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Nov 28

His servants would often find him in tears as he composed. 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. Al Wolters is Professor Emeritus of Religion and Theology/Classical Languages at Redeemer University College. Save my name, email, and website in this browser for the next time I comment. When it came to the Hallelujah Chorus he stood up. November 12 th 2010. Comment Magazine is powered by Cardus | 185 Young Street, Hamilton, ON, L8N 1V9 | | 1-888-339-8866, You can unsubscribe at any time. 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. Thomas Cranmer wrote a prayer book, and shaped an entire society. The 1742 premiere was at the New Music Hall, Fishamble Street, in Dublin, and King George would certainly not have attended. Your email address will not be published. During the upcoming Christmas season I will have no difficulty standing up when the choir sings the "Hallelujah." Psalm 2 is right when it predicts that the Lord's Anointed will one day be victorious over all who resist his claims. Instead, I believe we have to acknowledge that Handel's Messiah represents the scandal of the gospel, namely the claim that Jesus Christ is the only Saviour of the world, a Saviour who brooks no rivals or competitors. Then the "Hallelujah," with its celebration of the universal triumph of God in Jesus Christ, is sung. It’s just so hard!” and indeed, if I were still in high school and had three days’ notice to prepare this piece, I would have been thrown into a panic. 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. Stand Up For Handel – The Hallelujah Chorus Christmas is upon us and many people – both locals and visitors – will go either to a church or concert hall to experience a performance of the Messiah written by George Frederick Handel, which is a highlight of the festive season. The king was so moved by the singing of the “Hallelujah Chorus,” he spontaneously stood to his feet and remained standing until the end of Handel’s masterpiece. When his assistants brought him his meals, they were often left uneaten. Required fields are marked *. Standing Up for the Hallelujah Chorus. We welcome any and all feedback — please contact managing editor Dan Postma at He served as a Senior Member at the Institute for Christian Studies in Toronto from 1974-1984, received his doctorate in philosophy from the Free University of Amsterdam in 1972, and is the author of Creation Regained: Biblical Basics for a Reformational Worldview. Although I believe Marissen is mistaken in his view that Handel was specifically targeting Jews in Messiah, and that he had in mind specifically the fall of Jerusalem, I believe he is correct in identifying a serious religious issue that is posed for contemporary audiences by the explicitly—not to say aggressively—Christian character of this justly famous work. Part of 'Tis The Season at WQXR.. All December WQXR presents special holiday delights to make this season merry and bright. Almost three hundred years after its first performance in Dublin, Handel's oratorio Messiah is still regularly performed all over the world, especially at Christmas. Musical Analysis Of Hallelujah Chorus History of “Hallelujah” Chorus from Handel’s Messiah During its London premiere in 1743, King George II rose to his feet at the start of the Hallelujah chorus and remained standing until the end, a tradition that is followed around the world today, even in fervent republics such as the Get every new post delivered to your Inbox. As I wrote back, “It’s a good thing I still have this in my fingers!” as it should be for every organist. It is truly remarkable that to this day, even in our rapidly secularizing society, audiences traditionally rise to their feet to show a kind of special honour for this magnificent musical confession of faith. November 12 th 2010. 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. Whether it is done on the concert stage with a large chorus and symphony orchestra or by church choirs accompanied by a pipe organ, it is the part of Handel’s Messiah that traditionally brings people to their feet.

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