The King's Consort
A sold out hall for the music from the Coronation of King George II. Musically this was a very fine evening but it raised more questions than it answered. I have no doubts about the musicianship of the choir and players of the King's Consort, and their original instruments sounded brisk and busy throughout. However, the number of players and the range of voices was quite different from those Handel actually used in 1727. Moreover the tiny chamber organ bore no resemblance to the Westminster Abbey organ then in use or the extra organ Handel had built for his own ensemble as the main organ was pitched impossibly for orchestral instruments.
Thus what we experienced was a beautiful, but ultimately frustrating, evening which was no closer to the experience of the event than modern orchestral and vocal forces would have been. Perhaps one of these days a cathedral will be persuaded to mount the music using cathedral choristers and period instruments plus the two organs. Then we will be getting closer!
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