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Handel: Streams Of Pleasure / Lemieux, Gauvin, Curtis, Il Complesso Barocco

Handel / Il Complesso Barocco / Curtis
Release Date: 09/27/2011 
Label:  Naive   Catalog #: 5261   Spars Code: DDD 
Composer:  George Frideric Handel
Performer:  Karina GauvinMarie-Nicole Lemieux
Conductor:  Alan Curtis
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Il Complesso Barocco
Number of Discs: 1 
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Notes and Editorial Reviews



HANDEL Arias and Duets Karina Gauvin (sop); Marie-Nicole Lemieux (alt); Alan Curtis, cond; Il Complesso Barocco (period instruments) NAÏVE V 5261 (75:00 Text and Translation)


Selections from Alexander Balus. Belshazzar. Hercules. Joseph and His Brethren. Joshua. Judas Maccabaeus. Solomon. Susanna. Theodora


This disc, titled Streams of Read more Pleasure after the duet from Theodora , presents arias and duets from Handel’s oratorios premiered between 1744 and 1750; of the later oratorios, only Jephtha is not represented. Although some of these works (at least in their entirety) do not represent Handel at his best, even those from Handel’s second tier contain great and beautiful music.


The selections are fairly evenly divided; Karina Gauvin sings five arias, Marie-Nicole Lemieux has four, and they combine for six duets. Although we find some of selections we would expect to see from these works, the compilers of this program (presumably Curtis and his singers together) have bypassed some expected selections for less-well-known alternatives, such as “Our Limpid Streams” from Joshua instead of the expected “Oh, Had I Jubal’s Lyre.” “Prophetic Raptures” from Joseph and His Brethren is given in its first version; it was later shortened by ten bars.


In a recent review of Handel’s Ariodante , I praised Lemieux’s singing of the villain Polinesso. I enjoy her work here as well. She sometimes gives her voice a hooded, darker sound which seems especially appropriate to the (mostly) male characters she sings. She is, however, capable of lightening her tone as well, which she effectively does for the one female character she sings, Irene from Theodora . She is technically secure and has a decent trill, although she is not quite as smooth in florid music as Gauvin.


I have been an admirer of Gauvin since I first encountered her on recordings, and she continues to impress. The voice is beautiful, the technique assured and spotless. She does a credible job of portraying the characters whose music she sings, which must be difficult in such a program with the music taken out of context. Gauvin and Lemieux are splendid in their duets, with their voices producing a lovely, blended sound.


Curtis is of course very familiar from his peerless series of Handel operas. As one might expect, his conducting of these oratorio excerpts is equally adept. Curtis sets reasonable tempos, is supportive of his singers, and is respectful of Handel’s score. Da capo ornaments are tasteful and idiomatic. Il Complesso Barocco is up to its usual high standards.


In sum, what we have here is Streams of Pleasure indeed. Highly recommended.


FANFARE: Ron Salemi
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Works on This Recording

