"The day that gave great Anna birth" (HWV 74 Mvt. 2) for Winds & Strings

Uploaded on Jan 13, 2018

Georg Friedrich Händel (1685 – 1759) was a German, later British, baroque composer who spent the bulk of his career in London, becoming well known for his operas, oratorios, anthems, and organ concertos. Handel received important training in Halle and worked as a composer in Hamburg and Italy before settling in London in 1712; he became a naturalised British subject in 1727. He was strongly influenced both by the great composers of the Italian Baroque and by the middle-German polyphonic choral tradition.

Born the same year as Johann Sebastian Bach and Domenico Scarlatti, Handel is regarded as one of the greatest composers of the Baroque era, with works such as Water Music, Music for the Royal Fireworks and Messiah remaining steadfastly popular. One of his four Coronation Anthems, Zadok the Priest (1727), composed for the coronation of George II, has been performed at every subsequent British coronation, traditionally during the sovereign's anointing. Another of his English oratorios, Solomon (1748), has also remained popular, with the Sinfonia that opens act 3 (known more commonly as "The Arrival of the Queen of Sheba") featuring at the 2012 London Olympics opening ceremony. Handel composed more than forty operas in over thirty years, and since the late 1960s, with the revival of baroque music and historically informed musical performance, interest in Handel's operas has grown.

The composition of odes to celebrate the new year and the birthday of the monarch was a long standing tradition in England, as a number of works by Purcell and others readily testify. Normally the task of composing such occasional works fell to the Master of the King's (or Queen's) Musick, a position held in the early part of the eighteenth century by John Eccles. However Eccles seems to have provided no such works between 1711 and 1715, a gap filled probably in 1713 for the monarch's birthday by Handel. He had returned to England for a second visit late in 1712, quickly catching the mood of the nation by composing a Te Deum and Jubilate for the service of thanksgiving to celebrate the Peace of Utrecht. It was possibly the success of this piece, the commissioning of which from Handel rather than a native composer has puzzled Handel scholars, which led to him being asked to provide a celebratory ode for the birthday of Queen Anne, February 6. Both the Utrecht Te Deum and the Ode "Eternal Source of Light Divine" demonstrate how clearly he had assimilated the English choral style of Purcell, the sacred work being clearly indebted to the English composer's well-known Te Deum and Jubilate in D of 1694. However Handel's works are planned on a broader scale, with greater prominence given to wind parts. The text by Ambrose Phillips (1674 - 1749) is one of the best examples of a genre that frequently embarrasses modern listeners by its obsequious praise of the subject. Here, however, Handel was provided with a text that not only praises the queen as the author of peace, but includes pastoral imagery of the kind to which Handel always responded with his best music. The result is a seven-movement work that transcends the usual occasional nature of such pieces. Particularly striking are the opening alto solo, with its demanding obbligato part for solo trumpet, the gentle soprano and alto duet "Kind health descends," and the majestic final lines of the chorus, "The day that gave great Anna birth."

Source: Allmusic (https://www.allmusic.com/composition/ode-for-the-birthday-of-queen-anne-eternal-source-of-light-divine-hwv-74-mc0002355852).

Although originally written for Voices and Baroque Orchestra, I created this Interpretation of the "The day that gave great Anna birth" (HWV 74 Mvt. 2) for Winds (Flute, Oboe, English Horn & Bassoon) & Strings (2 Violins, Viola & Cello).


Pages 7
Duration 03
Measures 61
Key signature 2 sharps
Parts 8
Part names Flute, Oboe, English Horn, Bassoon, Violin(2), Viola, Cello
Privacy Everyone can see this score
License None (All rights reserved)
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