Notes and Editorial Reviews
Providing a fascinating selection of sacred choral music, this 5CD set, which features
two of Handel’s earliest works as well as the crowning achievement of his career, is a must-buy.
The first - and best-known - work to be included in this set, Messiah is today one of the most frequently performed choral compositions in the history of European music. Written in three weeks during the late summer of 1741 and based on the Old and New Testaments of King James’ Bible, this three-act oratorio, which borrows extensively from Handel’s experience as an opera composer, traces the last days of Christ through to his ultimate glorification in heaven.
This masterpiece is complemented by two other sacred works that were
much earlier in Handel’s career, the Johannes-Passion and La Resurrezione. Although the identity of the composer of the former has been disputed, it is generally agreed that Handel did write it the tender age of nineteen. Based on the 19th chapter of the Gospel of St John, together with 13 original lyrical numbers, this gem of a piece was followed four years later in 1708 by La Resurrezione – one of two oratorios completed during Handel’s sojourn to Rome.At a time when opera performances in the city were banned by papal decree, a sacred musical form such as this comprised a respectable alternative, and Contrasto Armonico’s
historically informed performance is an assured presentation aimed at recreating
how the music would have sounded at the time. All in all, this box set comprises a worthy addition to the Handel collector’s library.
• 24-page booklet featuring comprehensive notes about each of the works in this set.
• Complete sung texts available on www.brilliantclassics.com.
• Part of the Choral Classics series. Read less
Works on This Recording
Messiah, HWV 56 by George Frideric Handel
Alastair Miles (Bass),
Lynne Dawson (Soprano),
Hilary Summers (Alto),
John Mark Ainsley (Tenor)
Cambridge King's College Choir
Written: 1742; Dublin, Ireland
Date of Recording: 1994
Venue: Live St. Peter's Church, Leiden, Netherlands
Length: 134 Minutes 17 Secs.
St. John Passion by George Frideric Handel
József Moldvay (Baritone),
Mária Zádori (Soprano),
Ibolya Verebics (Soprano),
Judit Németh (Mezzo Soprano),
Martin Klietmann (Tenor),
Charles Brett (Countertenor),
Gábor Kállay (Tenor),
István Gáti (Baritone)
La resurrezione, HWV 47 by George Frideric Handel
Stefanie True (Soprano),
Kristine Gether (Alto),
Marcel Beekman (Tenor),
Mitchell Sandler (Bass)
Contrasto Armonico Baroque Orchestra
Written: circa 1708; Italy
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