Handel: Coronations Anthems

Handel: Coronations Anthems

Ref: CD711

Peace & Celebration
Georg Frideric Handel (1685-1759)

1 Zadok the Priest HWV259 (5'36)

Let thy hand be strengthened HWV258
2 Let thy hand be strengthened (3'05)
3 Led justice and judgement (3'00)
4 Alleluia (1'57)

Concerto Grosso Op 3 No 2 HWV313
5 Vivace 1'48)
6 Largo (2'13)
7 Allegro (1'45)
8 Menuetto (1'15)
9 Gavotte (2'56)

My Heart is Inditing HWV261
10 My heart is inditing (2'38)
11 Kings' daughters were among (2'39)
12 Upon thy right hand (2'53)
13 Kings shall be thy nursing fathers (2'40)

Ode for the Birthday of Queen Anne HWV74
14 Eternal source of light divine (3'49)
15 The day that gave great Anna birth (2'36)
16 Let all the winged race with joy (2'32)
17 Let flocks and herds their fear forget (2'15)
18 Let rolling streams their gladness show (2'27)
19 Kind Health descends on downy wings (4'51)
20 The day that gave great Anna birth (1'49)
21 Let Envy then conceal her head (1.52)
22 United nations shall combine (3'02)

The King shall rejoice HWV260
23 The King shall rejoice (2'36)
24 Exceeding glad shall he be (2'51)
25 Glory and worship (0'19)
26 Thou hast prevented him (1'53)
27 Alleluia (2'18)

Total time (69'34)

European Union Baroque Orchestra
Director & organ Lars Ulrik Mortensen
Countertenor Alex Potter
Concertmaster Zefira Valova
Choir of Clare College, Cambridge (Director of Music Graham Ross)

Recorded live on 3 September 2013 at St John's Smith Square, London
Produced & mastered by Simon Weir/Classical Recording Company
Executive producer: Martin Souter
Continuo organ (Henk Klop, 2007) and single-manual harpsichord after Fleischer (Robert & Andrea Goble, 1984) supplied by Keith McGowan and prepared by Simon Neal
Cover image: Sir James Thornhill's portrait of George, Prince of Wales, later King George II, in the coving of the Queen's State Bedchamber, Hampton Court Palace. Crown copyright: Historic Royal Palaces
P & C 2013 Classical Communications Ltd
Made in Great Britain

Peace & Celebration

This recording celebrates the 300th anniversary of the accession of George I, the first of the Hanoverian monarchs.

The production of the CD has been made possible with the help of a crowd-funding campaign and the support of Historic Royal Palaces.

EUBO is grateful for the support of friends and donors and in particular of The Betty Lawes Foundation, Emanuel Altenburger, Katharina Arfken, Ken & Vera Barnes, Mary Cook, Martine Doutre, Margaret Faultless, Ka Him Michael Fong, Margi Griebling-Haigh, Anna Gustafson, Mirjam James, Paul James, Struan McBride, Susanne Meinhardt, Simon Neal, Eveleen Olsen, Jose Phillips, Richard Pinch, Trevor Pinnock, Jonathan Scheele, Roby Schiltz, and Emma Wilkinson.

Special thanks to HRH The Duke of Kent KG (Chairman, EUBO Committee of Patrons), Richard Heason (Director of St John's Smith Square), David Souden (Historic Royal Palaces), Chris Butler and The Early Music Shop, and EUBO Development Trust.

[logo of European Commission's Culture Programme]
EUBO is funded with the support from the European Commission budget line "Support for Organisations active at European Level in the field of Culture". EUBO is a Cultural Ambassador of the European Union.

Peace and Celebration

A celebration of the 300th Anniversary of the Accession of George I, the first of the Hanoverian Kings.

During the summer of 2013, the musicians of the European Union Baroque Orchestra (EUBO) and the Choir of Clare College, Cambridge with EUBO's Music Director, Danish harpsichordist Lars Ulrik Mortensen, performed six concerts together in some of Europe's major music festivals. The final concert of the tour took place on 3 September 2013 in London, the city in which the music on this CD was premiered, at EUBO's UK home St John's Smith Square, where the Orchestra is an Associate Artist. With the help of a crowd-funding campaign the concert performance was recorded - to capture the enthusiasm and talent of two groups of highly-skilled youthful musicians at the start of their professional careers, and to have a permanent record of a vibrant and accomplished performance of some of Handel's glorious choral works.

