The Arrival of the Queen of Sheba

It’s been such a hectic week getting ready for our new arrivals at the University of Sussex that I’ve been largely limited to posting short items and recycled material. Today is no exception either, as I have been on campus again for another Freshers’ induction week event and now have to prepare a talk for new students in the School of Mathematical and Physical Sciences for tomorrow morning. Anyway, all these busy preparations made me think today of the famous instrumental passage from Act III of Handel’s Oratorio Solomon which depict in wonderfully lively fashion  similar preparations preceding the Arrival of the Queen of Sheba. I know that’s a feeble pretext for posting a bit of music, but I thought I’d at least put a little twist on it by including a performance rather different from what you might be expecting.

This version of The Arrival of the Queen of Sheba is by wonderful Welsh harpist Glenda Clwyd whom I remember hearing play at a couple of events when I was living in Cardiff. This clip is of an impromptu performance and there are a couple of small mistakes, but I think it’s a lovely rendition, the uniquely gentle sound of the harp making it less frantic than most versions.



5 Responses to “The Arrival of the Queen of Sheba”

  1. One of my favourite pieces of music. So good, in fact, that a modern beat combo (well, almost) took their name from this piece:

  2. Reblogged this on jauntytraveller and commented:
    Wonderful piece. Have you noticed how deep the “similarity” is? Mr. Coles, t’s a clever choice of inspiration for a talk before the freshmen 😉

  3. Anton Garrett Says:

    Given that the pitch of the nth harp string is presumably conventional with respect to n, but string length varies unusually with n, so much the string tension.

  4. Check out this Irish folk version too, which I think is great!

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