Handel, Purcell, Blow, Tallis, Gibbons, Farmer & Child

Our rating 
4.0 out of 5 star rating 4.0

COMPOSERS: Blow,Farmer & Child,Gibbons,Handel,Purcell,Tallis
LABELS: Hyperion
ALBUM TITLE: Collection: The Coronation of King George II
WORKS: Works
PERFORMER: The King’s Consort & Choir/Robert King
Few of us are strangers to Handel’s four Coronation anthems and perhaps none of us to one of them, Zadok the Priest, which has been sung at every coronation service since 1727. That was the year in which George II and his consort Queen Caroline were crowned in Westminster Abbey and the occasion for which Handel wrote his splendid anthems. Robert King and his choir and orchestra take matters further in their new disc, which not only contains Handel’s four coronation pieces but also music by Tallis, Gibbons, Blow, Purcell and one or two others which was heard during the 1727 service. And all this in the currently fashionable context of a quasi-liturgical reconstruction with bells, archbishop, cantor, congregation, bishops, peers and nobles. The balloon goes up, in the time-honoured way, with the thrice declaimed ‘Vivat’ by the King’s or as appropriate, Queen’s Scholars of Westminster School. There must have been great fun and games, alarums and excursions in the making of this recording; and the result is both interesting and enjoyable, not only for hearing Handel’s anthems in some kind of context, rather than in the unbroken sequence of a conventionally programmed CD, but also for the opportunity it affords of listening to pieces less often encountered and very well sung. Among the most rewarding of these is Blow’s anthem God spake sometime in visions. Nicholas Anderson