Handel – Arrival of the Queen of Sheba (Dectet)

Composer: G.F.Handel
Duration: a. 3’30 minutes
Price: £20
Grade: 5-7
Instrumentation: Brass Dectet

Program Note: Handel’s “Arrival of the Queen of Sheba”

George Frideric Handel’s “Arrival of the Queen of Sheba” is one of the most delightful and recognizable compositions in the Baroque repertoire. This piece is an instrumental interlude from his oratorio “Solomon,” composed in 1748. Renowned for its lively and exuberant character, “Arrival of the Queen of Sheba” showcases Handel’s masterful compositional craftsmanship and ability to conjure vivid imagery through music.

The music is designed to depict the grandeur and majesty of the Queen of Sheba’s arrival, as described in the biblical narrative. The piece begins with a regal and celebratory fanfare, immediately capturing the listener’s attention. The brisk tempo, intricate counterpoint, and lively rhythms contribute to the sense of excitement and anticipation as the music unfolds.

This version for Kensington Brass 2023 has been used successfully both in a recital and ‘light-classical background’ context. It is written in concert Eb major so that it sits comfortably on ‘home’ brass instruments at an intermediate level, there are no tricky piccolo or high trumpet parts.

“Arrival of the Queen of Sheba” embodies Handel’s signature style, marked by its buoyant energy, dramatic contrasts, and unmistakable sense of Baroque exuberance. Its enduring popularity is a testament to Handel’s ability to capture the essence of a ceremonial event through music, transcending time and connecting listeners to a world of regal splendor and artistic brilliance.

This Arrangement is also available for Brass Quintet

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