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The ‘Queen Caroline’ Te Deum was performed twice that year, first on September 26, and then again on October 17. It too looks back to Purcell in some of its construction, particularly the ‘Vouchsafe’ which has much in common with Purcell’s own 1694 setting of the same text. (Handel, though rude about many of his contemporaries, revered Purcell: at a performance of Jephtha he countered a remark that a passage reminded one of the listeners of Purcell with ‘If Purcell had lived, he would have composed better music than this’). But Handel’s Te Deum also shows the influence of the opera (in which he was already proving a great success), particularly in the tenor aria ‘The glorious company’, and the lyrical aria for alto and solo flute ‘When thou tookest upon thee’.
from notes by Robert King © 1989