Ever since that day, it has been customary for the audience to stand whenever the “Hallelujah Chorus” is sung. We’re building the ship as we’re sailing it. Here is the Oahu Choral Society program’s description of this piece: When the Messiah premiered at St. Patrick’s Cathedral in 1742, King George II was in attendance. Aside from its Joyous Blasts of Righteous Celebration, this chorus includes one of the most anachronistic holiday traditions, that of the audience standing during its performance. Even in our rapidly secularizing society, audiences still rise to their feet for this musical credo. The most popular and most repeated modern myth is that “he was so moved” or “overcome by emotion” by the music that he felt compelled to stand. His religious and political views—he opposed the Act of Settlement of 1701 which secured the accession to the British throne for the House of Hanover—prevented him from receiving his degree from Balliol College, Oxford, or from pursuing any form of public career. No one knows for sure why he stood. Comment Magazine is powered by Cardus | 185 Young Street, Hamilton, ON, L8N 1V9 | www.cardus.ca | 1-888-339-8866, You can unsubscribe at any time. Standing Up for the Hallelujah Chorus. We welcome any and all feedback — please contact managing editor Dan Postma at [email protected] The Oahu Choral Society’s concert, “Tidings of Comfort and Joy,” is Saturday night, December 9 at 7:30 pm at St. Andrew’s Cathedral. Then the "Hallelujah," with its celebration of the universal triumph of God in Jesus Christ, is sung. The historian Robert Manson Myers expressed incredulity that “thousands who can scarcely distinguish F sharp from middle C punctiliously observe a custom established by a stupid Hanoverian king and his worldly court two hundred years ago.’’. History of “Hallelujah” Chorus. 12. When his assistants brought him his meals, they were often left uneaten. Even in our rapidly secularizing society, audiences still rise to their feet for this musical credo. Get every new post delivered to your Inbox. Your email address will not be published. Scores of performances are mounted each year in cities throughout Europe and the Americas by both local amateurs and highly skilled professionals. But there is a fly in the ointment. No one is really sure whether the king stood up because he liked the music or for some other reason, but it has become tradition for the audience to stand up when the Hallelujah Chorus is sung. Although I am not competent to judge, I suspect that other oratorios written by Handel are not necessarily inferior to Messiah in musical excellence, but these others are rarely performed today, if not virtually forgotten. The Hallelujah Chorus is part of the oratorio Messiah by Handel, concluding the second of three parts. Handel composed Messiah without getting much sleep or even eating much food. Tickets are available at the door or online. 12. Please be patient while we complete the request. A thorough explanation of the history of standing for the “Hallelujah Chorus” was explored in a two-part Boston Globe article by Matthew Guerrieri called “Rise and Say ‘Hallelujah’” He questions whether George II was even in the audience! Join 7000+ readers who receive fresh, thought-provoking articles once a week right in their inbox. Download File PDF Musical Analysis Of Hallelujah Chorus which would have obliged all to stand. A thorough explanation of the history of standing for the “Hallelujah Chorus” was explored in a two-part Boston Globe article by Matthew Guerrieri called “Rise and Say ‘Hallelujah’” He questions whether George II was even in the audience! His family's wealth enabled him to live a life of leisure while devoting himself to his literar… The front of the building is all that remains of the hall today, and there is a plaque commemorating the Messiah premiere. The text of the chorus are taken from the King James Bible. Within the context of the libretto which Handel used (prepared by his friend Charles Jennens), this chorus is preceded by sung versions of select verses from Psalm 2, which read as follows: The meaning is unmistakable. At least part of it is famous, the "Hallelujah Chorus," an indispensable part of Christmas for hundreds of thousands who don't otherwise care a rap for choral music. The custom of standing for the “Hallelujah” chorus originates from a belief that, at the London premiere, King George II did so, Page 2/14. And while you’re there, read my thoughts on mispronouncing Handel’s last name.]. During the first London performance of Handel's Messiah, King George II stood up as soon as the Hallelujah chorus kicked in - after that, it became traditional for audiences to stand for this famous chorus. I do not believe it is possible to abstract its musical qualities from the religious point of its libretto. When it came to the Hallelujah Chorus he stood up. Or don’t: Remaining seated during the “Hallelujah’’ chorus ranks as one of the more effortless demonstrations of anti-authoritarian dissent. To gloss over its overtly Christian message is to do injustice to both Handel and his masterpiece. However secularized and commercialized the contemporary celebration of Christmas may have become, the frequent performance of Messiah around Christmas still testifies to the fact that its connection with the birth of Jesus Christ has not been forgotten in our culture. Its confessional thrust is part and parcel of the meaning of this work of musical art. Learn how your comment data is processed. But my heart will ache for those who take understandable offense at its uncompromising message.