Das Grosse Halleluja

The Great Hallelujah
Composed by Franz Schubert
Arranged by Ben May
Series Editor: Betsy Cook Weber
Voicing: SSA
Instrumentation: piano
Catalog number: AMP 1077
Price: $2.30

Editor's Note

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.

Das grosse Halleluja

Ehre sei dem Hocherhab'nen,
  dem Ersten, dem Vater der Schöpfung,
dem uns're Psalmen stammeln,
obgleich der wunderbare Er
unaussprechlich und undenkbar ist!
Glory be to the most sublime,
  the first, the father of creation,
to whom our psalms stammer;
although He is wonderful,
He is also inexpressible and unfathomable
Eine Flamme von dem Altar
an dem Thron ist in uns're Seele geströmt.
Wir freu'n uns Himmelsfreuden,
dass wir sind und ü>ber ihn
  erstaunen können!
A flame from the altar
on the throne has flowed into our souls.
We rejoice with the joys of heaven,
that we are and can always be
  astonished by Him!
Ehre sei ihm auch von uns
  an den Gräbern hier,
obwohl an seines Thrones letzten Stufen
des Erzengels niedergeworfne Krone
und seines Preisgesangs Wonne tönt!
Glory be to Him also from us
  here at the graves,
even here, at the last steps of his throne,
the archangel has thrown down his crown
and sings his praise songs with bliss!
Ehre sei und Dank und Preis
  dem Hocherhab'nen,
dem Ersten, der nicht begann,
  und nicht hören wird,
der sogar des Staub's
  Bewohnern gab, nicht aufzuhören!
Glory be to Him and thanks and praise
  to the most sublime;
the first, who had no beginning,
  and never will end,
even to the dustýs inhabitants
  He granted unending life!
Ehre dir,
  Ehre, Ehre dir,
Hocherhab'ner! Erster,
Vater der Schöpfung,
Unaussprechlicher, Undenkbarer!
Glory be to Him,
  Glory be, glory be to Him,
the most sublime! the first,
the father of creation,
inexpressible, unfathomable!
TEXT: Friedrich Gottlieb Klopstock

Click here to see a sample.

Click here to listen to a recording (MP3).

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