George Frederick Handel

Zadok the Priest, coronation anthem No. 1 for chorus & orchestra, HWV 258

    Description by Brian Robins

    Zadok the Priest is one of four anthems composed by Handel for the coronation of George II, which took place on October 11, 1727. Handel was commissioned to write the music required for the service because of an interregnum in the post of organist and composer to the Chapel Royal, the incumbent of which traditionally composed the music for such occasions. The event in Westminster Abbey was one of great magnificence and splendor, involving forces larger than Handel had used. They included a chorus of 40 and an orchestra reported to have numbered 160, including trumpets, oboes, bassoons, and timpani. Zadok the Priest, the text of which is taken from the first chapter of 1 Kings in the Old Testament, was the anthem traditionally performed during the Anointing, previous settings including one by Henry Lawes used at the coronations of both Charles II, in 1661, and James II, in 1685. Handel's is a much more elaborate and striking work, dependent for its huge impact on cumulative effect and the great coup de théâtre achieved when the chorus' powerful declamatory outburst at the opening words interrupts the extended orchestral introduction. The anthem quickly became by far the most popular of the four, established in the repertoire as simply the Coronation Anthem, and a work performed on nearly every celebratory occasion. In 1784, it took center stage at the massive Handel Commemoration, and its special place in British ceremonial has been underlined by its inclusion in every coronation service since that of George II.

