Hyperion Records

Let God arise 'Chandos Anthem No 11a', HWV256a
between August 1717 and summer 1718
author of text
Psalm 68: 1-4, 19; 76: 6; 68: 35

'Handel: Chandos Anthems Nos 7, 9 & 11a' (CDA67737)
Handel: Chandos Anthems Nos 7, 9 & 11a
Movement 1: Sonata: Andante – Allegro
Movement 2: Let God arise
Movement 3: Like as the smoke vanisheth
Movement 4: Let the righteous be glad
Movement 5: O sing unto God
Movement 6: Praised be the Lord!
Movement 7: At thy rebuke, O God
Movement 8: Blessed be God

Let God arise 'Chandos Anthem No 11a', HWV256a
Let God arise opens with an exceptionally fine Sonata, with a lyrically flowing first movement and a brilliant second section in which running semiquaver figures persist throughout. The text is selected from the belligerent Psalm 68, with the effective interpolation of a verse from Psalm 76 for the chorus ‘At thy rebuke, O God’. The war-like mood is set immediately in the first chorus, where instruments and voices all strive to imitate the scattering of the enemies. A couple of ideas from Dixit Dominus are thrown into the mix: the first section ends abruptly with the choral voices breaking up, as in the ‘Implebit ruinas’ section of the Latin psalm, and the continuation takes its cue from the next section of the psalm (‘Conquassabit capita’), greatly expanded and enlivened by newly added cross-rhythms. In the solo ‘Like as the smoke vanisheth’ Handel manages to find musical ideas to convey the notions of vanishing and driving away, and to combine them skilfully in a unified texture. ‘Let the righteous be glad’ is an especially delightful solo, in which a memorable motif later used by Handel in the motet Silete venti and in Semele makes its first appearance. The chorus ‘O sing unto God’ is rather oddly set in a minor key with a theme dominated by running triplets, but the movement soon develops into an impressive musical structure. A slow and solemn section prepares for the exhilarating setting of ‘At thy rebuke’, and the final movement, with its Alleluias pitted against a theme in long notes, both echoes the opening movement of Dixit Dominus and anticipates the most famous chorus of Messiah.

from notes by Anthony Hicks © 2009

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