Magazine article Gramophone

Handel: Four Coronation Anthems

Magazine article Gramophone

Handel: Four Coronation Anthems

Article excerpt

Handel

Four Coronation Anthems (a). Esther(b)--Sinfonia; Shall we the God of Israel fear; Ye sons of Israel mourn; Tyrants may a while presume; Save us, O Lord; God is our hope NDR Chorus; Gottingen Festival Orchestra / Laurence Cummings Accent (F) ACC26405 (55' * DDD * T) Recorded live at the Stadthalle, Gottingen, (b) May 17, 2012; (a) June 7, 2014

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The Archbishop of Canterbury's scribbles on his order of service reveal that the music did not go smoothly during the coronation of George II and Queen Caroline at Westminster Abbey on October 11, 1727. Happily, the success of Handel's four anthems for the occasion directly influenced the choral elements in his first public oratorios a few years later. For example, My heart is inditing and Zadok the Priest--with the parody text 'God is our hope and our strength'--were both incorporated into the expanded version of Esther performed during the 1731-32 opera season. Therefore it is an interesting idea for Accent to issue the Gottingen Handel Festival's NDR broadcasts of all four coronation anthems (recorded in 2014) alongside a selection of five choruses from the 1732 version of Esther (taken from a performance of the oratorio by almost identical personnel two years earlier). …

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