Sir: Further to K. H. Brend's letter (12 August), there is another explanation regarding George II's rising to his feet during Handel's Messiah. This occurred at the start of the Hallelujah Chorus, which is a trifle forte. There is a school of thought that holds His Majesty had fallen asleep and, upon being awakened by magnificent "Hallelujahs", believed the oratorio had finished and rose to his feet to applaud the greatness of Handel's work. The audience followed suit - after all, he was the King of England - and the tradition continues to this day.
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