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Anthems for the Chapel Royal
O sing unto the Lord a new song HWV 249a for Soloists (AB), Chorus (SATB), Flute, 2 Oboes, 2 Trumpets, Strings, Continuo | BA 4263
I will magnify thee HWV 250b for Soloists (SATB), Chorus (SATB), Oboe, Strings, Continuo | BA 4264
As pants the hart HWV 251e for Soloists (SAATBB), Chorus (SAATB), 2 Oboes, Strings, Continuo | BA 4265
Let God Arise HWV 256b for Soloists (AB), Chorus (SATB), Oboe, Strings, Continuo | BA 4266
Handel’s four anthems were all composed during his London period in the Chapel Royal. “As pants the hart”, his fifth setting of this Psalm text, was written in March 1738 for performance at a benefit concert for the King’s Theatre in the Haymarket.
Until just before Handel’s first visit to England, the only instrument permitted to accompany the service in the Chapel Royal was the organ. These four works, with their orchestral accompaniments, thus represent something akin to a new genre in English church music.
The four anthems are presented in clearly laid out vocal scores with straightforward piano reductions based on the Urtext from the Halle Handel Edition. Their enticingly varied and self-sufficient orchestral writing provides a suitable framework for the festive chorus and equally festive solo numbers. Today they sound as splendid as ever!
The full scores and vocal scores also contain a German translation along with the original English text.