The Corner

Hallelujah Chorus

Having just listened to a Messiah–Neville Mariner, Dublin, 1992, commemorating the 250th anniversary of the debut –I reflected on why George II stood, as we are told, for the Hallelujah Chorus (the origin of the custom). One stands as a sign of respect; more precisely, in a hierarchical society, one stands in the presence of superiors. Kigns sit, commoners stand. I imagine he stood for a double reason–to acknowledge the subject of the piece, the King of Kings; and to acknowledge the brilliance of Handel (the Hanoverians, as befit German potentates, had good ears for music). Either way, well done, your majesty.


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