Handel – The King Shall Rejoice

The final post in my happiness playlist, brings together some of the recurrent themes of this series – Handel, baroque trumpets and choral music. Although the whole anthem is magnificent, the bit that really, really makes me happy is the section ‘Thou hast prevented him’ (skip to the third track below if you want to go straight to the action). The altos kick things off, which is always a good way to make me happy, and it’s just so much fun to sing. Then just when everything has really got cooking, there’s a soprano entry where Handel does one of his funny little harmonic turns and it all ratchets up a notch. I love it.

I have a particular happy and hopeful memory to go with this final post too, from singing it at a concert in Newcastle Cathedral in 2014. It was my last day in a job I’d been made redundant from, and I was feeling pretty miserable and a bit scared. I was also late for the rehearsal, and stuck in traffic on the Tyne Bridge with my friend Liz, so we put this on the stereo (the same recording I’ve shared below), whacked up the volume and had a good sing-along and it cheered me up immensely. Everything else turned out ok in the end too, so this piece always reminds me not to give up.

1. The King Shall Rejoice

2. Exceeding Glad shall he be

3. Glory and Worship / Thou Hast Prevented Him (my favourite bit)

4. Alleluia