Wednesday, 12 December 2012

All Rise!

I love the Messiah tradition that everyone in the audience must stand while the Hallelujah Chorus is sung. Two explanations exist about why this is so. Both are likely apocryphal but are still entertaining.


The "official" explanation is that when King George II of England first heard the Hallelujah Chorus, he was so emotionally overcome that he leapt to his feet in a spontaneous show of religious devotion. Of course, everyone else had to stand too while the King was standing.


The "unofficial" explanation is that the King simply stood up because he thought the oratorio was over and he was preparing to leave. When he realized his mistake, he stayed standing to give the impression he had meant to do so all along.

Kings hate looking foolish, just like cats and the rest of us!

[Photo of Messiah audience at Carnegie Hall is from the internet. Painting of King George II is by Thomas Hudson, 1744.]

25 comments:

mxtodis123 said...

That is a great story. Reading these past few days have made me realize I would love to see the show again.
Mary

Jane of The Jewels said...

Or maybe his tights were slipping and he wanted to hike them back up... hehe! All kidding aside, a very interesting history.

Elsie The Writer said...

That's why I love coming here, Debra, I always learn something new! Thank you for sharing this.

Elsie The Writer said...

(ps: I have a new blog dedicated to writing - finally =) )

Francie M said...

Love jane's comment! I tend to believe your first explanation though just because it is such a powerful moment in the piece.

Southpaw said...

Interesting. I'll go ahead and "believe" the first story. ;)

Anne said...

I'm going with the second explanation, it's more plausible.

Boho mom said...

cool story - I did not know that. Also LOVE the first pic.
talk soon xo

mrsduncanmahogany said...

Its a good thing that you have to stand because at that very point is when I am usually nodding off during the concert...due to warm bodies, dim lights and beautiful music!

Linda Wildenstein said...

Learned something else by just being here. Darn it I hate that when that happens...lots of stuff has to shuffle about in my brain to store a new piece of information that I might happen to have to know someday.
What were we....oh yeah
me too.

Jeanne said...

Interesting historical tidbit....

Magic Love Crow said...

Both explanations are very interesting! Great facts!

My Grama's Soul said...

Debra....I LOVE the Hallelujah chorus....interesting info on why everyone stands....I sang this when I was in high school many moons ago....I still get chills down my spine when I hear it.

Jo

Robin Larkspur said...

I don't know how anyone can remain sitting during that thrilling Chorus!

Joyful Things said...

Ha ha. at least he didn't try to sing along :>)

Plowing Through Life (Martha) said...

Hahahha...you have opened the door to many possible funny explanations. I do like the second one, and love Jane's!!, although the first sounds more likely. Maybe.

Jim said...

Thanks for the explanation on this Debra.

Riot Kitty said...

Perhaps he just needed to have a pee ;)

Boho mom said...

hey Deb, just checking to see if you emailed me. Google and Blogger said to confirm my emails are indeed from who they say they are. Stalkers made up another blog and tried for the address of my new one- they are capable of making up email addresses too.
thx,
peace

Birdie said...

As a lover of Classical music I like to think he stood up because he was so overcome with emotion. :-)

Introverted Art said...

I just find the second one so much more entertaining...and funny!

Debra She Who Seeks said...

Hi Boho Mom -- yes, it's me!

JACKIESUE said...

did he have his clothes on?

laughingwolf said...

nice robe...

SUZY8-TRACK said...

Its good to be the king! Great story!