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27 of 28 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A benchmark recording ...
This recording of the Handel Coronation Anthems from 1727 is just about the best there is on CD at the moment. King's College Cambridge choir is rightly celebrated as probably the best cathedral choir in Europe if not the world. What sticks out here is the clarity of the diction of the singers, and the beautifully shaped lines that Stephen Cleobury manages to tease from...
Published on 27 July 2004 by R. H. Fitzsimmons

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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Alright...but!!
Ok but I think I still prefer The Sixteen's version first whether it be on CD or download!! Try that instead for long term enjoyment :-)
Published 5 months ago by Scott N.


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27 of 28 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A benchmark recording ..., 27 July 2004
This review is from: Handel Coronation Anthems (Audio CD)
This recording of the Handel Coronation Anthems from 1727 is just about the best there is on CD at the moment. King's College Cambridge choir is rightly celebrated as probably the best cathedral choir in Europe if not the world. What sticks out here is the clarity of the diction of the singers, and the beautifully shaped lines that Stephen Cleobury manages to tease from the choir and the Academy of Ancient Music, who record the anthems here for the first time.
That said, the major recommendation of this CD comes from a ravishing performance of the little known birthday ode that Handel wrote for Queen Anne in 1713. Probably unperformed in Handel's lifetime (Queen Anne was ill apparently at the occasion when this was to be performed), there is more than a echo of Purcell whom Handel certainly admired and whose music he knew well. Eternal Source of Light Divine has only been recorded twice - both with James Bowman singing the glorious alto part. Whilst the recording by King and Bowman on Hyperion was superb, Robin Blaze sings the opening aria with poise, panache and delightful delicacy. Together with the other solists Michael George and Susan Gritton, Blaze makes this music jump out at you with its freshness and melifluous shape.
Once bitten by the majesty of this music how can anyone resist Handel's power to move the senses ?
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33 of 35 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars INDITING OF A GOOD MATTER, 8 July 2006
By 
DAVID BRYSON (Glossop Derbyshire England) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: Handel Coronation Anthems (Audio CD)
For many years I've been looking for my ideal version of Handel's great Zadok the Priest, and I'm somewhere near it at last. So far as this performance goes, I may actually have got there, all I miss in this account is a little more vividness in the recorded sound. As far as the rest of the disc goes, I have no complaints or reservations at all. The four coronation anthems are given this time in the sequence Zadok, Let thy hand be strengthened, The King shall rejoice and My heart is inditing. Opinions vary as to the appropriate order for them, but obviously if you take a different view of the matter it is very simple to sequence them however you think best. The balance of the disc is taken up with an earlier work, a birthday ode for Queen Anne, probably composed for that monarch's 48th birthday in 1713.

Back to Zadok. Please forgive a possible appearance of dogmatism if I say that the tempo is absolutely right. Cleobury's speed here is much as I remember it from the recording of the coronation of Queen Elizabeth II. It may be faster than one is used to, but there is a very good reason for it. Even at this speed, that spine-tingling orchestral introduction takes a full minute and 20 seconds to reach the great choral chords, and it measures out the tread of the monarch and consort, one stately pace to every four notes, as they advance towards the altar steps in Westminster Abbey, the choral outburst coming as they arrive at them. The choral tone here is very full and grand. I would have been interested to know whether Cleobury has used a larger chorus at this point than later - on one occasion Handel is known to have had 500 performers in Zadok. There are certainly not 500 here, and Handel's choral writing can convey an impression of multitudes even with a smallish choir. From this point on the chorus is appropriately small, clear in its diction and even, to my delight, producing a trill on `ever'. The other three anthems are beautifully done and beautifully recorded. There are various Alleluias in the first three including Zadok, and here, as in the great chorus in Messiah, Handel scans the word sometimes as All-e-LU-ia and sometimes as All-eh-EH-lu-IA. He learned the latter way of doing it from Purcell, and 150 years after Handel's anthems Brahms uses it again in his great Triumphlied celebrating the battle of Sedan.

The words to the birthday ode are by Ambrose Phillips. They are the usual sycophantic rubbish, but `twas ever thus. In days of old such toweringly great poets as Horace and Pindar had turned out equally wince-making sentiments, they just expressed them a lot better. The music is another matter, being simply exquisite. I have been familiar with these three soloists in Handel for a couple of years now, and what a pleasure it is to listen to such perfect singing and perfect sense for the composer's style. The opening number is a heavenly duet for counter-tenor and trumpet. I was very let down at not seeing the trumpeter credited in the liner. It may be Crispian Steel-Perkins (it's good enough to be him) but we are not told. The choir of King's, the Academy of Ancient Music and the director need no introduction by now, and are at their superlative best throughout.

The liner-note, by Anthony Hicks, is helpful, informative and readable, and is given in German and French as well as in English, as are the texts to the music. The recording is really very good too, except that I was eager for just that last ounce of `presence' at the start of Zadok that would have made this disc absolutely perfect for me. The set dates from 2001 I see, so perhaps it will be reissued sometime with a little remastering, fulfilling one of my remaining aspirations in this life.
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29 of 34 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Worth a crown of its own..., 24 Mar 2002
By A Customer
This review is from: Handel Coronation Anthems (Audio CD)
King's have entirely done Handel justice. Zadok in particular is worth buying the CD for alone, with the suspense of the introduction heightened for full effect. I advise clearing the area and turning up the volume.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Alright...but!!, 21 Mar 2014
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Ok but I think I still prefer The Sixteen's version first whether it be on CD or download!! Try that instead for long term enjoyment :-)
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars A Present, 12 Mar 2014
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This review is from: Handel Coronation Anthems (Audio CD)
It was a nice disc not some thing I could rave about but it was what my wife wanted to sing to.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars The coronation anthems, of George Fredrick Handel., 11 Feb 2014
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This version of the coronation anthems sounded like it had been performed for EMI.I don't understand why the cover called the composer "fridrick" . Looking again at what I bought I notice that it performed by the academy of ancient music which explains every thing .It sounds like something striving to be authentic rather than magnificent.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Handel handled as he should be, 26 Dec 2013
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This review is from: Handel Coronation Anthems (Audio CD)
Stunning! Uplifting! Superb! Highly recommended. Purchased to commemorate the 60th anniversary of Queen Elizabeth !!'s Coronation, I could not have chosen a better recording
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Hooray for Handel, 14 Aug 2013
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This review is from: Handel Coronation Anthems (Audio CD)
He's my fave r.ave at the moment. The opening of Zadok the Priest is electrifying of course, but the rest of the stuff on this also transports you into a different more splendid world
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Patriotic!, 23 May 2013
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This review is from: Handel Coronation Anthems (Audio CD)
Fantastic CD. I bought it to listen to to help me get my timings etc as the choir I am in was performing it.
Brilliant CD worth listening to just for the sake of it.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars PATRIOTIC, 28 April 2013
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This review is from: Handel Coronation Anthems (Audio CD)
I BOUGHT THIS AS I WANTED TO PLAY ZADOK THE PRIEST FOR A PREACH I WAS DOING ON THE GLORY OF GOD. IT ALSO REMEINDS ME OF MY SONS WEDDING IN AUSTRALIA, HIS BRIDE CAME DOWN THE ISLE TO ZADOK THE PRIEST, SHE HAD TO GET TO THE ALTER BEFORE IT STARTED TO PLAY GOD SAVE THE QUEEN!!!
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Handel Coronation Anthems
Handel Coronation Anthems by George Frideric Handel (Audio CD - 2001)
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