This CD is reissued by ArkivMusic.
Notes and Editorial Reviews
A glance at the cast list suggests that this will be no run-of-the-mill performance and indeed the solo and duet numbers are in the main of high interest and artistic virtue; and can of course be cued on CD to one's heart's content. Emma Kirkby perhaps shines through as most at home in this repertoire and her pure tone and faultless trills and other decorations are a high point throughout. Yet I would put James Bowman, Anthony Rolfe Johnson and David Thomas high on any Handelian short-list and they make strong contributions. The choice of Aled Jones for the part of the boy king Joas is eminently sensible and he sings beautifully, though with less intensity than the others.
Some readers may identify Dame Joan Sutherland as
being somewhat out of her usual environment in this 'early instruments' company. In the event she is a triumphant addition to the artistic whole. Her operatic style and greater use of vibrato do make her stand out but, as SS noted in his review of the LP set, this serves to underscore her separation from the other Israelites and in this way reinforce the dramatic tension. The AAM and New College Choir are in good if dynamically rather level form: the recording is of admirable clarity and musically well balanced.
-- Gramophone [2/1987]
Works on This Recording
Athalia, HWV 52 by George Frideric Handel
David Thomas (Bass),
Dame Joan Sutherland (Soprano),
James Bowman (Countertenor),
Anthony Rolfe Johnson (Tenor),
Emma Kirkby (Soprano)
Academy of Ancient Music,
Oxford New College Choir
Written: by 1733; London, England
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