Ode for the Birthday of Queen Anne - Handel
  • Classical music composed by George Frideric Handel Ode for the Birthday of Queen Anne. Performers are Andreas Scholl-Countertenor. Hèléne Guilmette-Soprano. Andreas Wolf-Bass. Vocal Consort Berlin-Akademie für Alte Musik Berlin under the direction of Marcus Creed 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.

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