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Cut in Amen of Handel's Messiah

For those that have conducted Handel's Messiah, have any of you cut any measures in the final Amen section?  I'm worried about timing and considering making a cut in that final piece.
If you have, what cut did you make?
David Smith
Replies (9): Threaded | Chronological
on February 14, 2012 5:05am
If I was in the audience, I would not be happy!
All or nothing!
on February 14, 2012 8:01am
on February 14, 2012 7:27am
Hi, David.  One would think a cut like that would not be a concern, wouldn't one?  In my limited experience, mess with Messiah at your own risk. <g>  I once proposed an inclusive language paraphrase for one of the movments, this in a congregation that regularly read inclusive language versions of scripture at worship, and had a major rebellion in the ranks.  "Since by one came death, by One came also the resurrection of the dead" simply wasn't going to fly.  May your discernments in your locale be good ones!  Peace.  Jeremy
on February 14, 2012 7:55am
Nooooo.  Don't do it!  
The "Amen" fugue is about 3'00 long.  Is the cost of destroying the structure of the fugue and missing out on an exhilerating experience of a complete performance of that marvelous monument of music and praise (for both performer and audience) worth saving, what, a minute?  90 seconds?  
on February 14, 2012 8:14am
I'm with Andrew on this!  If you're worried about length of performance, I'd cut something else.  If you're worried about teaching time or the length of the chorus, I suggest having the soloists sing the opening exposition.  Helmuth Rilling does this to vary the texture, and it works very well.
Tim Reno
on February 14, 2012 1:56pm
My Catholic church choir has sung the final Amen during Easter Mass with a cut, because the Mass is already very long on that day.  After the instrumental section in measures 92 to 101 we jump to measure 134 (rehearsal K in Novello and Schirmer editions).  I think that most people in the congregation don't notice.
on February 15, 2012 5:11am
There's a cut in the Watkins Shaw Novello Edition that supposedly is Handel's own. It is not worth doing for the purpose of shortening the piece, but is worth considering if vocal fatigue is an issue. In practice, you'll waste more time in rehearsal explaining the cut to your singers and players and out of rehearsal responding to those who don't like it, so that it is probably not worth it.
on February 15, 2012 8:16am
Of course, that cut is in Worthy is the Lamb, not Amen.  I'm just sayin'. :)
on February 16, 2012 7:05am
True that!
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