New Music – Pop/Rock Hallelujah Chorus

I am releasing today as a single my own pop/rock instrumental arrangement of Handel’s Hallelujah Chorus, in the style of someone like Mannheim Steamroller. You can get your copy either directly from my music store, from CD Baby or it should be available from iTunes, Amazon, Google Play or other on-line digital music sites.  Once I have it ready, I can make copies of the score available for anyone who would like a copy.  I created the instrumentation, played the instruments (see list below!) and recorded this in my studio.  Engineering/mixing assistance was provided by “Powerhouse Studios” in Seattle!

The link to my Hallelujah Chorus video is right here. You can also find it on Youtube…see below! 🙂

I hope you like it. Have a blessed Easter.

Background Info:

The Hallelujah Chorus is very popular at Christmas time, but I think it is just as appropriate during Easter, and maybe even more fitting from a theological point of view. The back story is that I have been working on a number of Christmas-themed songs that I plan to release as an album this fall, in time for Christmas, but the work has to be done now and I don’t want to hold onto things once I am finished, so plan on seeing a fairly steady release of new music from me this year as singles. Besides, a lot of people love celebrating Christmas any time of the year. I know my daughter does, and she probably has the largest collection of Christmas music in the world.

I began working on my arrangement of the Hallelujah Chorus in late December after we attended the Seattle Symphony’s performance of Handel’s Messiah. There are probably countless performances of the Hallelujah Chorus in the traditional genre, so I wanted to do something more pop oriented and that is what you have here.

The Hallelujah Chorus is such an awesome piece and it is addictive. I want to listen to it and sing it over and over. Old GF (George Frideric) really knew how to write a “hook”. I think the power of it lies in its rhythm, which comes naturally from the words and the melody spiraling higher and higher.

Handel composed the entire Messiah oratorio in the year 1741 and he completed the entire thing in an incredible 24 days! Maybe he was a manic-depressive and got stuck in a manic mode. Who knows. At any rate, it is a brilliant masterpiece of composition and the world owes him a debt for his art.

In my arrangement I added a drum solo and moog synthesizer motif to the introduction. Below is the orchestral instrumentation on the left mapped to what I have used in my performance on the right. I played all instruments.

  • Violin 1                   Electric Guitar 1 and 2
  • Violin 2                   Electric Piano
  • Viola                       Synthesizer
  • Cello                       Electric Bass
  • Oboe                      Classical Guitar
  • Bassoon                  Electric Bass
  • Trumpet                  Trumpet
  • Timpani                   Timpani
  • None                       Drums
  • None                       Other percussion

Hallelujah_score_1741

March Update

I’ve actually gotten back into writing, composing and recording music again. For a while I seemed to do this in fits and spurts. I used to get started on an idea and get it about halfway done but then I’d get distracted usually by work issues from my day job or vacation would come up and then the project would sit and gather dust.

However, in December I got a new idea. In many things I become very productive and efficient when I have a task list, to-do list or project plan to work against and keep myself accountable. So I got the idea in December, after listening to huge amounts of Christmas music and attending the Seattle Symphony’s production of Handel’s Messiah, to produce my own album of Christmas/Holiday music. After that, I began making my plan and creating “the list”.

Since starting in December I have five (5) songs that I am actively working on and of these three are essential complete. The first of these I will be releasing as a single before and in time for Easter: My own arrangement, performance and recording of the Hallelujah Chorus. My Hallelujah Chorus is a Pop/Rock version inspired by Mannheim Steamroller/Trans-Siberian Orchestra.

After going to the full production of Handel’s Messiah it was amazing to me that George F. Handel wrote, not just the Hallelujah Chorus, but the entire Messiah, including the orchestral and choir parts after receiving the text from Charles Jennens in a breathtaking 24 days! Talk about focus! If I could only have 10% of his focus.

Here are a few photos compliments of Wikipedia.

George_Frideric_Handel_by_Balthasar_DennerGeorge Frideric Handel by Balthasar Denner

Musick-hall-dublin

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

The Great Music Hall in Fishamble Street, Dublin, where Messiah was first performed

Charles_Jennens23

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

A portrait of Charles Jennens from around 1740