Sunday, April 16, 2006

Handel's Messiah

Playing on the iPod is the exultant Hallelujah chorus from Handel's Messiah.

The Messiah is Handel's most famous work and among the most popular works in the Western choral literature. It was composed in London between August 22 and September 14, 1741 (!!!) and it was first performed in Dublin in 1742. The Libretto is Charles Jennes's, after the Bible.
The text of the Hallelujah chorus, which concludes the second of the three parts, is drawn from the New Testament book of Revelation.
In many parts of the world, it is the accepted practice for the audience to stand for this section of the performance. Tradition has it that on first hearing the chorus, King George II was so moved that he rose to his feet. As is true today, when the King stands, so do all subjects also rise; thus engendering the tradition. However, modern scholarship holds its origins in doubt: the King may not have even been present at the premiere.
Occasionally, people unfamiliar with the work have been known to leave after this movement, assuming this to be the end of the oratorio when this is, as noted above, merely the conclusion of the second of the three parts.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Three times I tried and three times the Messiah di not come.
Do you think it is because of my family religion?