Rideau Chorale will present George Frederic Handel’s Four Coronation Anthems for massed choir and orchestra. A professional 25-piece orchestra, entailing strings, brass, winds, timpani, organ and harpsichord will support the choir, faithfully recreating Handel’s original scoring. In both their original versions, as they will be performed by Rideau Chorale, and in subsequent adaptations as oratorio choruses and stand-alone celebratory works, Handel’s Coronation Anthems have always been favourites among large-scale classical choral works. Seldom presented as a complete set due to their scope and complexity, this performance of the four Anthems together will be a rare opportunity for audiences in the nation’s capital.
As music for royal coronation ceremonies, the Anthems were designed to sound as glorious, uplifting, elegant and richly enjoyable as possible. Significantly, these pieces are entirely choral, with no solo sections, making them especially enjoyable for fans of choir music particularly. With a mixture of majestic grandeur and moments of exquisite tenderness, the full range of Handel’s genius as a composer for chorus and orchestra alike manifests itself throughout the four masterpieces. In addition to the Coronation Anthems, the concert will feature Handel’s Organ Concerto in F major, Op. 4, No. 4 with well-known Ottawa organ virtuoso Matthew Larkin as soloist. In what may be a Canadian debut, the choir will participate, singing a special choral finale movement added to the concerto by Handel himself for a special celebratory performance given in 1725.
The concert takes place on Saturday May 28, 2016, at 7:30 p.m., at Southminster United Church, located at 15 Aylmer Avenue, off Bank Street at the Rideau Canal. Tickets at $30 for adults, $25 for seniors and $10 for students are available at Compact Music in the Glebe, The Leading Note on Elgin Street, and from choir members.
Rideau Chorale is led by Roland Graham, well known in Ottawa as the producer of the popular Doors Open for Music at Southminster weekly concert series and of the Master Piano Recital Series. A talented pianist, composer and conductor, Roland’s vision for the choir, in addition to promoting and presenting beautiful choral music to the public, is to provide mentorship and opportunities for aspiring choristers to develop their musical talents in a safe and nurturing environment. Interested singers are encouraged to contact the choir through its email address (firstname.lastname@example.org) or through the choir’s Facebook page for information on how to join its ranks.
By Debbie Rose