The anthem Sing unto God
was written in 1736 for the wedding in the German Chapel at St James’s Palace of Prince Frederick (the Prince of Wales) and Princess Augusta of Saxe-Coburg on April 27, Handel took his text from Psalms 68, 106 and 128. Once again the libretto gave him ample scope for a variety of moods: the grand opening uses chorus, full orchestra (including timpani) and an alto soloist, with an important part for a solo trumpeter. The soprano soloist is given a movement (‘Blessed are all they that fear the Lord’) underpinned with a typically cheerful walking bass, and the bass soloist and an obbligato cello have a particularly lyrical setting of ‘Thy wife shall be as the fruitful vine’. The Chapel Royal obviously had a particularly fine tenor on call for the service; the soloist is given some demanding passage-work before the chorus (and the return of the trumpets and timpani) end the work with typical Handelian energy and grandeur.
from notes by Robert King © 1989