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Songs in Messiah, an Oratorio
Set to Musick by Mr. Handel.


London: I. Walsh, 1765

* f M2004.H13m 1765

Messiah, An Oratorio in Score As it was Originally Perform'd. Composed by Mr. Handel To which are added His addtional Alterations.

London, Randal & Abell, 1767

* f M2000.H13m 1767

Perhaps the most famous of all of Handel's works, the published score appeared only after his death. The first edition contained only the arias and no chorus. At the top of the title page can be seen a impression of the words "The Songs in Messiah," as a separate imprint from the remainder of the sheet. The publisher Walsh, not wishing to waste expensive paper, recycled the the page from his stock of Judas Maccabeus, which first appeared in 1747.

In 1767, the publishers Randall and Abell brought out the first complete and very rare edition of the full score.

The tradition of the audience standing during the celebrated "Hallelujah" Chorus seemingly began at the premiere in London on March 23, 1743, when King George II, moved by the text and music of "For the Lord God omnipotent reigneth"stood, thus prompting the audience to follow suit. At the end of the number, he returned to his seat, and the audience sat as well. Some humorously remarked that the King arose merely to stretch his legs, thus compelling the public to rise as well.

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