Messiah (includes Hallelujah Chorus)
George Frideric Handel

34

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Handel's choral classic falls to its lowest-ever position

The love affair that British classical music audiences have with this oratorio is quite phenomenal. Since its Dublin premiere in 1742, it has been performed by choirs across the land every year since at least 1745. Handel continued to work on it after its initial performance, finally arriving at the version we know today in 1754.

The rousing Hallelujah Chorus is by far the most widely known section of the work. Audiences used to tend to stand during performances a tradition that began when King George II stood up during the chorus at the Oratorio debut London performance.