For Unto Us a Classic is Born

He was usually successful and comfortably well off, but when hard times hit he was forced to accept any and all offerings. After exhausting his search in Germany, George Fridrick Handel traveled to Dublin responding to a request for a fresh new composition for Easter. He immersed himself into Scripture, seeking inspiration. The book of Isaiah held his attention and in only twenty-eight days, he completed the most celebrated composition of choral challenge ever written. “The Messiah” is a four hour-workout Oratorio for any singer. Today’s performances are limited to a few recitatives, solos and choruses that demand exceptional vocal range.  The first time “The Messiah” was performed in England attended by the Royal Family and when the orchestra began the introduction to “The Hallelujah Chorus”, the King stood.  In response, the entire audience stood.  That has become traditional. There are conflicting reasons given as to why the King stood. The most popular says that he was so moved by the  whole thing he stood in honor of the event.
A less acceptable reason is that he simply had grown tired of sitting so long. Either way, if you attend a performance of Handel’s Messiah, be prepared to stand for the “Hallelujah Chorus”.  I have participated as a member of the chorus and have also directed this masterpiece. Each time there is a thrill of accomplishment and appreciation for the talent and perseverance of  Handel. His willing surrender to GOD’s inspiration is a  blessing to us all.  AMEN

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