The four Coronation Anthems, written for the coronation of King George II in 1727, were Handel’s first commission as a naturalised British citizen. Handel always matched his music to the occasion and the building for which it was written, and no occasion could be grander than a coronation. The music of these ceremonial anthems is quite straightforward, the real joy of these pieces stemming from the development of layer upon layer of texture through which Handel shows off his musical pyrotechnics. Zadok the Priest is in particular practically unbeaten in dramatic impact with its initial intensity building towards the ecstasy of the climactic choral entry.
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Coronation Anthems Nos. 1-4 1. Zadok the Priest HWV258) 2. Let thy Hand be strengthened (HWV259) 3. The King shall rejoice (HWV260) 4. My heart is inditing (HWV261)