Das Grosse Halleluja
The Great Hallelujah
Composed by Franz Schubert
Arranged by Ben May
Series Editor: Betsy Cook Weber
Catalog number: AMP 1077
Although Franz Schubert died at the age of 32, he wrote nearly 1,000 works in his short lifetime. Today, his many secular art songs define his compositional output, but he also wrote beautiful sacred music and symphonies. He penned Das grosse Halleluja in 1816, while he was only 19 years old. By Schubert's time, people considered the semi-improvised keyboard art of basso continuo to be old-fashioned. Yet, the running staccato eighth notes in the piano left hand and triadic harmonies in the right clearly evoke this earlier style. Therefore, the festive, joyful spirit in the text might be best realized with a sprightly Baroque tempo of ♩=120-130.
We don't know who Schubert had in mind to perform his piece. Since the manuscript only gives us the piano part and the text, he might have intended for a solo singer, a trio, or a full choir to sing it. The piano part of this edition preserves what Schubert wrote, but directors should feel free to alter note values or reassign voice parts in the vocal lines as necessary.
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