The Birth of British Music - Handel - The Conquering Hero
In the second of four programmes, conductor Charles Hazlewood explores the glorious music of Handel, who made his home in Britain and became a celebrity and national icon in the process.
Millions across the world heard Handel's 'Zadok the Priest' when Elizabeth II was crowned Queen at Westminster Abbey in 1953, but he was immensely popular in his own lifetime too, as his memorial in Westminster Abbey shows. World-renowed soloists Danielle de Niese and Ian Bostridge join Charles Hazlewood's ensemble, Army of Generals, in some of the best-loved music in our history.
Also included in this programme is an unusual take on John Gay's 'The Beggar's Opera', the 18th-century smash hit that poked fun at Handel's world. Charles invites comedian Phill Jupitus to take a new approach to the music along with acclaimed folk singers Rachel and Becky Unthank, guitarist Adrian Utley from Portishead, and distinguished jazz drummer Martin France.
The Foundling Hospital Museum and Handel's birthplace in Halle are two of the many places Charles visits to explore the stories behind this fascinating composer who has had such a profound influence on our cultural heritage.