One of the last acts of the first Hanoverian King, George I, before his death in 1727 was to make the composer Handel a naturalized British citizen. The Coronation Anthems were commissioned from Handel, with texts chosen by him from the King James Bible, for the coronation of George's son, King George II, which took place on 11 October 1727. At the ceremony Let thy hand be strengthened was played first, then Zadok the Priest, The King shall rejoice, and finally My heart is inditing at the act of coronation itself. The Anthems were an instant success, being performed on many occasions during Handel's own lifetime and in concerts and festivals ever since. Composed for the spacious grandeur of Westminster Abbey, the Anthems have a completely extrovert tone and ceremonial splendour, managing massed forces. Handel was providing vivid contrasts, rather than delicate colours. One newspaper reported that there were 40 singers and that the orchestra numbered 160 at the rehearsal. Another report puts the number at 47 singers, 33 royal musicians and 53 supernumerary musicians (each receiving three guineas). On this recording there are a mere 27 singers and 24 orchestral musicians. The Anthems are so popular that they have become a traditional part of all subsequent British coronations.

By the time that Handel's Concerti Grossi Opus 3 were published in London (by John Walsh in 1734) the composer had become firmly established in England. While the solo concerto, which evolved at much the same time as the concerto grosso, rapidly gained precedence in Italy, the concerto grosso soon became the favoured musical form in England. Its combination of three or four fairly demanding solo parts (the concertino) with easier parts for the body of strings (the ripieno) made it an ideal vehicle for the rapid spread of amateur music-making in England during the 18th century. The Concerto Grosso Op 3 No 2 was actually composed long before its eventual publication and shares a close relationship with Handel's Brockes Passion of 1716, particularly in the first and third movements, and elsewhere deriving inspiration from Corelli's Concerto Grosso Op 6 No 8. But Handel did write one strikingly original movement - the second. Over a rippling accompaniment from the cellos and pulsating chords from the upper strings, a solo oboe rises phoenix-like with singing, expressive phrases.

Handel had first arrived in London as early as 1712, with leave of absence from his employer the Elector of Hanover (the future George I). Handel quickly made an impression on Britain's royal family and Queen Anne is said to have granted him an annuity of £200 for life after hearing some of his choral music. Handel expressed his thanks with his Ode for the Birthday of Queen Anne, written in 1713. The Ode opens with one of Handel's most beautiful arias, Eternal Source of Light Divine which is scored for solo countertenor and trumpet. The Ode is a secular cantata with a libretto by Ambrose Philips, which, in addition to celebrating the Queen's 49th birthday on 6 February 1713, marks the successful negotiations which led to the Treaty of Utrecht in 1713. This is summarised in each of the nine sections of the cantata which conclude with the words:
The day that gave great Anna birth, who fixed a lasting peace on earth.
It is not certain that the Ode was ever actually performed at court for Queen Anne, since she was in poor health; however it is known that the architect Thomas Archer consulted the ailing Queen in 1713 about his designs for the new St John's Church in Smith Square. The story goes that the Queen, not noted for her interest in architecture, petulantly kicked over her footstool, pointed at its upturned shape and snapped "Like that!" The nickname 'Queen Anne's Footstool' has stuck to this day; and Archer's church is now the concert venue where this CD was recorded. The Queen's death on 1 August 1714 initiated the Hanoverian succession and the arrival in London of Handel's former employer and patron, the new King George I. Work on St John's church proceeded slowly and it was only finally completed and consecrated in 1728 after the coronation of King George II.

