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Noble Ambition

Shortly after the London debut of Handel's Messiah (in 1743), the composer was complimented by Lord Kinnoul on "the noble entertainment." "My Lord, I should be sorry if I only entertained them," Handel replied. "I wished to make them better."

[During the London debut, King George II (and, indeed, much of the audience) stood up during the "Hallelujah Chorus"; standing remains a tradition today.]

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