Soloists / The Netherlands Bach Society
Peace of Utrecht
CD | Channel Classics | 0723385631323 | SEL 6313 | 03-13
The Treaty of Utrecht was concluded in Utrecht on 11 April 1713. The treaty brought an end to almost two centuries of worldwide warfare. In the prelude to this historic occasion, for one and a half years Utrecht was the host, stage and partner of an international assembly which determined the future of Europe. In 1713, a lavish and festive programme of arts and culture in Utrecht was the catalyst that drew the various cultures of the diplomats and negotiators together and thus smoothened the signing of this historic treaty. This was the first peace achieved through diplomacy, with thanks to the hospitality of Utrecht.
The Peace of Utrecht was celebrated in 1713 with music, festive fireworks and specially commissioned compositions such as the Utrecht Te Deum and Utrecht Jubilate by George Frideric Handel (1685-1759) and the Ode for the Peace of Utrecht by William Croft (1678-1727). In 2013, Utrecht once again will be the host, stage and partner of festivities, arts and culture. Then we shall celebrate three hundred years of the Treaty of Utrecht in grand style.
It may well be that Handel had completed his Te Deum before he received an official commission. He was probably just waiting for his chance, and that chance par excellence was the Treaty of Utrecht. He got to know about the favourite ceremonies and celebrations of the English, what music was appropriate and what was specifically English about it. Then he tried to blend traditional English music with his own style. It is almost certain that Handel's examples were Purcell's Te Deum and the thanksgiving anthem Rejoice in the Lord by William Croft: both works offered starting points for his Utrecht Te Deum and Jubilate. The result was a typical English blend of polyphonic and homophonic passages, seamless transitions from vocal solos to choral sections, and the occasional, very seventeenth-century English sounding modal melody.
Handel composed the Jubilate as a second thought - a supplement to the Te Deum - when a performance was imminent at a Thanksgiving Service after the Treaty of Utrecht. It took place on 7 July 1713 in London in a packed St Paul's Cathedral. "The Church-Musick was Excellent in its Performance, as is was exquisite in its Composure", the London press wrote. From that moment, Handel's Utrecht Te Deum was performed annually on St Cecilia’s Day (22 November), toppling Purcell's Te Deum from its place of honour.
Musik zum Frieden von Utrecht mit der Netherlands Bach Society und namhaften Solisten.
Am 11. April 1713 wurden in Utrecht nach langen Verhandlungen die Friedensverträge zum Ende des Spanischen Erbfolgekrieges unterzeichnet. Für Großbrittannien erwies sich dieser Abschluss als besonders lukrativ - es konnte seine Großmacht zur See ausbauen.
Zu den Feierlichkeiten in London komponierte Georg Friedrich Händel bekanntermaßen sein Utrechter Te Deum sowie ein Jubliate (HWV 279). Sein Zeitgenosse William Croft schrieb eine "Ode for the Peace of Utrecht" mit dem Untertitel "With noise of cannon" (!).