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Easter, Not Christmas, and, No, George Stayed Seated (Were He There at All)

The Music Scene

Here are a few things you might not know about Handel’s great oratorio, “Messiah.”

First, despite being a Christmas tradition, it was written for Easter. The climactic Hallelujah follows Christ’s Resurrection and Ascension.

Second, King George II never did stand up for the Hallelujah Chorus ­— let alone rise at the sight of a courtesan or leave for the bathroom — and may never even have attended a performance of it. So don’t stand up when all those people who believe these tales do.

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