The peal of church bells, the scent of Christmas trees and gleaming lights in every window: now all that's missing to complete the Yuletide mood is Christmas by great Baroque composers. This CD contains the most moving arias and resplendent choruses from Bach's Christmas Oratorio and Handel's Messiah - the perfect music to celebrate Christmas with.
Five years after the initial release of Handel's Water Music and Fireworks suites in the groundbreaking version from Le Concert Spirituel, Glossa are now issuing the original surround master in a newly-designed digipack edition.
Originally released as part of a Purcell-Handel-Haydn ‘trilogy’, this recording of A Song for Saint Cecilia's Day directed by Marc Minkowski, a recognised specialist in the Handel repertoire, is now available separately for the first time. The outstanding soloists also contribute to making this disc a reference.
The Sixteen adds to its stunning Handel collection with a brand new recording of Dixit Dominus set alongside a little know treasure - Agostino Steffani’s Stabat Mater. Full of virtuosity, vibrant colour and dynamic energy, Handel’s Dixit Dominus captures absolutely the Italian style of the period. Handel’s control of forces is masterly and the range of texture and style is breathtaking. Written during the composer’s time in Italy in the early eighteenth century it is amongst his first autographed works and also one of his finest. By comparison Agostino Steffani’s little known Stabat Mater was one of his last compositions. Written for the Academy of Vocal Music in London, this work is the most powerful expression of Steffani’s religious fervour and, outside opera, his largest, most varied and most heartfelt composition.
Jephtha (1752) was George Frederick Handel's final oratorio, and it was composed during a period of incipient blindness and declining health. Yet the composer's artistic powers were undiminished in this dramatization of the Biblical story, for the arias and choruses are as memorable as any from Handel's earlier works in the genre, including Messiah and Israel in Egypt. This 2008 recording by Fabio Biondi, the Collegium Vocale Ghent, and the Stavanger Symphony Orchestra is a brilliant period presentation, and the spry rhythms, lean counterpoint, clear textures, and distinctive colors of original instruments combine to make this an especially enjoyable performance of a fairly neglected masterpiece.
Mezzo-soprano Julie Boulianne along with Clavecin en concert and its artistic director Luc Beauséjour present an exceptionally colourful chapter in the history of music on their new recording for the Analekta label. The 9 arias that make up this album are taken from operas that were presented between 1735 and 1738, at a time when two of London's opera houses were waging a heated battle.