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Handel: Coronation Anthems/Dixit Dominus

Handel: Coronation Anthems/Dixit Dominus

6 Oct 2003
3.3 out of 5 stars 3 customer reviews

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Product details

  • Original Release Date: 6 Oct. 2003
  • Release Date: 28 Nov. 2005
  • Label: Warner Classics
  • Copyright: ℗ This compilation 1988 by EMI Records Ltd © 2003 EMI Records Ltd.
  • Record Company Required Metadata: Music file metadata contains unique purchase identifier. Learn more.
  • Total Length: 1:16:31
  • Genres:
  • ASIN: B001INSWQC
  • Average Customer Review: 3.3 out of 5 stars 3 customer reviews
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 91,266 in Albums (See Top 100 in Albums)
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Customer Reviews

3.3 out of 5 stars
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I have got so used to music of this period to be performed on original instruments that I do miss the added bite in these performances. But, if you are happy with a traditional performance then you won't do much better than this.
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Beautiful music. Handel at his bestr
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I hate compilations which stick old recordings and newer ones together and think because it's cheap we will just accept it and buy it!! In the Dixit Dominus the recording seems clearer despite it being from the 60's. The Coronation Anthem's from the 80's aren't as good in sound quality with the harpsichord blurred so I would look elsewhere and avoid this lot whether on download or CD!!
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews on Amazon.com (beta) (May include reviews from Early Reviewer Rewards Program)

Amazon.com: 5.0 out of 5 stars 1 review
5 of 5 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Four celebratory Anthems (1727) and an early, 11 Sept. 2013
By Jon Miller ('Kirk') - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Audio CD
exciting Latin work for soloists, chorus, and orchestra (1707). David Willcocks was a wondeful choral conductor whose Haydn
Lord Nelson Mass, Paukenmesse, and Creation (see my review) are among the best. The Dixit Dominus sounds like a festive cantata akin to Bach's cantatas BWV 31,79,and 119. Soloists here are superb ( Teresa Zylis-Gara, Janet Baker, Robert Tear,
John Shirley-Quirk and the English Chamber Orchestra. The jubilant first chorus typifies the remainder of the work.

Handel composed four anthems for the Coronation of King George II and Queen Caroline. These are large-scale
works conducted by Philip Ledger and performed in the following order: The King shall rejoice, Zadok the Priest, Let thy had be strengthened, and My heart is inditing. At least one of the Anthems has been performed at every Coronation post-1727.
With the same chorus and orchestra (Choir of King's College Cambridge and English Chamber Orchestra), Ledger conducts as
well as Willcocks. He also recorded an excellent Christmas Oratorio on EMI. Enlivening music for happy occasions.
7 of 7 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars a voice teacher and early music fan 7 Jan. 2006
By George Peabody - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Audio CD
CHORAL CHARISMA FROM KING'S COLLEGE SINGERS.
The four coronation anthems were written for the Coronation of King George II and his consort Queen Caroline in 1727. The service took place in Westminster Abbey on October 11 and was a splendid affair, its magnificence being mirrored in the four anthems that Handel composed for the occasion. Ledger recorded the 'Coronation Anthems' in 1982.

'The King Shall Rejoice' opens and closes jubilantly with trumpets and drums well in the fore.

'Zadok the Priest' is the shortest- but the best-known-of the four anthems and is a continous work, with a lengthy introduction gradually building up tension before the choir bursts forth in a glorious blaze of sound. This famous anthem has been sung at every British Coronation since 1727.

The central section of 'Let Thy Hand Be Strengthened', with its focus on 'justice and judgement' and 'mercy and truth', is slightly solemn, but like the first two anthems it ends with a triumphant 'Allelujah'. The two cental movements of 'My Heart is Inditing' are more lyrical than the outer ones, but the anthem ends with great magnificence, with trumpets and drums held in reserve until the energetic closing passage.

The four soloists for 'Coronation Anthems' are: Paul Smy (treble), Michael Chance (alto), Charles Daniels (tenor) and Gerald Finley (bass), an impressive group to be sure, who do not disappoint in their contributions to the recording. Although the 'choristers' do not seem to be in their best form, and though Ledger's speeds are moderate rather than fast, there are some beautiful moments none-the-less.

'Dixit Dominus', recorded by Willcocks in 1965, is a setting of Psalm 109. This work was composed in Rome in 1707 during Handel's tour of Italy between 1706 and 1710. The Psalm is used for Vespers throughout the year and this setting may have been written for performance at Easter. The eight movements are very varied in mood and texture, but are held together by a strong overall design. The soloists on this portion of the recording are: Theresa Zylis-Gara (soprano), Dame Janet Baker(mezzo-soprano), Martin Lane (alto), Robert Tear (tenor) and John Shirley-Quick (bass), all familiar to me except for the soprano, and all pull off their solos mostly very well.

Willcock's interpretation of this sounds a bit slow, but in 1965, it was on par with other interpretations. Janet Baker shows a tiny bit of strain in the second soprano part, but in the long run is a pleasure to hear. Martin Lane is possessed of a pleasing, though somewhat low-powered voice, but one must remember that the falsetto voice over the past twenty years has improved greatly, both in strength and range. The choral singing is well done and the rendition is really quite enjoyable. Sometimes when one 'picks' too much, the overall beauty is lost!

If you are fond of the English tradition of choral singing which means the use of boy sopranos and countertenors as opposed to female sopranos and altos, this album is for you. I personally like the clear ringing quality of the boy soprano as well as the velvety tone of the male alto so this recording is one of my favorites.

It is also quite unique in that it incorporates two separate recording sessions: first half of the album was recorded in l982 and the second half in l965. Both choirs are good and project an air of ceremonial magnificence. The high point for me was the Anthem:"My Heart is Inditing" featuring Paul Smy ,boy soprano and Michael Chance, alto.

I must add that the line-up includes some of Handel's most attractive anthems, one of which is the always popular:"Zadok, the Priest". The accompanying booklet gives essential background to the works, but no text.
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