Artist: Gaétan Jarry
Album: The Crown
Release Date: 2023
Audio Format:: FLAC (tracks) 24 bit, 192 kHz
Total Tracks: 9
Total Size: 2,20 GB
1-1. Chœur et Orchestre de l’Opéra Royal – Coronation Procession (01:13)
1-2. Chœur et Orchestre de l’Opéra Royal – My Heart Is Inditing ⋅ Z30 (13:07)
1-3. Chœur et Orchestre de l’Opéra Royal – Fanfare I – I Was Glad ⋅ Z19 – Vivat! (04:16)
1-4. Chœur et Orchestre de l’Opéra Royal – Let Thy Hand Be Strengthened ⋅ HWV259 (07:17)
1-5. Chœur et Orchestre de l’Opéra Royal – Fanfare II – Zadok The Priest ⋅ HWV258 (05:31)
1-6. Chœur et Orchestre de l’Opéra Royal – Fanfare III – The King Shall Rejoice ⋅ HWV260 (10:46)
1-7. Chœur et Orchestre de l’Opéra Royal – Fanfare IV – My Heart Is Inditing ⋅ HWV261 (11:06)
1-8. Chœur et Orchestre de l’Opéra Royal – Fanfare V – Solomon ⋅ HWV67, Acte III – « Praise The Lord » (04:41)
1-9. Chœur et Orchestre de l’Opéra Royal – God save King Charles! (01:35)
At the time I am writing this review, the coronation of Charles III as monarch of the United Kingdom, succeeding his deceased mother, Elizabeth II, is just a few weeks away. It is very likely that part of the coronation ceremony will be a performance of Zadok the Priest, one of the four Coronation Anthems that Handel composed in 1727. This piece has been part of each coronation ceremony since then.On 11 June 1727 George I, the first of the Hanoverian monarchs, had died, and three days later his only son and heir was proclaimed king by the Privy Council. The coronation ceremony was to take place on 4 October in Westminster Abbey, but was postponed one week because of the danger of flooding near the Abbey. According to tradition, the music for the service was to be written by the Organist and Composer of the Chapel Royal. That was William Croft at the time, but he died on 14 August. The Bishop of Salisbury recommended Maurice Greene as his successor, but only at 4 September he was officially appointed. However, on 9 September it was announced that “Mr Hendel, the famous Composer to the opera, is appointed by the King to compose the Anthem at the Coronation which is to be sung in Westminster Abbey at the Grand Ceremony”. That may not have come as a surprise, as in 1723 he had been given the title of Composer for the Chapel Royal.
There were quite some differences between the order of the service, as it was agreed by the Privy Council on 20 September, and what was actually performed. The reason may well have been that at that time Handel had already written most of the music. Handel did not like the fact that he was given the texts he was expected to set. According to a later anecdote, he took offence, as he thought it implied his ignorance of the Scriptures. He is reported to have said: “I have read my Bible very well, and shall chuse for myself”.
Handel composed four anthems which were to be performed during various stages of the ceremony. Let thy hand be strengthened was part of the Recognition, Zadok the Priest was performed at the Anointing, and The King shall rejoice during the Crowning. My heart is inditing was to be performed during the Coronation of the Queen. The whole ceremony was reconstructed by Robert King, and recorded for Hyperion. The Coronation Anthems are usually performed separately, but it would be nice if performers would at least observe the order in which they were originally performed. Fortunately, that is indeed the case in the present recording.