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About this Piece

Handel’s Gloria has the dubious distinction of having been “lost” in plain sight for more than two centuries. Although it was in a Royal Academy of Music library manuscript of music that was undoubtedly by Handel, more than one scholar accepted the characterization of the Gloria as of “doubtful” authenticity until 2000, when Hamburg University professor Hans Joachim Marx judged it to be genuine Handel, and the musicological community quickly fell into line.

The Gloria is a section of the Roman Catholic Mass. Settings of the Gloria by itself are unusual, and settings of any Mass section for solo voice are even more unusual. Handel’s setting, a star vehicle for the singer, resembles music he wrote when he was in Italy between 1706 and 1710, and was likely written at that time.

— Howard Posner