Saxon Kings

Bach the European 2020 pink background

Iain Ledingham director

Handel My heart is inditing, HWV 261
Let thy hand be strengthened, HWV 259
JS Bach Preise dein Glücke, gesegnetes Sachsen, BWV 215
Handel Zadok the Priest, HWV 258

This concert juxtaposes ceremonial music written for Saxon kings by Bach and Handel, who both used splendid vocal and orchestral forces to demonstrate the prestige and power of the monarchy. Bach’s Preise dein Glücke, gesegnetes Sachsen was written in 1734 to celebrate the crowning of King Augustus III of Poland, who was also Elector of Saxony. Handel’s coronation anthems for King George II were performed at the ceremony in October 1727 and, despite being mainly dramatic in style, include moments of gentler, more reflective music, particularly evident in the middle section of Let thy hand be strengthened.

Performed on modern instruments.