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Chorus crescendo in Handel's Messiah

Hey folks,
 
I'm working through Messiah as a learning project/future performing material. My undergrad isn't in music so perhaps this is a bit of a novice question. Is it proper performance practice for the chorus in Messiah to make use of a crescendo? If so, to what extent? There are some things I'm audiating but I want to make sure I keep performance practice.
 
My understanding is that the Baroque era used terraced dynamics almost exclusively. However, Bukofzer in 'Music of the Baroque Era' states that Handel specifically wrote in a decrescendo and anticipated the Mannheim School. Percy Young also advocated the use of crescendos quite regularly. 
 
Cheers and thanks!
-Jeremy Godwin
Replies (2): Threaded | Chronological
on February 24, 2015 9:51am
HI Jeremy,
 
Very definitely - crescendi are inherent in ascending polyphonic (independent) lines - perfectly natural, to highlight dissonances (but tastfully not noticeably). Normally on held chords crescendoing is non-stylistic. A wonderful diminuendo is natural (though unusual) at the end of Hallelujah Chorus - a IV-I cadence that says "diminuendo me".
 
Jim Marvin
on February 25, 2015 11:50am
thanks Jim, appreciate it!
 
-JDG
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