Hallelujah Chorus: Background Information

Composer: Georg Friedrich Handel (February 23, 1685 – April 14, 1759)
Date of composition: 1741/Sep/06
Style: Baroque
Instrument(s): Voice (SATB), Orchestra: Strings (Violins, Viola, Cello, Bass), Oboes, Bassoons, Trumpet, Percussion (Timpani)
Copyright: Public Domain

The Hallelujah Chorus is part of the oratorio Messiah by Handel, concluding the second of three parts. It is Handel's best-known piece and remains hugely popular.

Handel was a devout Christian and Messiah reflects his faith. The text of the chorus are taken from the King James Bible.

In many parts of the world it is traditional for the audience to stand during the Hallelujah Chorus. Legend has it that King George II was so moved by the music that he stood to his feet when he heard it, requiring that his subjects followed suit. There is some doubt over the accuracy of this story.