Philip Ledger / Charles Mackerras / David Willcocks

Handel: Water & Fireworks Music; Coronation Anthems

  • AllMusic Rating
    8
  • User Ratings (0)
  • Your Rating

AllMusic Review by Blair Sanderson

Beginners who are looking for a satisfying introductory package to the music of George Frederick Handel should consider this 2009 twofer from EMI Classics, which brings together his most popular orchestral works, the Music for the Royal Fireworks and Water Music, in a convenient pairing with the Coronation Anthems. There is no reason to settle for less than this, since the major labels have realized that even cost-cutter packages need something extra to entice listeners, and the two suites by themselves are no longer sufficient to attract listeners with digital downloading capabilities. Charles Mackerras leads the London Symphony Orchestra in his own idiomatic arrangement for brass, woodwinds, and drums of the Fireworks Music, and the pomp and ceremony of the Hanoverian court are certainly evoked in this 1976 performance. In the three Water Music suites, recorded in 1978, Mackerras conducts the Prague Chamber Orchestra, and though the mood is substantially more intimate than in the first work, the playing has a similar regal dignity. The Coronation Anthems -- The King shall rejoice, Zadok the Priest, Let thy hand be strengthened, and My heart is inditing -- are given stirring interpretations by Philip Ledger and the King's College Choir, Cambridge, dating from 1982, and the additional 1965 performance of Dixit Dominus, led by David Willcocks, rounds out the package with nobility and passion. Because of the range of dates and the inclusion of ADD and DDD recordings, the sound quality might be questioned, but EMI's engineering is quite even and the reproduction is clear and clean, if not especially warm.

Track Listing - Disc 1

Sample Title/Composer Performer Time Stream
Music for the Royal Fireworks, for orchestra, HWV 351
1 Philip Ledger / Charles Mackerras / David Willcocks 12:50 Amazon
2 Philip Ledger / Charles Mackerras / David Willcocks 01:40 Amazon
3 Philip Ledger / Charles Mackerras / David Willcocks 04:05 Amazon
4 Philip Ledger / Charles Mackerras / David Willcocks 03:06 Amazon
5 Philip Ledger / Charles Mackerras / David Willcocks 01:22 Amazon
6 Philip Ledger / Charles Mackerras / David Willcocks 02:54 Amazon
Water Music Suite No.1 for orchestra in F major, HWV 348
7 Philip Ledger / Charles Mackerras / David Willcocks 04:19 Amazon
8 Philip Ledger / Charles Mackerras / David Willcocks 02:16 Amazon
9
3.
Philip Ledger / Charles Mackerras / David Willcocks 02:32 Amazon
10 Philip Ledger / Charles Mackerras / David Willcocks 02:23 Amazon
11 Philip Ledger / Charles Mackerras / David Willcocks 02:34 Amazon
12
5.
Philip Ledger / Charles Mackerras / David Willcocks 03:22 Amazon
13 Philip Ledger / Charles Mackerras / David Willcocks 03:53 Amazon
14 Philip Ledger / Charles Mackerras / David Willcocks 03:04 Amazon
15 Philip Ledger / Charles Mackerras / David Willcocks 01:56 Amazon
16 Philip Ledger / Charles Mackerras / David Willcocks 02:14 Amazon
17
10.
Philip Ledger / Charles Mackerras / David Willcocks 02:49 Amazon
Water Music Suite No.3 for orchestra in G major, HWV 350
18
16.
Philip Ledger / Charles Mackerras / David Willcocks 03:22 Amazon
19 Philip Ledger / Charles Mackerras / David Willcocks 01:13 Amazon
20
18.
Philip Ledger / Charles Mackerras / David Willcocks 00:51 Amazon
21 Philip Ledger / Charles Mackerras / David Willcocks 00:44 Amazon
22 Philip Ledger / Charles Mackerras / David Willcocks 01:00 Amazon
23
20.
Philip Ledger / Charles Mackerras / David Willcocks 02:12 Amazon
24
21.
Philip Ledger / Charles Mackerras / David Willcocks 00:32 Amazon
25
22.
Philip Ledger / Charles Mackerras / David Willcocks 00:32 Amazon
26 Philip Ledger / Charles Mackerras / David Willcocks 00:30 Amazon
Water Music Suite No.2 for orchestra in D major, HWV 349
27
11.
Philip Ledger / Charles Mackerras / David Willcocks 02:20 Amazon
28 Philip Ledger / Charles Mackerras / David Willcocks 03:16 Amazon
29 Philip Ledger / Charles Mackerras / David Willcocks 01:15 Amazon
30 Philip Ledger / Charles Mackerras / David Willcocks 01:55 Amazon
31 Philip Ledger / Charles Mackerras / David Willcocks 01:10 Amazon
32 Philip Ledger / Charles Mackerras / David Willcocks 01:16 Amazon

Track Listing - Disc 2

Sample Title/Composer Performer Time Stream
The King Shall Rejoice, coronation anthem No. 2 for chorus & orchestra, HWV260
1 Philip Ledger / Charles Mackerras / David Willcocks 03:06 Amazon
2 Philip Ledger / Charles Mackerras / David Willcocks 03:26 Amazon
3 Philip Ledger / Charles Mackerras / David Willcocks 00:31 Amazon
4 Philip Ledger / Charles Mackerras / David Willcocks 02:36 Amazon
5 Philip Ledger / Charles Mackerras / David Willcocks 03:12 Amazon
6 Philip Ledger / Charles Mackerras / David Willcocks 06:11 Amazon
Let Thy Hand Be Strengthened, coronation anthem No. 4 for chorus & orchestra, HWV 259
7 Philip Ledger / Charles Mackerras / David Willcocks 03:24 Amazon
8 Philip Ledger / Charles Mackerras / David Willcocks 02:35 Amazon
9 Philip Ledger / Charles Mackerras / David Willcocks 02:19 Amazon
My Heart Is Inditing, coronation anthem No. 3 for chorus & orchestra, HWV 261
10 Philip Ledger / Charles Mackerras / David Willcocks 03:05 Amazon
11 Philip Ledger / Charles Mackerras / David Willcocks 02:53 Amazon
12 Philip Ledger / Charles Mackerras / David Willcocks 03:07 Amazon
13 Philip Ledger / Charles Mackerras / David Willcocks 03:13 Amazon
Dixit Dominus, hymn for soloists, chorus & orchestra in G minor, HWV 232
14 Philip Ledger / Charles Mackerras / David Willcocks 07:06 Amazon
15 Philip Ledger / Charles Mackerras / David Willcocks 03:12 Amazon
16 Philip Ledger / Charles Mackerras / David Willcocks 03:21 Amazon
17 Philip Ledger / Charles Mackerras / David Willcocks 03:12 Amazon
18 Philip Ledger / Charles Mackerras / David Willcocks 01:52 Amazon
19 Philip Ledger / Charles Mackerras / David Willcocks 07:30 Amazon
20 Philip Ledger / Charles Mackerras / David Willcocks 03:32 Amazon
21 Philip Ledger / Charles Mackerras / David Willcocks 07:08 Amazon
blue highlight denotes track pick