    Appears On

    Year Title Label Catalog #
    2016 Warner Classics 556480
    2016 Warner Classics 0825646809912
    2016 Warner Classics 556483
    2016 ABC Classics 4812424
    2016 Classic FM / Decca CFMD 47
    2016 Silva Classics SILKD 6052
    2016 Sony Classical 88985357942
    2015 ABC Classics ABC 4811929
    2015 Warner Classics 825646143511
    2015 ABC Classics 4811143
    2015 Brilliant Classics 95050BR
    2015 Erato 2564619530
    2015 Erato / Rhino 36935
    2015 Sony Classical 88875141222
    2015 Decca 4788918
    2014 100 Hits / Demon DMG100 129
    2014 Classic FM / Decca CFMD 34
    2014 Obsidian Records CD 711
    2014 Decca
    2014 ABC Classics 482066
    2014 ABC Classics ABC 4811123
    2013 EMI Classics / Warner Classics 5099972344
    2013 DG Deutsche Grammophon
    2013 United Classics T2CD 2012071
    2013 Brilliant Classics 94709
    2013 Warner Classics 2564651683
    2013 K-Tel 85804
    2013 Major Classics M3CD 307
    2012 Classic FM
    2012 Decca
    2012 Warner Classics 665475
    2012 EMI Classics / Warner Classics 5099932735
    2012 Classic FM / Decca CFMD 23
    2012 Spectrum Music SPEC 2104
    2012 EMI Classics / Warner Classics 5099944030
    2012 EMI Classics / Warner Classics 5099970513
    2012 Decca / Universal Music Australia Pty Ltd.
    2012 EMI Classics / Warner Classics 5099932728
    2012 Avie AV 2270
    2012 Memory Lane GLMY 54
    2012 Decca / Universal Music Mexico S.a. De C.V. (Decca)
    2012 Griffin GCCD 4077
    2012 Warner Music
    2012 Naïve V 5307
    2012 ABC Classics ABC 4806690
    2012 Erato / Virgin Classics 5099960264
    2012 EMI Classics
    2012 Topaz Records
    2012 Church of the Redeemer 5637948713
    2011 Classics & Jazz / Universal / Universal Classics & Jazz
    2011 Universal Classics & Jazz
    2011 Brilliant Classics 94214
    2011 Virgin Classics / Warner Classics 5099907082
    2011 Sony Classical 88697898632
    2011 Decca
    2011 Decca
    2011 Decca 4805207
    2011 Decca
    2011 EMI Classics
    2011 Decca
    2011 Decca 4768531
    2011 Decca 5336426
    2011 Decca
    2011 Decca
    2011 Decca B001558502
    2011 Warner Classics & Jazz 2564682508
    2010 EMI Classics / Warner Classics 5099963167
    2010 Ars Musici 232391
    2010 EMI / EMI Classics / Warner Classics 5099945750
    2010 EMI Classics / Warner Classics 5099945751
    2010 EMI Classics / EMI Classics / Warner Classics 5099963160
    2010 Spectrum Music SPEC 2046
    2010 EMI Classics / Warner Classics 5099969542
    2010 EMI Classics / Warner Classics 5099962791
    2010 Warner Classics
    2010 Sony Classical 88697748652
    2010 Newton Classics 8802016
    2010 ABC Classics 4764061
    2010 Decca 438 871-2PH
    2010 Regent 329
    2010 Decca
    2009 EMI Classics / Warner Classics 5099922894
    2009 Warner Classics 469611
    2009 Decca 4781190
    2009 Decca
    2009 Coro 16066
    2009 Decca 478 146-0
    2009 Decca
    2009 Philips
    2009 Arts Music 47739
    2009 ABC Classics 4763335
    2009 EMI Classics / Warner Classics 5099926433
    2009 EMI Classics
    2009 Decca 4781374
    2009 Universal Classics / Classic FM / Universal Distribution CFMD8
    2009 Mana Music / Mana Records 5186538712
    2009 Coro 16073
    2008 Naxos 8 572098/9
    2008 Classic FM 3
    2008 Voiceprint Records TPCD114
    2008 DG Deutsche Grammophon 4775714
    2008 Hyperion CDA67678
    2008 The Gift of Music 1053
    2008 Sony Music Distribution 729032
    2008 Erato / Virgin Classics 5099952210
    2008 Decca 4445432
    2008 EMI Music Distribution 283792
    2008 Erato / Virgin Classics 5099952214
    2007 EMI Classics / Warner Classics 0946389227
    2007 EMI Music Distribution
    2007 Classic FM 53
    2007 Soho / Soho Latino / Union Square Music SOHOCD024
    2007 Classic Mania 93320
    2007 Apex
    2007 Union Square Music 42
    2007 Warner Classics 2564 69951-0
    2007 Philips
    2007 EMI Classics 3873582
    2007 Sony Classical Essential Classics 88697142882
    2007 Decca 4758359
    2006 EMI Classics 709072A
    2006 EMI Classics / CCT / EMI Music Distribution / Warner Classics 0946370900
    2006 EMI Classics / Warner Classics 708532B
    2006 EMI Classics 44015
    2006 Decca 475 7492
    2006 Decca 475 7486DX2
    2006 EMI Music Distribution 74283
    2006 Decca 000673202
    2006 Decca
    2006 Nightingale 130560
    2006 Decca 000660302
    2006 EMI Music Distribution 54468
    2005 The Gift of Music CDG 1127
    2005 Platinum Entertainment 3772
    2005 Hyperion 6
    2005 Virgin / EMI Music Distribution VTDCD601
    2005 Angel Records 67014
    2005 Pomaton 3489232
    2005 Naxos 8552109-10
    2004 EMI Classics / Warner Classics 7243585842
    2004 Naxos 8556813
    2004 Dmg Tv DMGTV 007
    2004 Sparrow Records 96561
    2004 Brilliant 92390
    2004 Resonance CDRSN3011
    2004 Pure/Beechwood Records / Beechwood Music 1
    2004 Virgin VTDCD 642
    2004 RCA Victor / RCA / Victor Records 52739
    2004 BMG / RCA Victor 82876648662
    2004 Decca
    2003 Union Square Music USMCD 006
    2003 Union Square Music 0061
    2003 Columns Classics 555022
    2003 Vanguard Classics 1254
    2003 BMG 82876571402
    2002 Decca 472572
    2002 Apex 7486832
    2002 Griffin / Griffin / Griffin & Co. 3001
    2002 Philips 4733042
    2002 Soundline SLB 4030
    2002 Decca 470382
    2002 Hyperion 67286SACD
    2002 EMI Classics / EMI Music Distribution 5388332
    2002 Philips 470383
    2001 Philips / Philips 4652352
    2001 Hyperion CDA67286
    2001 Prism Entertainment 617
    2000 Amadeus 7013
    2000 Decca 458623
    2000 Griffin CSACD 3050
    2000 Erato 26388
    2000 Platinum Entertainment 517
    2000 Virgin 847225
    2000 Philips / Philips Classics 4681512
    2000 EMI Music Distribution 74026
    2000 EMI Music Distribution 69606
    1999 Philips / Philips / PolyGram 462778
    1999 EMI Music Distribution 45382
    1999 DG Deutsche Grammophon 4531672
    1999 Masterpiece 99006
    1999 Polygram 466075
    1999 EMI Music Distribution 573 422-2
    1999 Classics for Pleasure / EMI Music Distribution 73421
    1998 6017
    1998 Philips 456502
    1998 Decca 4600212
    1997 Carlton Classics 3036801017
    1997 Decca / DG Deutsche Grammophon
    1997 DG Deutsche Grammophon 457196
    1997 Erato 0630 18502-2
    1997 York Ambisonic 107
    1996 EMI Music Distribution 5688672
    1996 EMI Music Distribution / Warner Classics 7243569107
    1996 Philips 454 029-2PM2
    1996 Philips
    1996 Sony Music Distribution 26667
    1996 Philips 4541722
    1996 Decca 4561952
    1995 Sony Music Distribution SK-66614
    1995 Philips 432110
    1995 Decca
    1994 EMI Music Distribution CD-CFP4641
    1994 London/Decca / London / PolyGram 443381
    1993 ASV 6036
    1992 Erato 45136
    1992 Sony Classical 48296
    1992 CBS Records / Sony Classical 48473
    1991 Decca
    1991 Decca 430 092-2DWO
    RFCM Symphony Orchestra
    Naxos 8506024
    Universal Music 109378
    RFCM Symphony Orchestra
    RFCM Symphony Orchestra
    Sony Music Distribution 47280
    Seraphim UK 569582-2
    EMI Music Distribution 4641
    EMI Classics 2001
    London 430141
    Trax Classique 159
    EMI Music Distribution 65336
    Brilliant 92390/22
    Carlton 1565691522
    In Classical Mood 12046
    Duet 06
    ORC 11016
    IMP Classics 19
    RCA 60243
    DG Panorama / DG Deutsche Grammophon / Polydor 469 247-2GP2
    Rainbow Media OMP 5768
    ABC Classics 4766209
    ABC Classics 4766215