Handel: Coronation Anthemsby Choir of King's College, Cambridge
Handel's "Coronation Anthems" were written in 1727 for George II and Queen Caroline, and have been performed at every British coronation since that occasion. "Zadok the Priest" will be familiar from its use in the film The Madness of King George. Handel's arpeggiated suspensions in the strings build excitement from the outset, but the entrance of the choir and full orchestra is shattering beyond expectations. "Zadok"'s brevity and forthright text-setting make it as instantly accessible as anything found in Handel's great oratorios. "Let Thy Hand Be Strengthened" is less overwhelming and even pensive in its middle section. "The King Shall Rejoice" returns to the celebratory mood of "Zadok," though with less force and drama. "My Heart Is Inditing" is the gentlest setting of the four, and Handel's writing in the middle sections is almost pastoral. The "Ode for the Birthday of Queen Anne" was most likely written in 1713 and follows the tradition established by Purcell. An extended setting of an uninspired text, the ode may not be as satisfying as the anthems, though Handel's melodic writing is worth exploration. Stephen Cleobury directs the Choir of King's College, Cambridge and the Academy of Ancient Music in these jubilant performances, which were digitally recorded in 2001.
- Release Date:
- Warner Classics
- Coronation Anthems (4) for chorus & orchestra, HWV 258-261
- Ode for the Birthday of Queen Anne (Eternal Source of Light Divine), HWV 74
Performance CreditsChoir of King's College, Cambridge Primary Artist
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The King's College Choir is #1! They are my favorite choir. I love the English cathedral sound, & I'm not even remotely English. Stephen Cleobury is an excellent choir director. The acoustic of King's College Chapel is perfect! Handel is my favorite composer.