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Haydn: Lord Nelson Mass / Willcocks, King's College Choir

Release Date: 03/14/2000 
Label:  London/Decca Legends Catalog #: 458623   Spars Code: ADD 
Composer:  Franz Joseph HaydnAntonio VivaldiGeorge Frideric Handel
Performer:  Helen WattsSylvia StahlmanTom KrauseSimon Preston,   ... 
Conductor:  Sir David Willcocks
Orchestra/Ensemble:  London Symphony OrchestraCambridge King's College ChoirAcademy of St. Martin in the Fields,   ... 
Number of Discs: 1 
Recorded in: Stereo 
Length: 1 Hours 15 Mins. 

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Notes and Editorial Reviews

When these recordings first came out, far in advance of the period instrument revolution, they were revelations. Though modern instruments were used, there was an effort to get performance practices right, especially in the Handel and Vivaldi. And there was the incredibly powerful, absolutely heavenly sound of that chorus of men and boys, as well as the lifelike recordings that perfectly captured the vast space of the Chapel of King's College. Since that time there have been other performances that depict the letter of each work to a greater degree than these, but many listeners will argue that there are none that have better encapsulated the spirit of this music. Though reference recordings of the Haydn and Vivaldi are listed, I have to Read more admit that there are no readings that I like better than these. The opening of the Haydn, with Sylvia Stahlman soaring to the heights in the best performance of her short-lived career, is one of the more powerful moments in the history of recorded choral music, and this version of the Handel anthem still stands as the best recording of that work. Stahlman is not alone, as Elizabeth Vaughan, Dame Janet Baker, Helen Watts, Wilfred Brown, and Tom Krause all have many moments of vocal glory. These are star-studded "great singing" recordings in which the artists will be remembered as much as the music itself.

Were I producing the Legends series, all four of the Handel anthems would have been coupled with the Vivaldi and its magnificent original LP-mate, the Pergolesi Magnificat, saving the Haydn for a different pairing. So many great performances, and only 80 minutes to fit them in! Why not issue double-CD Legends?! (Incidentally, all four of the Handel Coronation anthems have been released on a Double Decca, which might still be available as you read this.)

--Rad Bennett, ClassicsToday.com
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Works on This Recording

Mass in D minor, H 22 no 11 "Nelsonmesse" by Franz Joseph Haydn
Performer:  Helen Watts (Alto), Sylvia Stahlman (Soprano), Tom Krause (Baritone),
Simon Preston (Organ), Wilfred Brown (Tenor)
Conductor:  Sir David Willcocks
Orchestra/Ensemble:  London Symphony Orchestra,  Cambridge King's College Choir
Period: Classical 
Written: 1798; Vienna, Austria 
Date of Recording: 1962 
Venue:  King's College Chapel, Cambridge 
Length: 40 Minutes 33 Secs. 
Language: Latin 
Gloria in D major, RV 589 by Antonio Vivaldi
Performer:  Dame Janet Baker (Alto), Elizabeth Vaughan (Soprano), Roger Lord (Oboe),
Kenneth Heath (Cello), John Langdon (Organ), Andrew Davis (Harpsichord)
Conductor:  Sir David Willcocks
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Academy of St. Martin in the Fields,  Cambridge King's College Choir
Period: Baroque 
Written: Venice, Italy 
Date of Recording: 7/1966 
Venue:  King's College Chapel, Cambridge 
Length: 28 Minutes 46 Secs. 
Language: Latin 
Coronation Anthems (4): no 1, HWV 258 "Zadok the priest" by George Frideric Handel
Performer:  John Langdon (Organ), Thurston Dart (Harpsichord)
Conductor:  Sir David Willcocks
Orchestra/Ensemble:  English Chamber Orchestra,  Cambridge King's College Choir
Period: Baroque 
Written: 1727; London, England 
Date of Recording: 1963 
Venue:  King's College Chapel, Cambridge 
Length: 5 Minutes 48 Secs. 
Language: English