GEORGE FRIDERIC HANDEL 1685 - 1759. Born in Halle, 1685 Not from a musical family - his father hoped he would pursue law At age 10, Handel impressed Johann Adolph, Duke of Weissenfels, who then financed his musical studies Age 17 Handel became organist for one of Halle’s principal churches
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How did the tradition of the audience standing during 'The Hallelujah Chorus' (from Messiah) begin? Did the King (George II) start this tradition and why did he stand?
"...When Messiah was first performed in London (1743), when the chorus struck up, 'For the Lord God omnipotent reigneth' ('Hallelujah Chorus’), reportedly the audience and King [George II] stood and remained standing until the chorus had ended...” (1780)
No. 1 OvertureSlow Fast
Handel, at the low ebb of his career and, as a consequence of a stroke, suffering partial paralysis on his left side, composed Messiah in the incredibly short period of time of 21 days. The composer had been invited to give a series of concerts in Dublin, some of which would benefit various charities. The premiere was met with considerable success and served to boost Handel's spirits for a return to London. While it is true that George II stood during the singing of the mighty "Hallelujah" Chorus at the second London performance, Messiah did not enjoy the popularity of many of Handel's other oratorios during the composer's lifetime. In fact, it was only through Handel's annual Eastertide performances to benefit his favorite charity, the Foundling Hospital, that Messiah was heard at all!
King’s Chapel, Boston