Handel - Zadok the Priest, Dettingen Te Deum, Music for the Royal Fireworks, Messiah (Part 3) - Chichester

After a memorable concert in November 2016 (when Will Russell and I performed Vivaldi’s ‘Concerto for two trumpets in C’) in St. George’s Church in Chichester, we were invited by Andrew Naylor - musical director of Chichester Voices - to return for their 2017 concert, entitled ‘Messiah with Fireworks’. We returned to Chichester on Saturday 4th of November with several additions to our trumpet section, ready for a performance of some of the most lavish and renowned works by G F Handel.

The monumental all-Handel programme required five trumpet players in total: Russell Gilmour, Will Russell and Gareth Hoddinott were the main body of the section, but essential assistance came from Crispian Steele-Perkins and Dave Clewlow- who were intentionally spared throughout the first half of the concert, in order to be fresh for the Messiah (Part 3) in the second half of the concert. Keith Price played timpani (and also percussion) throughout.


(L-R) Will Russell, Russell Gilmour, Crispian Steele-Perkins, Dave Clewlow & Gareth Hoddinott)

The first piece in the concert was the resplendent Zadok the Priest [HWV 258] - (played by Russell Gilmour, Will Russell and Gareth Hoddinott). The second piece in the concert was the Dettingen Te Deum [HWV 283] - played by the same section with additional bumping on the first trumpet part from Dave Clewlow. The Dettingen Te Deum is an incredible piece of music. It was a real pleasure for me to play the trumpet features in ‘Thou art the King of Glory’ with the Bass soloist: Jonathan Gunthorpe, and later the trumpet feature in ‘Day by day we magnify thee’ with Chichester Voices. The duet, after the movement ‘Thou sittest at the right hand of God’, following the words ‘to be judged’ was played by Russell Gilmour and Will Russell. I could hear a prominent and reassuring resultant tone throughout, as the sound of the second partial (in D) was being produced (purely by the mathematical difference between the two other tones) in my ear on every note of the Adagio soli. These are the resultant tones referred to by Tosi (1723), Geminiani (1752), Leopold Mozart (1756), Quantz (1752), Telemann (v.I - IV: 1739-54) and others.

The programme next turned to Handel’s Concerto in F Major (The Cuckoo and the Nightingale) [HWV 295] - played by Richard Allum on the Organ. An Air and Chorus (Happy, We) from Acis and Galatea [HWV 49] followed, with soprano and tenor soloists: Susan Gilmour Bailey and William Balkwill.
After the interval, the concert recommenced with the Arrival of the Queen of Sheba from Solomon [HWV 67], which featured the orchestra and particularly the woodwind section (Gerry MacDonald, Belinda Paul, Debby England (oboes) with Nathaniel Harrison and Rebecca Hammond (bassoons). The three baroque horn players (Ursula Paludan Monberg, Martin Lawrence and Joe Walters) performed a rousing: See the Conqu’ring Hero Comes from Judas Maccabaeus [HWV 63] with solos from Susan Gilmour Bailey (soprano) and Alexandra Gibson (Mezzo soprano).

The Music for the Royal Fireworks [HWV 351] followed, with our full compliment of brass players - five trumpets and three horns - (incidentally the piece, originally performed outside, was envisaged for three players per trumpet part: nine in total). Russell Gilmour played first trumpet, with Crispian Steele-Perkins bumping. Will Russell played second trumpet, with Dave Clewlow bumping and Gareth Hoddinott played third trumpet without a bumper. This gave all players respite and allowed Crispian Steele-Perkins and Dave Clewlow to have a brief warm up before the Messiah [HWV 56] Part 3, which followed.

The Messiah [HWV 56] Part 3 began with the Sinfony from Part 1 and continued with Part 3 in its entirety. Crispian Steele-Perkins played The Trumpet Shall Sound with the Bass soloist Jonathan Gunthorpe and the section of Crispian Steele-Perkins and Dave Clewlow finished the (printed) programme of the concert. After a rousing Worthy is the Lamb and Amen, the encore brought all the instrumentalists back (including horns) to perform a massed Hallelujah chorus.

The concert was a great occasion - the musicianship was excellent, and the concert was absolutely full - to the point of needing to find extra chairs from the church hall. This concert supported the local charity St Wilfrid’s Hospice. Thanks to Andrew Naylor and Chichester Voices for inviting us again and thanks to Will Russell for booking the brass section (of 5 trumpets, 3 horns and timpani).