Following the Final, RMP Chief Conductor Andrew Wailes will direct a performance by the acclaimed RMP Choir and Orchestra and five of Australia’s finest soloists, in a rare performance of Handel’s virtuosic and spectacular Dixit Dominus.
Completed in April 1707 while Handel was living in Italy, Dixit Dominus is an extended psalm setting in 8 movements that uses the Latin text of Psalm 110 (Vulgate 109), which begins with the words Dixit Dominus… (which translates to “The Lord Said unto my Lord: Sit thou on my right hand, until I make thine enemies thy foot-stool.”).
Regarded by many as one of Handel’s finest works, the work is also Handel’s earliest surviving autograph. The work was written in the florid baroque style of the period and is scored for five vocal soloists (SSATB), five-part chorus, string orchestra and continuo. It is thought that the work was first performed on 16 July 1707 in the Church of Santa Maria in Montesanto, under the patronage of the Colonna family.
The psalm is set by Handel to music of exceptional brilliance, the dramatic contrasts within and between movements vividly illustrating and reinforcing the words. Dixit Dominus is a showpiece for both singers and players alike, and whilst its unremitting energy and dramatic intensity presents all the musicians with considerable challenges, the demands that Handel makes on the choir are extremely testing, and seldom equaled in any of his later works. The piece is an extraordinary tour-de-force, particularly for a 22-year-old composer, and demonstrates Handel’s precocious mastery of counterpoint, of harmonic and melodic invention and, perhaps most impressively, of powerful dramatic gesture.
Andrew Wailes, conductor
Stefan Cassomenos, piano and harpsichord
Mia Robinson, soprano
Astrid Girdis, soprano
Michael Burden, alto
Timothy Reynolds, tenor
Nicholas Dinopoulos, bass baritone
RMP Aria Finalists
Royal Melbourne Philharmonic Choir
Royal Melbourne Philharmonic Orchestra
TO ENTER THE 2023 RMP ARIA:
Please note that the deadline for entries (5pm Tuesday 1st August 2023 has now passed. Entries are now closed.
For further instructions please refer to the entry form.