HOW EXCELLENT THY NAME
How Excellent Thy Name
The Mormon Tabernacle Choir & Orchestra at Temple Square perform "How Excellent Thy Name."
ABOUT 'HOW EXCELLENT THY NAME'
Music: George Frideric Handel
While performances of Handel’s oratorio Messiah have been a long- standing Christmas tradition for two centuries, its famous “Hallelujah” is by no means the only Hallelujah chorus Handel wrote. Nor was it the first. Saul was one of Handel’s earlier oratorios—first performed in 1739, three years before Messiah—and the first of several collaborations with the librettist Charles Jennens (who also assembled the scriptural texts for Messiah).
The oratorio begins with a Chorus of Israelites praising God for saving their nation through David’s miraculous slaying of Goliath. The scene later concludes with an abbreviated reprise of this regal chorus, “How Excellent Thy Name,” appended by a joyfully contrapuntal “Alleluia!” that at its conclusion hints toward its later, more famous counterpart from Messiah.
LISTEN TO THE FULL SONG
How excellent Thy Name, O Lord,
In all the world is known!
Above all heavens, O King adored,
How has Thou set Thy glorious throne!