Hyperion Records

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

Recordings
'Handel: Essential Handel' (KING6)
Handel: Essential Handel
Buy by post £4.50 KING6  Super-budget price sampler — Last few CD copies remaining  
'Handel: Dettingen Te Deum' (CDA67678)
Handel: Dettingen Te Deum
Buy by post £10.50 CDA67678 
'Handel: Fireworks Music & Coronation Anthems' (CDA66350)
Handel: Fireworks Music & Coronation Anthems
Buy by post £10.50 CDA66350 
'The Coronation of King George II' (CDA67286)
The Coronation of King George II
Buy by post £27.98 (ARCHIVE SERVICE) CDA67286  2CDs for the price of 1 — Archive Service  
'The Coronation of King George II' (SACDA67286)
The Coronation of King George II
SACDA67286  2CDs Super-Audio CD — Deleted  
Details
Track 16 on CDA67286 CD1 [5'56] 2CDs for the price of 1 — Archive Service
Track 5 on KING6 [5'56] Super-budget price sampler — Last few CD copies remaining
Track 16 on SACDA67286 CD1 [5'56] 2CDs Super-Audio CD — Deleted

Zadok the Priest, HWV258
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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

Track-specific metadata
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Details for CDA66350 track 1
Artists
ISRC
GB-AJY-89-35001
Duration
5'33
Recording date
28 February 1989
Recording venue
St Jude-on-the-Hill, Hampstead Garden Suburb, London, United Kingdom
Recording producer
Mark Brown
Recording engineer
Antony Howell
Hyperion usage
  1. Handel: Fireworks Music & Coronation Anthems (CDA66350)
    Disc 1 Track 1
    Release date: October 1989
Licensing
1.Advert Mercedes-Benz 'South African Olympic bid', 1996
2.DVD House of Cards Trilogy
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