Handel and the English Chapel Royal during the reigns of Queen Anne and King George I

Burrows, Donald James (1981). Handel and the English Chapel Royal during the reigns of Queen Anne and King George I. PhD thesis The Open University.

DOI: https://doi.org/10.21954/ou.ro.0000de15


Handel's association with the English Chapel Royal began soon after he settled in London, and continued intermittently for the remainder of his life. ' The thesis traces this association until'the death of King George I in 1727. Handel's Chapel Royal music is examined with dual reference to the Chapel's musical traditions and the development of the composer's style. Political events influenced the extent of Handel's involvement with the Chapel at different periods: the relationship between the composers, the Chapel Royal and the British Court is described within the historical contexts drawing on many unpublished sources.

After an introductory survey of the repertoire of Handel's Chapel Royal music, the musical history of the Chapel during the period preceding Handel's arrival in London is described, paying special attention to performances of instrumentally-accompanied services and anthems, and the ceremonial Thanksgiving Services of Queen Anne's reign. Handel's experience of church music In Italy and Germany previous to his arrival in England is described, and the contemporary English anthems of William Croft are examined by way of an introduction to Handel's first English Verse Anthem. Two chapters are devoted, to Handel's Chapel Royal compositions from the period 1710-1714, including his music celebrating the Peace of Utrecht.

Chapters 6 and 7 investigate the circumstances surrounding Handel's disassociation from the Chapel in 1715-1722 and his subsequent re-establishment there during the last years of George I's reign. The significance, of Handel's appointment as Composer to the Chapel is considered, and a chronology for his Chapel Royal music from the 1720p suggested. The music is examined in detail, and described with reference to related antecedent Chandos Anthems., The later history of Handel's Chapel Royal music is surveyed briefly in the final chapter.

Factual background material is collected in an extended supplement and fifteen appendices.

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