Dixit Dominus (Handel)

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Dixit Dominus is a psalm setting by George Frideric Handel (catalogued as HWV 232). It uses the Latin text of Psalm 110 (Vulgate 109), which begins with the words Dixit Dominus ("The Lord Said").

The work was completed in April 1707 while Handel was living in Italy. It is Handel's earliest surviving autograph. The work was written in the baroque style and is scored for five vocal soloists (SSATB), chorus, strings and continuo. It is most likely that the work was first performed on 16 July 1707 in the Church of Santa Maria in Montesanto, under the patronage of the Colonna family.

The score was published in 1867. A typical performance lasts a little over 30 minutes.


The work has the following movements:

MovementType and voiceText (English)Text (Latin)
1ChorusThe Lord said unto my Lord:
Sit thou on my right hand, until I make thine enemies thy foot-stool.
Dixit Dominus Domino meo:
Sede a dextris meis, donec ponam inimicos tuos scabellum pedum tuorum.
(alto solo)
The Lord shall send the rod of thy power out of Sion:
be thou ruler, even in the midst among thine enemies.
Virgam virtutis tuae emittet Dominus ex Sion:
dominare in medio inimicorum tuorum.
(soprano solo)
In the day of thy power shall the people offer thee free-will offerings with an holy worship.
The dew of thy birth is of the womb of the morning.
Tecum principatus in die virtutis tuae, in splendoribus sanctis.
Ex utero ante luciferum genui te.
4ChorusThe Lord swore, and will not repent:Juravit Dominus et non paenitebit eum:
5ChorusThou art a priest for ever after the order of Melchisedech.Tu es sacerdos in aeternum secundum ordinem Melchisedech.
6Soloists and chorusThe Lord upon thy right hand,
shall wound even kings in the day of his wrath.
Dominus a dextris tuis,
confregit in die irae suae reges.
7ChorusHe shall judge the nations,
fill the places with destruction, and shatter the capitals in many lands.
Judicabit in nationibus,
Implebit ruinas, conquassabit capita in terra multorum.
8Soprano duet and chorusHe shall drink of the brook in the way,
therefore shall he lift up his head.
De torrente in via bibet,
propterea exaltabit caput.
9ChorusGlory be to the Father, and to the Son, and to the Holy Spirit.
As it was in the beginning, is now; and ever shall be, by the centuries of the centuries. Amen.
Gloria Patri, et Filio, et Spiritui Sancto,
Sicut erat in principio, et nunc, et semper, et in saecula saeculorum. Amen.

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