Pamela Dellal, mezzo soprano


uncommon intelligence, imagination and textual awareness...



Miscellaneous Notes

G.F. Handel: Foundling Hospital Anthem

No great composer was more selfless and generous than George Frideric Handel. Throughout his long and wildly successful career he was not only personally generous to his colleagues but put considerable support behind charitable causes in his adapted city of London. He was one of the charter founders of the London Foundling Hospital, one of the first institutions in the world dedicated to help indigent children. The gates from several performances of "Messiah" were given to the organization. But today's "Foundling Hospital Anthem" was written to be performed at the Hospital as a benefit for the organization to complete its then unfinished chapel. Written in 1749, the work is the last of Handel's smaller- scale occasional pieces, while the work is very much in the form and manner of some of the Chandos Anthems written about thirty-five years earlier. The work has an emotional identification with the words that makes it unique in his output.The text is mostly drawn from the Psalms, with several lines from Ecclesiasticus,Wisdom and Revelation. While some of the material is derived from earlier sources, only the final movement may be familiar to some listeners.

©Craig Smith