Haendel's Coronation Anthems

Label Alpha Classics
Coproduction Le Concert Spirituel & Alpha Classics / Outhere Music France
Recorded in June 2021 at the Seine Musicale Auditorium (Boulogne-Billancourt)

Program produced by Le Concert Spirituel

Release date: August 26, 2022

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Composed in 1727 for the coronation of King George II of Great Britain and Queen Caroline
on October 11 of that year by Georg Friederich Handel, these four anthems were the first commission given to the composer as a newly naturalized British citizen.


Choir & Orchestra, Le Concert Spirituel
Hervé Niquet, music director

The long tradition of musicians attached to princes or kings tends to prove that music was for a long time an essential element in establishing political power. Handel was no exception to the rule, and both the Coronation Anthems, composed for the coronation of George II, and the Dettingen Te Deum, which celebrates England's victory over the French army at Dettingen in 1743, were intended to reinforce the power of the English crown.
Indeed, both plays fulfilled this role successfully, as the rehearsals of the Coronation Anthems attracted an unprecedented number of enthusiastic onlookers. Indeed, the dates and places of the rehearsals had been carelessly indicated in the press under the pretext of specifying that they were not public!

"For a surprise, it was quite a surprise! For more than forty years I have enjoyed immersing myself in the world of Haendel, but here I must confess that I have once again taken a lesson in strength and joy in making this tour and this recording of the Te Deum of Dettingen and the Coronation Anthems," says Hervé Niquet.

As a lover of large orchestral forms, he has assembled a number of musicians and singers close to the numbers of the first performance (admittedly plethoric), with a large section of oboes, bassoons and trumpets... and he has entrusted the solo arias to the entire "chapel": "gleaming power of this ceremonial music concocted by a Handel aware of putting the best of his genius at the service of the Crown and History" concludes Niquet, who puts all his ardor and expressiveness at the service of this music combining "grace and power". Fans of soccer and the Champions League will recognize in Zadok the Priest the theme of the anthem of this competition!

This program will be on tour during the 2022/2023 season, to learn more >> dates

The album Coronation Anthems has been selected by Apple Music as one of the 10 classical music albums to listen to in September 2022!

Teaser of the recording of Coronation Anthems
Interview with Hervé Niquet about Handel's Coronation Anthems