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The Coronation of King George II - Handel, etc. [Double CD]

Henry Purcell, George Frideric Handel, Robert King Audio CD
5.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (3 customer reviews)

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Product details

  • Conductor: Robert King
  • Composer: Thomas Tallis, John Farmer, John Blow, Orlando Gibbons, William Child, et al.
  • Audio CD (1 Oct 2001)
  • SPARS Code: DDD
  • Number of Discs: 1
  • Format: Double CD
  • Label: Hyperion
  • ASIN: B00005QIT8
  • Average Customer Review: 5.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (3 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 128,350 in Music (See Top 100 in Music)

Disc: 1
1. Tolling bell of Westminster Abbey
2. Trumpet fanfare
3. Drum procession
4. Vivat
5. Trumpet fanfare
6. O lord, grant the King a long life - William Child
7. A grand instrumental procession - Handel
8. I was glad when they said unto me - Purcell
9. God save King George
10. Trumpet fanfare
See all 14 tracks on this disc
Disc: 2
1. Trumpet fanfare
2. Behold, o God, our defender - John Blow
3. Trumpet fanfare
4. God save the King
5. The King shall rejoice - Handel
6. Te Deum (from The Second Service) - Orlando Gibbons
7. Trumpet fanfare
8. God spake sometime in visions - John Blow
9. Drums
10. Trumpet fanfare
See all 17 tracks on this disc

Product Description


George II's coronation, which is depicted on this Hyperion two-CD set, took place in 1727 amid chaotic circumstances and it's hard to know how much of the surviving documentation indicates what actually happened as against what was meant to happen. So Robert King's musical recreation of the event is inevitably a mixture of scholarship and speculation, throwing in items from past coronation ceremonies (such as Purcell's I was glad) on challengeable evidence. But never mind. This is an exercise you have to take in broad terms and, as such, it's brilliantly effective, with clear, sharp-edged performances of the four coronation anthems (including Zadok the Priest) that Handel definitely did write for the event, together with what would in 1727 have been old music by Tallis, Gibbons and Blow, plus spatial sound effects of grand processions, fanfares, shouts of acclamation and the bells of London, all recorded in rural locations west of Swindon because the real thing is impossible to get these days free of 21st-century traffic noise. One reservation: it's all a touch staid with over-stately tempi and less atmosphere than it could happily sustain. You just don't believe it's happening in Westminster Abbey (nor is it: most of material was recorded in a Lutyens church in Hampstead Garden Suburb, North London). Also, over two CDs, the endless trumpet fanfares get a little wearing. But that's probably authentic. And since the second CD comes free, there's nothing to complain about. --Michael White

Product Description

Crowning The King's Consort's celebrations of its twenty-first birthday and its millionth CD sale for Hyperion, comes a truly spectacular reconstruction, that of the Coronation of King George II in Westminster Abbey in 1727. Complete with ringing trumpet fanfares sounding from all corners of the venue, dramatic drum processions up and down the aisles, shouts of acclamation from a huge cast, pealing church bells (especially recorded at historic churches and cathedrals across England and Wales), and some of the greatest of all ceremonial music, this two-for-the-price-of-one disc is a spectacular musical and sonic tour-de-force. The music is fronted by Handel's four great Coronation Anthems, including Zadok the Priest (so striking at its first 1727 hearing that it has been performed at every Coronation ever since), alongside splendid coronation music by Henry Purcell, John Blow, William Child, John Farmer, Thomas Tallis and Orlando Gibbons.

Customer Reviews

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Most Helpful Customer Reviews
3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars God save the King... 24 July 2006
Format:Audio CD
I was very fortunate to walk into Exeter Cathedral one summer's day a few years ago and happen to come across four men banging their drums in procession. In the distance by the pulpitum screen was a stage, assembled with choir and orchestra. A hymn started up (the orchestra standing up and joining in too), and then the conductor motioned for them to sit. I quickly made my way to the front of the nave, and as I sat down, so the orchestra started to play Zadok the Priest. It was the King's Consort practising for their concert of the reconstruction of the Coronation of George II in 1727.

