The 'Hallelujah' Chorus, arguably the most famous choral work of the western classical tradition, is the closing number of the second part of Handel's Messiah.
Such is the strength of Handel's word setting that this empathic, triumphal paean retains its appeal in spite of the cultural overexposure and controversy to which it has been subjected, remaining a firm favourite with choirs.
The premiere of Messiah was in Dublin in 1742 as the high point of a full season of Handel's work. It was a charity event, held in aid of local causes, and in order to get the maximum attendance at Neale's new music hall in Fishamble Street, men were asked to remove their swords, and ladies the hoops in their dresses.
The tradition of standing during performances of the 'Hallelujah' Chorus, still indulged at some performances in Britains, is said to have been started by King George II at the work's opening run in London in 1743.