Sorry, I realize this blog risks turning into an unsolicited and infinite edition of Private Passions.

Handel only gets a rare look-in among my posts on WAM, utterly eclipsed as he is by his contemporary Bach. I’ve already praised Zodak the Chartered Accountant, I mean Zadok the Priest, and I’ve taken part in many a moving performance of the operas and oratorios with John Eliot Gardiner. So despite my devotion to Bach, I have to feature some enthralling slow Handel arias.

Just to remind myself that there are other divine counter-tenors besides Michael Chance, here’s Andreas Scholl:

And to further pursue our theme of tears:


Mark Padmore singing Waft her, angels:

Israel in Egypt has long been a signature piece of John Eliot Gardiner and the Monteverdi Choir—performers and audiences alike were overwhelmed by Michael Chance singing Thou shalt bring them in:

For Dixit dominus and the ravishing soprano duet De torrente, click here.

And then Eternal source of light divine is moving in diverse versions. Doing it on tour with Carolyn Samson and David Blackadder was overwhelming (OMG, I can’t believe I was involved in that). But here are a couple more versions, beautiful in different ways:

And never mind HIP “authenticity”, this version is just as moving:

And now I just have to add another rendition—also reminding us of the importance of music in ritual: the entrance of the bride at the royal wedding, sadly neglected in the musical coverage, yet worthy of the spellbinding visual images, setting a magical tone for the whole event, with the passion of Michael Curry and Stand by me:

Eternal source of light divine
With double warmth thy beams display
And with distinguish’d glory shine
To add a lustre to this day.

6 thoughts on “Handel

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