Zadok the Priest is but one highlight of this excellent recording: Robert King's leisurely speed for the first movement could be described as 'too slow', but really, it allows the general crescendo to be made more grand (there are also smaller crescendos that bring the arpeggios to life). Thus, when the choir, trumpets and drums eventually enter, the result is more thrilling than any other recording available.

The other coronation anthems by Handel get equally wonderful readings - it helps having an orchestra of the best in the country, and a choir of such high standard. Imagine directing a choir featuring Robin Blaze, Rebecca Outram, Robert MacDonald, Andrew Carwood, Carolyn Sampson and so on - what a result this brings!

This double CD set (it is worth full-price double set, but is really a fantastic bargain for the price) also introduces other pieces, from Farmer's hymn and Tallis' Litany to the grander pieces such as Gibbons' Te Deum from the Second Service and the very grand God spake sometime in Visions by John Blow - a real find of a piece.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A triumph... 31 May 2012
By RussL
Format:Audio CD|Verified Purchase
Having had the good fortune to witness their live performance at the Bridgewater Hall in Manchester several years ago, it was with some trepidation that I came to listen to this recording, but I need not have worried.

What a wonderful performance - I defy anyone to listen to "Zadok the Priest" or "My Heart Is Inditing" and not be moved almost to tears.

One of the finest CDs I own - and as my wife will testify - I have far too many.

If you enjoy music of this period, this is a MUST HAVE disc.
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5.0 out of 5 stars Coronation of King George II 10 Mar 2013
Format:Audio CD|Verified Purchase
The Coronation of King George II - Handel, etc.
I listen to a lot of cd's of classical music. This is certainly one of the most enjoyable that I own. I measure the quality of a cd on two components: the musical performance and the audio-engineering. In this case both are outstanding. The performance is excellent in displaying wonderful musicality, accuracy and a sense of occasion. The skill in the recording production is admirable, having captured both the excellence of the choral singing AND the acoustic of the cathedral, without the latter washing out the former. There is a clip on You Tube, of Zadok, for anyone wanting a preview. If you love Handel, and the Baroque, then this will give you enormous pleasure.
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews on Amazon.com (beta)
Amazon.com: 5.0 out of 5 stars  2 reviews
17 of 20 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Thumbs up for King's Consort!! 1 Mar 2002
By William - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Audio CD
Well, this is just fascinating! Absolutely fascinating! (Sorry for repeating myself, it's a point that I just cannot seem to stress enough!! lol)
Of course, I'm a little biased too, towards the content of this compilation (being a monarchist), yet the musical and historical value of such a recording cannot be effectively conveyed in words. I will admit that I am only vaguely familiar with the sound of the king's consort choir and orchestra, but as they say, first impressions last, and this was a great first impression.
I am usually quite partial to the recordings of the King's college choir, but the King's consort choir has certainly proved an unbelieveable equality to me, with little of the usual vibrato in the high soprano lines, that tend to get on my nerves.
Of particular interest, are the coronation anthems, that Handel actually composed for the purpose of this very coronation. They are all wonderfully portrayed in all their splendour and grandeur, and yes, with a blaze of Handelian glory. They are all enjoyable to listen to, with the typical lyricism and melodious writings of Handels pen.
More unfamiliar, are anthems composed for earlier coronations and incorporated into the service for King George II. This is a great insight to the earlier styles of the renaissance anthem writing. At times they do seem to anticipate choral masterpieces of a later 'baroque' generation.
I must urge all to try this recording, and experience the pomp and ceremony of the crowning of the British Monarch.
5.0 out of 5 stars Wonderful and perfect performance 26 Dec 2012
By Sergi71 - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Audio CD|Verified Purchase
This is a good reference to understand the musical environment in Handels times'. Royal compositions are impressive and the musicians made their better efforts to satisfy the kingdoms of their benefactors.
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