Handel Messiah – Christmas Portion – Tenors Helping Basses

This posting is targeted at choruses who wish to perform the Christmas portion of Messiah, and who have an abundance of Tenors, but are short on Bass singers.  The proposal is to have a few of the strongest Tenors join Basses at some important entrances, and then branching back to the Tenor part.  The intention is not to diminish the availability of all Tenors for all Tenor notes, but to provide a few of them to help out in Bass passages where there are no Tenor notes.

These proposals are prioritized: 1 = very important, 2 = desirable.

Chorus Start End Priority
And the Glory 14 before A, join Bass 11 before A, beat 2 to Tenor 1
And He Shall Purify 6 before A, join Bass 1 before A, beat 4 to Tenor 1
  6 before B, join Bass 4 before B, beat 3.5 to Tenor 2
  5 before C, join Bass beat 4.5 3 before C, beat 1.5 to Tenor 1
  4 after C, join Bass beat 3.5 5 before D, beat 3.5 to Tenor 2
O Thou That Tellest At H beat 2.5, join Bass 2 after H, beat 3.5 to Tenor 1
For Unto Us a Child Is Born 2 after B, join Bass At C, to Tenor 1
  7 before E, join Bass 2 before E, beat 2 to Tenor 2
  7 after E, join Bass 11 after E, join Tenor 1
  3 before F, join Bass 2 before F, beat 4 to Tenor 2
  5 after F beat 4, join Bass 6 after F, beat 3 to Tenor 1
Glory to God At B beat 1, join Bass At B, beat 3 to Tenor 1
His Yoke Is Easy 5 after A beat 2.5, join Bass 8 after A, back to Tenor 1
  At B, beat 4.5, join Bass 5 after B, back to Tenor 1
  6 after B beat 4.5, join Bass 7 after B, beat 4.5 to Tenor 2
  At C, beat 2.5, join Bass 3 after C, beat 2.5 to Tenor 1
Hallelujah At D, join Bass 3 after D, beat 4 to Tenor 1
  5 after G beat 2.5, join Bass 5 after G, beat 4 to Tenor 1


The rehearsal letters and measure numbers are from the 1912 Schirmer edition.

Note that it would seem more likely to find Tenors that can sing the Bass part, than the alternative of Basses singing the Tenor part, at least in Messiah, because there are Tenor notes that are simply too high for a Bass singers,  whereas most of the Bass part would seem to be in the range accessible for a Tenor to sing.

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