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Princely Patronage – Alfred (Arne) & Ode to Saint Cecilia HWV 76

Angelo Hornak

Princely Patronage – Alfred (Arne) & Ode to Saint Cecilia HWV 76

Composed within six months of each other Handel’s Ode to St. Cecilia on Dryden’s famous text and Arne’s Alfred – culminating in ‘Rule Britannia’ – both show composers at the absolute height of their powers. The two works could not be more different. Handel and Dryden’s Ode envisages the creation of the universe through the order and majesty of divine harmony, whilst Arne’s masque ponders questions of mundane but immediate political importance, growing from a brief masque through at least seven revisions and additions over the following two decades. Alfred was first performed at Cliveden, country home of Frederick, Prince of Wales, and is considered to be a tactful lesson from Arne to the young prince on British values, focusing as it does on the reign of Saxon King Alfred. Returning to the London Handel Festival, John Andrews and The Brook Street Band are joined by talented soloists and acclaimed chamber choir Pegasus in this glorious celebration of the power of music to move the soul. Reviewing their performance of Arne’s Judgement of Paris in Gramophone, Tim Ashley wrote: “John Andrews conducts with flair and style, and there’s some delectable playing from The Brook Street Band…very entertaining, and great fun.”

Lucy Hall soprano
Emma Stannard mezzo-soprano
Mark Wilde tenor

The Brook Street Band
John Andrews director

TICKETS £40, £35, £30, £12, £10 reserved seating

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