Music has always played a pivotal role in the coronation of British monarchs. The 20th century saw major works composed for the occasion by Parry for Edward VII in 1902, Elgar for George V in 1911, Walton for George VI in 1937, and most recently Walton for Elizabeth II in 1953. Handel was commissioned to supply four new works to be performed with music by Purcell, Tallis, Blow and Gibbons for George II’s coronation in 1727.
Of these works, one still forms part of the modern ceremony. Zadok the Priest, the shortest of the anthems, still has the power to surprise and thrill the listener, and must have had an electrifying effect upon those gathered in Westminster Abbey on 11 October 1727.
Recording made in 1984.
Booklet note and sung texts.
‘This is a most elegant version of these stirring works. The chorus, clear-set against the orchestra, moves with the same precision as the players, and Marriner’s control of the rhythmic groupings is a delight.’ Gramophone, November 1985
“Marriner is here alert to Handel's play with textures, and there's vigour, rich sonorities, and bracing delivery, particularly by Anthony Rolfe Johnson”
Click on any of the works listed above for alternative recordings.