Coronation Anthems (George Frideric Handel)

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General information

One of the lasts acts of King George I before his death in 1727 was to sign "An Act for the naturalizing of George Frideric Handel and others". Handel's first commission as a naturalized British citizen was to write the music for the coronation later that year. The four anthems Handel composed for the coronation of King George II and Queen Caroline on 11 October 1727 have never lacked popular favour. They were repeatedly performed at concerts and festivals during his life and since, and he incorporated substantial parts of them, with little change except to the words, in several oratorios, notably Esther and Deborah.

The forces that he used were substantial for the period: an augmented Chapel Royal Choir of 47 and an orchestra that may have numbered as many as 160 instruments. The chorus is divided from time to time into 6 or 7 parts (the tenors remain united) and a large body of strings includes three (not the usual two) violin parts.

List of works

Coronation Anthems

Nº 1: Zadok the Priest

Nº 2: The King shall rejoice

Nº 3: Let thy hand be strengthened

Nº 4: My heart is inditing

External links