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George Frideric Handel:
A Concert of Firsts
When: December 4, 2015
Where: First Presbyterian Church
The Bloomington Chamber Singers will open our 46th season with an all-Handel concert Friday evening, December 4th, at 7:30pm at the First Presbyterian Church.
The concert brings together some of Handel’s most performed works, which also, remarkably, share the characteristic of all being “firsts.” Opening the concert are the magnificent four Coronation Anthems, Handel’s first royal commission as a naturalized British subject, composed for the coronation of George II and Caroline in Westminster Abbey on October 11, 1727. The four anthems are, as one would expect, brilliant and resplendent. Set for chorus and orchestra (no soloists!), the works paint a stunning aural picture of the world of pomp and ceremony that accompanied the royal coronation of the British monarchy in the eighteenth century. Also on the program will be the psalm setting Dixit Dominus, one of Handel’s first choral compositions, composed in 1707 when he was twenty-two years old and had just arrived in Italy. Dixit Dominus is a choral tour de force, and shows the choral genius of the composer from the outset–a work full of complex counterpoint, dramatic word painting, and rich textures. The final work on the program is the joyful occasional work, the Utrecht Jubilate (“O be Joyful”), one of Handel’s first compositions in English, composed for the Peace of Utrecht and performed at St. Paul’s Cathedral on July 7, 1713.