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Hyperion Records

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Track(s) taken from CDA67286
Recording details: February 2001
St Jude-on-the-Hill, Hampstead Garden Suburb, London, United Kingdom
Produced by Ben Turner
Engineered by Philip Hobbs
Release date: October 2001
Total duration: 5 minutes 56 seconds

'Vividly atmospheric' (The Guardian)

'A reconstruction, complete with a plethora of fanfares, drum processions, schoolboys shouting 'Vivat Rex!', and a great deal of bell clanging … all of it impressive music, well played and sung, and vivdly recorded' (The Sunday Times)

'Robert King’s magical history tour of Hanoverian London brings life to contemporary accounts of the coronation of George II. Outstanding accounts of Handel’s Coronation Anthems and a joyful reading of Purcell’s I was glad … a powerful experience' (Classic FM Magazine)

'The whole experience of listening repeatedly to this restaged coronation has been deeply satisfying and indeed moving. It is not like hearing a recording. You were there – it is as simple, and as wonderful, as that' (Fanfare, USA)

'Throughout the performances find King and his outstanding musicians at their most vibrant and dynamic, with choral and instrumental contributions that resoundlingly capture the splendour of the occasion' (Goldberg)

Zadok the Priest, HWV258
composer
composed for the coronation of King George II and Queen Caroline at Westminster Abbey on 11 October 1727
author of text
after 1 Kings 1: 38-40

Introduction  EnglishFrançaisDeutsch
Handel’s prominence in British cultural life had been consolidated in February 1727 by the inclusion of his name in the Naturalization Act passed by George I shortly before the king’s death at Osnabrück (on the way to visit Hanover, which the monarch much preferred to London). The composer’s decision to become officially British fortunately granted him the legitimate status to provide four new anthems for the coronation service of King George II and Queen Caroline at Westminster Abbey on 11 October 1727. The most famous of the four newly composed pieces for the occasion is ‘Zadok the Priest’ (HWV258). Its text is paraphrased from 1 Kings 1: 38–40, and it has been performed at every subsequent British coronation. Handel presumably relished the opportunity to write grand ceremonial music for much larger forces than were available in the theatre (an eyewitness of the rehearsal claims that there were 40 singers and 160 players), but it seems that the musical contributions to the coronation service were far from smooth. The position of different groups of performers in galleries where they could not see each other left them at the mercy of the building’s notoriously tricky acoustic, and William Wake, the Archbishop of Canterbury, annotated on his copy of the printed order of service that another of Handel’s anthems (‘The King shall Rejoice’) was ‘in Confusion: All irregular in the Music’.

It is unlikely that Handel ever performed with such a large choir again. Although all four coronation anthems were incorporated into his theatre oratorios during the early 1730s, his usual choir for such concerts was about half the size of the forces that had been specially amassed for an event of iconic national importance.

from notes by David Vickers © 2008

Other albums featuring this work
'Handel: Essential Handel' (KING6)
Handel: Essential Handel
MP3 £4.50FLAC £4.50ALAC £4.50 KING6  Super-budget price sampler — Download only  
'The Coronation of King George II' (SACDA67286)
The Coronation of King George II
This album is not yet available for download SACDA67286  2CDs Super-Audio CD — Deleted  
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