WGBH Radio WGBH Radio theclassicalstation.org

Robert White Sings Handel Arias / London Baroque Soloists


Release Date: 12/16/2008 
Label:  Virgin Classics   Catalog #: 90796   Spars Code: DDD 
Composer:  George Frideric Handel
Performer:  Robert White
Conductor:  Ivor Bolton
Orchestra/Ensemble:  City of London Baroque Sinfonia
Number of Discs: 1 
Recorded in: Stereo 
Length: 1 Hours 10 Mins. 

This title is currently unavailable.



This CD is reissued by ArkivMusic.

Notes and Editorial Reviews

If there is anything better than a Handel aria it is a collection of them. Nor is there anyone among today's tenors better at singing them than Robert White. No nonsense here about rinsing the natural vibrancy out of the voice, or pushing the tone on individual notes, or 'separating' the runs as a short cut to clear articulation. His breath control—not just a matter of lung capacity but of steady emission so that the line is kept even throughout—enables him to stand side by side with McCormack in ''O Sleep, why dost thou leave me?'', and to manage with apparent ease the daunting runs in ''While Kedron's brook''. The opening of ''O Sleep'' has its trill in place, and it's a beauty, an accomplishment that graces these arias several times and Read more is introduced entirely without ostentation. ''Love sounds th' alarm'' could do with more ring (in fact I'd rather have heard him sing ''Love in her eyes sits playing''), yet he can add an edge to the tone when he wants to, as in the song about ''the fair disdainful dame'' in the Ode for St Cecilia's Day.

Style and expression are not invariably quite so satisfying. Without an obsessive appetite for appoggiaturas, I sometimes felt their lack here. Embellishments in the da capo sections are always well executed but a trifle inconsistent in nature; sometimes rather spare and plain, occasionally (as in the pictorial ''crooked'' at the end of ''Ev'ry valley'') imaginative but, in context, making somewhat too isolated an effect. A wider variation from piano to forte would not come amiss: the contrast is effective, clearly answering the music's demands, in ''Ah! spietato'', but I would welcome more shading elsewhere. Certainly there needs a deeper expressiveness in ''Total eclipse'', feeling grows towards the end, but the voice needs more pain and sorrow etched into it and all we have here sounds at best like mild regret.

There is some excellent playing by the City of London Baroque Sinfonia, but I thought at first I was going to hate it: the squeeze or bellows-effect of the strings playing over the Largo (''Ombra mai fu'') was ominous, happily not obtrusive later though I don't like the heavy lurch on the first beat of the bar in ''Lascia ch'io pianga''. The prominence of the harp in ''Praise the Lord with cheerful noise'' is delightful, but in the other aria from Esther, ''Tune your harps'', Christopher Hogwood produced a lighter, more airy and at the same time more touching effect in the complete recording (L'Oiseau-Lyre (CD) 414 423-2OH2, 12/85). Incidentally, I'm not quite clear why that aria should be accredited to Esther and the other to Haman and Mordecai, which I understand to be a spurious title: both arias appear in the original 1718 version, nowadays commonly called Esther.