1.
Belshazzar, HWV 61: Destructive war, thy limits know by George Frideric Handel
Performer:  Karina Gauvin (Soprano), Marie-Nicole Lemieux (Alto)
Conductor:  Alan Curtis
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Il Complesso Barocco
Period: Baroque 
Written: by 1745; London, England 
2.
Theodora, HWV 68: To thee, thou glorious son of worth by George Frideric Handel
Performer:  Karina Gauvin (Soprano), Marie-Nicole Lemieux (Alto)
Conductor:  Alan Curtis
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Il Complesso Barocco
Period: Baroque 
Written: 1749-1750; London, England 
3.
Alexander Balus, HWV 65: Fury, with red sparkling eyes by George Frideric Handel
Performer:  Karina Gauvin (Soprano), Marie-Nicole Lemieux (Alto)
Conductor:  Alan Curtis
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Il Complesso Barocco
Period: Baroque 
Written: 1748; England 
4.
Susanna, HWV 66: Crystal streams in murmurs flowing by George Frideric Handel
Performer:  Karina Gauvin (Soprano), Marie-Nicole Lemieux (Alto)
Conductor:  Alan Curtis
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Il Complesso Barocco
Period: Baroque 
Written: 1749; London, England 
5.
Theodora, HWV 68: As with rosy steps the Morn advancing by George Frideric Handel
Period: Baroque 
Written: 1749-1750; London, England 
6.
Joseph and his Brethren, HWV 59: Prophetic raptures swell my breast by George Frideric Handel
Performer:  Karina Gauvin (Soprano), Marie-Nicole Lemieux (Alto)
Conductor:  Alan Curtis
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Il Complesso Barocco
Period: Baroque 
7.
Judas Maccabaeus, HWV 63: From this dread scene by George Frideric Handel
Performer:  Karina Gauvin (Soprano), Marie-Nicole Lemieux (Alto)
Conductor:  Alan Curtis
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Il Complesso Barocco
8.
Joshua, HWV 64: Our limpid streams with freedom flow by George Frideric Handel
Performer:  Karina Gauvin (Soprano), Marie-Nicole Lemieux (Alto)
Conductor:  Alan Curtis
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Il Complesso Barocco
Period: Baroque 
Written: 1748; London, England 
9.
Solomon, HWV 67: Can I see my infant gor'd by George Frideric Handel
Performer:  Karina Gauvin (Soprano), Marie-Nicole Lemieux (Alto)
Conductor:  Alan Curtis
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Il Complesso Barocco
Period: Baroque 
Written: by 1749; London, England 
10.
Theodora, HWV 68: Streams of pleasure ever flowing by George Frideric Handel
Performer:  Karina Gauvin (Soprano), Marie-Nicole Lemieux (Alto)
Conductor:  Alan Curtis
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Il Complesso Barocco
Period: Baroque 
Written: 1749-1750; London, England 
11.
Alexander Balus, HWV 65: Fair virtue shall charm me by George Frideric Handel
Performer:  Karina Gauvin (Soprano), Marie-Nicole Lemieux (Alto)
Conductor:  Alan Curtis
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Il Complesso Barocco
12.
Solomon, HWV 67: Welcome as the dawn of day by George Frideric Handel
Performer:  Karina Gauvin (Soprano), Marie-Nicole Lemieux (Alto)
Conductor:  Alan Curtis
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Il Complesso Barocco
Period: Baroque 
Written: by 1749; London, England 
13.
Hercules, HWV 60: My father! Ah, methinks I see by George Frideric Handel
Performer:  Karina Gauvin (Soprano), Marie-Nicole Lemieux (Alto)
Conductor:  Alan Curtis
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Il Complesso Barocco
Period: Baroque 
Written: 1744; London, England 
14.
Theodora, HWV 68: Oh! that I on wings could rise by George Frideric Handel
Performer:  Karina Gauvin (Soprano), Marie-Nicole Lemieux (Alto)
Conductor:  Alan Curtis
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Il Complesso Barocco
Period: Baroque 
Written: 1749-1750; London, England 
15.
Belshazzar, HWV 61: Great victor, at your feet I bow by George Frideric Handel
Performer:  Karina Gauvin (Soprano), Marie-Nicole Lemieux (Alto)
Conductor:  Alan Curtis
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Il Complesso Barocco
Period: Baroque 
Written: by 1745; London, England 

Sound Samples

Belshazzar, HWV 61: Act III: Aria: Destructive war, thy limits know
Theodora, HWV 68: Act II: To thee, thou glorious son of worth
Alexander Balus, HWV 65: Act III: Fury with red sparkling eyes
Susanna, HWV 66: Act II: Lead me - Crystal streams in murmurs flowing
Judas Maccabaeus, HWV 63: Act I: Duet: From this dread scene
Theodora, HWV 68: Act II: Aria: Streams of pleasure ever flowing
Theodora, HWV 68: Act I: Recitative: Ah! whither should we fly? - Aria: As with rosy steps the morn
Joseph and His Brethren, HWV 59: Act III: Aria: Prophetic raptures swell my breast
Joshua, HWV 64: Act I: Our limpid streams with freedom flow
Solomon, HWV 67: Part II: Can I see my infant gor'd
Alexander Balus, HWV 65: Act I: Aria: Fair virtue shall charm me
Solomon, HWV 67: Act I: Recitative: Thou fair inhabitant - Welcome as the dawn of day
Hercules, HWV 60: Act I: Recitative: Forgive me - Aria: My father
Theodora, HWV 68: Act II: Recitative: But why art thour disquieted - Aria: Oh! that I on wings could rise
Belshazzar, HWV 61: Act III: Great victor, at your feet I bow

Customer Reviews

Average Customer Review:  1 Customer Review )
 Divine Handel February 8, 2013 By Steven Morgenstern (Austin, TX) See All My Reviews "Handel is one of my all time favorite composers. His genius for writing beautiful melodies never ceases to amaze me. The two singers really have a feeling for Baroque style and their voices blend beautifully together in the six duets on the disc. Alan Curtis and his Baroque Orchestra offer perfect support for these two wonderful singers. I can't imagine the performances being any better!!" Report Abuse
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