Handel’s great Easter hymn Rejoice, the Lord is King
was never published in his lifetime and seems to have been unknown to the public at large until 1827, when Samuel Wesley published it from the autograph manuscript in the Fitzwilliam Museum in an arrangement for four-part choir and organ. In this performance we have tried to imagine how Wesley might have accompanied it in a London parish church. Timothy Roberts plays over the tune, improvising decorations, and plays interludes between the verses; the first is Wesley’s realization of Handel’s own interlude, but the rest are borrowed from a set written for Darwell’s 148th.
from notes by Peter Holman © 1998