-- Gramophone [1/1990]
Read less

Works on This Recording

1. Serse, HWV 40: Ombra mai fu "Largo" by George Frideric Handel
Performer:  Robert White (Tenor)
Conductor:  Ivor Bolton
Orchestra/Ensemble:  City of London Baroque Sinfonia
Period: Baroque 
Written: 1738; London, England 
Language: Italian 
2. Acis and Galatea, HWV 49: Love sounds th'alarm by George Frideric Handel
Performer:  Robert White (Tenor)
Conductor:  Ivor Bolton
Orchestra/Ensemble:  City of London Baroque Sinfonia
Period: Baroque 
Written: 1718/1736; London, England 
Language: English 
3. Esther, HWV 50b: Tune your harps to cheerful strains by George Frideric Handel
Performer:  Robert White (Tenor)
Conductor:  Ivor Bolton
Orchestra/Ensemble:  City of London Baroque Sinfonia
Period: Baroque 
Written: 1732; London, England 
Language: English 
4. Athalia, HWV 52: Gentle airs, melodious strains by George Frideric Handel
Performer:  Robert White (Tenor)
Conductor:  Ivor Bolton
Orchestra/Ensemble:  City of London Baroque Sinfonia
Period: Baroque 
Written: by 1733; London, England 
Language: English 
5. Judas Maccabaeus, HWV 63: So shall the lute and harp awake by George Frideric Handel
Performer:  Robert White (Tenor)
Conductor:  Ivor Bolton
Orchestra/Ensemble:  City of London Baroque Sinfonia
Period: Baroque 
Written: 1747; London, England 
Language: English 
6. Samson, HWV 57: Total eclipse by George Frideric Handel
Performer:  Robert White (Tenor)
Conductor:  Ivor Bolton
Orchestra/Ensemble:  City of London Baroque Sinfonia
Period: Baroque 
Written: by 1743; London, England 
Language: English 
7. Esther, HWV 50a: Praise the Lord with cheerful noise by George Frideric Handel
Performer:  Robert White (Tenor)
Conductor:  Ivor Bolton
Orchestra/Ensemble:  City of London Baroque Sinfonia
Period: Baroque 
Written: 1718; London, England 
Language: English 
8. The choice of Hercules, HWV 69: There the brisk sparkling... by George Frideric Handel
Performer:  Robert White (Tenor)
Conductor:  Ivor Bolton
Orchestra/Ensemble:  City of London Baroque Sinfonia
Period: Baroque 
Written: by 1743; London, England 
Language: English 
9. Joshua, HWV 64: While Kedrons brook by George Frideric Handel
Performer:  Robert White (Tenor)
Conductor:  Ivor Bolton
Orchestra/Ensemble:  City of London Baroque Sinfonia
Period: Baroque 
Written: 1748; London, England 
Language: English 
10. Rinaldo, HWV 7: Armida dispietata...Lascia ch'io pianga mia cruda sorte by George Frideric Handel
Performer:  Robert White (Tenor)
Conductor:  Ivor Bolton
Orchestra/Ensemble:  City of London Baroque Sinfonia
Period: Baroque 
Written: by 1711; London, England 
Language: Italian 
11. Semele, HWV 58: Where'er you walk by George Frideric Handel
Performer:  Robert White (Tenor)
Conductor:  Ivor Bolton
Orchestra/Ensemble:  City of London Baroque Sinfonia
Period: Baroque 
Written: 1744; London, England 
Language: English 
12. Semele, HWV 58: O Sleep, why dost thou leave me? by George Frideric Handel
Performer:  Robert White (Tenor)
Conductor:  Ivor Bolton
Orchestra/Ensemble:  City of London Baroque Sinfonia
Period: Baroque 
Written: 1744; London, England 
Language: English 
13. Ode for St Cecilia's Day, HWV 76: Sharp violins proclaim by George Frideric Handel
Performer:  Robert White (Tenor)
Conductor:  Ivor Bolton
Orchestra/Ensemble:  City of London Baroque Sinfonia
Period: Baroque 
Written: 1739; London, England 
Language: English 
14. Amadigi di Gaula, HWV 11: Ah! spietato by George Frideric Handel
Performer:  Robert White (Tenor)
Conductor:  Ivor Bolton
Orchestra/Ensemble:  City of London Baroque Sinfonia
Period: Baroque 
Written: by 1715; London, England 
Language: Italian 
15. Solomon, HWV 67: Praise the Lord by George Frideric Handel
Performer:  Robert White (Tenor)
Conductor:  Ivor Bolton
Orchestra/Ensemble:  City of London Baroque Sinfonia
Period: Baroque 
Written: by 1749; London, England 
Language: English 
16. Messiah, HWV 56: Comfort ye my people by George Frideric Handel
Performer:  Robert White (Tenor)
Conductor:  Ivor Bolton
Orchestra/Ensemble:  City of London Baroque Sinfonia
Period: Baroque 
Written: 1742; London, England 
Language: English 
17. Messiah, HWV 56: Ev'ry valley shall be exalted by George Frideric Handel
Performer:  Robert White (Tenor)
Conductor:  Ivor Bolton
Orchestra/Ensemble:  City of London Baroque Sinfonia
Period: Baroque 
Written: 1742; London, England 
Language: English 
18. Acis and Galatea, HWV 49 by George Frideric Handel
Performer:  Robert White (Tenor)
Conductor:  Ivor Bolton
Orchestra/Ensemble:  City of London Baroque Sinfonia
Period: Baroque 
Language: English 
Notes: Composition written: Cannons, England (1718).
Composition revised: London, England (1736). 

Customer Reviews

Be the first to review this title
Review This Title
Review This Title Share on Facebook