Programme notes © EUBO

GF HANDEL (1685-1759)
Coronation Anthems HWV258-261

Zadok the Priest HWV258
Zadok the Priest and Nathan the Prophet anointed Solomon King. And all people rejoic'd, and said: God save the King, long live the King, may the King live forever, Amen, Alleluia.
(after 1 Kings 1:39-40)

My heart is inditing HWV261
(semi-chorus: sopranos Helen Lilley, Madeleine Seale; altos Abigail Gostick, Alex Potter; tenors Christopher Loyn, Alexander Peter; basses William Cole, Elliot Fitzgerald)
My heart is inditing of a good matter; I speak of the things which I have made unto the King. Kings' daughters were among thy honourable women. Upon thy right hand did stand the Queen in vesture of gold, and the King shall have pleasure in thy beauty. Kings shall be thy nursing fathers and Queens thy nursing mothers.
(after Psalm 45:1, 10, 12 and Isaiah 49:23)

Let thy hand be strengthened HWV259
Let thy hand be strengthened and thy right hand be exalted. Let justice and judgement be the preparation of thy seat! Let mercy and truth go before thy face. Alleluia.
(Psalm 89: 13-14)

The King shall rejoice HWV260
The King shall rejoice in thy strength, O Lord! Exceeding glad shall he be of thy salvation. Glory and worship hast thou laid upon him. Thou hast prevented him with the blessings of goodness, and hast set a crown of pure gold upon his head. Alleluia.
(Psalm 21: 1-3, 5)

Ode for the Birthday of Queen Anne HWV74

Eternal source of light divine
Arioso and Chorus (countertenor Alex Potter; trumpet Sebastian Philpott)
Eternal source of light divine
with double warmth thy beams display,
and with distinguish'd glory shine,
to add a lustre to this day.

The day that gave great Anna birth
Aria and Chorus (countertenor Alex Potter)
The day that gave great Anna birth
who fix'd a lasting peace on earth.

Let all the winged race with joy
Aria and Chorus (soprano Gabrielle Haigh)
Let all the winged race with joy
their wonted homage sweetly pay,
whilst tow'ring in the azure sky
they celebrate this happy day:
The day that gave great Anna birth
who fix'd a lasting peace on earth.

Let flocks and herds their fear forget
Aria and Chorus (countertenor Alex Potter)
Let flocks and herds their fear forget
lions and wolves refuse their prey
and all in friendly consort meet,
made glad by this propitious day.
The day that gave great Anna birth
who fix'd a lasting peace on earth.

Let rolling streams their gladness show
Duet and Chorus (countertenor Alex Potter; bass Hugo Popplewell)
Let rolling streams their gladness show
with gentle murmurs whilst they play,
and in their wild meanders flow,
rejoicing in this blessed day.
The day that gave great Anna birth
who fix'd a lasting peace on earth.

Kind Health descends on downy wings
Duet and Chorus (soprano Helen Lilley; countertenor Alex Potter; oboe Clara Geuchen)
Kind Health descends on downy wings,
angels conduct her on the way.
To our glorious Queen new life she brings,
and swells our joys upon this day.

The day that gave great Anna birth
Duet and Chorus (soprano Janneke Dupre; countertenor Alex Potter)
The day that gave great Anna birth
who fix'd a lasting peace on earth.

Let Envy then conceal her head
Aria and Chorus (bass William Cole)
Let Envy then conceal her head,
and blasted faction glide away.
No more her hissing tongues we'll dread,
secure in this auspicious day.
The day that gave great Anna birth
who fix'd a lasting peace on earth.

United nations shall combine
Aria and Chorus (countertenor Alex Potter; Echo Chorus Janneke Dupre, Eva Smith-Leggatt, Christopher Loyn, Magnus Maharg)
United nations shall combine,
to distant climes the sound convey
that Anna's actions are divine,
and this the most important day!
The day that gave great Anna birth
who fix'd a lasting peace on earth.

Cultural Ambassador for the European Union

The European Union Baroque Orchestra is like no other orchestra: EUBO auditions and selects completely new personnel every year. EUBO's ephemeral existence makes its concerts special: live performances enjoying all the technical accomplishment of the best young baroque musicians in Europe, allied to an infectious undimmed sense of discovery and enjoyment.

Members of EUBO come from all over the EU to gain performing experience after their conservatoire studies, working together for six-months under the inspirational leadership of Music Director Lars Ulrik Mortensen and some of the world's finest baroque musicians. Ton Koopman, Roy Goodman, Margaret Faultless, Edward Higginbottom, Enrico Onofri, Alexis Kossenko, Riccardo Minasi and Paul Agnew have been guest directors in recent seasons and violinists Stefano Montanari and Gottfried von der Goltz directed EUBO in 2013.

Tours take the talented young orchestra to all corners of Europe - from celebrated city concert halls, to seaside summer festivals, to monasteries nestling in autumnal forests, and to winter celebrations in beautiful churches. In 2013 EUBO comprised musicians from 21 different countries who gave 40 performances across 14 European countries. And at the centre of these great arcs of European travelling EUBO has established residencies in several cities, most notably as "orchestra-in-residence" in Echternach, Luxembourg, supported by the city of Echternach and partners Trifolion and the International Festival of Echternach. EUBO has recently been appointed an Associate Artist at St John's Smith Square, which enables the orchestra to present a series of concerts each year in London.

EUBO's touring programme is assisted by sponsorship from The Early Music Shop and from the newly-launched EUBO Development Trust Associate Artist programme, and the orchestra's core activities are supported by a significant grant from the European Commission's programme for "cultural ambassadors". Flying the flag for Europe, "EUBO is" as President José Manuel Barroso says, "a perfect symbol of the power of integration, a subtle and potent instrument of harmonisation between people and nations".

Inspired performance. Real experience.

Director & organ Lars Ulrik Mortensen
Concertmaster Zefira Valova
Countertenor Alex Potter

EUBO 2013

I Violins
Zefira Valova* Bulgaria
Yotam Gaton Romania
Sarina Matt Liechtenstein
Daphne Oltheten The Netherlands
Jamiang Santi Italy

II Violins
Roldán Bernabé-Carrión* Spain
Antonio De Sarlo Italy
Saron Houben The Netherlands
Christiane Eidsten Dahl Norway

Rafael Roth Germany
Hilla Heller Hungary
Andrea Angela Ravandoni Sweden

Guillermo Turina Serrano* Spain
Nicola Paoli Italy

Double Bass
Lisa De Boos Belgium

Clara Geuchen Germany
Johannes Knoll Austria

Andrew Burn UK

Sebastian Philpott UK
Gerard Serrano Garcia Spain
Darren Moore UK

Pedro Segundo Portugal

Marianna Henriksson* Finland

*Concertino in Concerto Grosso Op3 No2

Director General Paul James
Orchestral Manager Emma Wilkinson
Communications Manager Noora Heiskanen

Lars Ulrik Mortensen
Music Director
When Lars Ulrik Mortensen began studying musicology at university, he came across a book about English music for the virginals - he was fascinated, and it led him to the harpsichord. He studied first in Copenhagen and then in London, becoming harpsichordist with London Baroque and Collegium Musicum 90. In 2004, after a long association with the European Union Baroque Orchestra as harpsichord tutor and guest director, Lars Ulrik Mortensen became its Music Director. A Financial Times reviewer, writing after a EUBO concert, said "Mortensen is exceptional not just for his scholarship and virtuosity at the keyboard, but also because he makes music with his entire body and soul." In his home country Lars Ulrik is the artistic director of Concerto Copenhagen, whose opera productions at the Royal Theatre in Copenhagen have helped to build a profile for the group nationally and internationally. In addition to his work with his "own" orchestras, Lars Ulrik also performs extensively as guest director, soloist and chamber musician in Europe, the United States, Japan and Australia, with distinguished colleagues including Emma Kirkby, Susanne Rydén, Maria Keohane, John Holloway and Jaap ter Linden. Lars Ulrik Mortensen has received a number of prizes, among them Denmark's most prestigious music award, the Léonie Sonning Music Prize in 2007. Lars Ulrik Mortensen's many CD recordings have reaped major awards. Directing Concerto Copenhagen, his recordings include the complete harpsichord concertos by Bach, Haydn piano concertos (with soloist Ronald Brautigam), as well as symphonies by Danish composers Hartmann, Kunzen and Gerson. With EUBO, Mortensen has recorded for CD Suites by Bach, Fux and Rameau and in 2013 a CD of Handel cantatas and 'Water Music' was released with Huw Daniel and Maria Keohane.