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Handel: Judas Maccabaeus / Robert King, Jamie Macdougall

Release Date: 03/04/1993 
Label:  Hyperion   Catalog #: 66641/2   Spars Code: DDD 
Composer:  George Frideric Handel
Performer:  Catherine DenleyJamie MacDougallEmma KirkbyMichael George,   ... 
Conductor:  Robert King
Orchestra/Ensemble:  King's ConsortOxford New College Choir
Number of Discs: 2 
Recorded in: Stereo 
Length: 2 Hours 30 Mins. 

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Notes and Editorial Reviews

Handel’s Judas Maccabaeus has been disparaged for its libretto – a ‘decline into claptrap’ – for dramatic weakness and for its militarism. Hear it in the context of the victory celebrations for Culloden, however, and you’ll discover a profusion of colourful delights. The King’s Consort, with many of our new, second-generation period instrumentalists, exhibits all the benefits of authentic timbre and texture – there is no need nowadays to make allowances for uneven tone or bad intonation. The New College Choir are spot-on, poignant in mourning, exultant in victory. The whole ensemble is recorded over a wide stereo spectrum which leaves every detail clearly audible. Emma Kirkby’s ‘Israelitish Woman’ enlivens even the most pedestrian numbers. Read more Catherine Denley contrasts but blends in their five duets, and has great facility over an impressive range. Bowman is superb in ‘Father of Heav’n’. Jamie MacDougall rises to the virtuoso challenge of the warlike hero, and Michael George focuses with no less clarity as Simon. Any weaknesses in this, the first ever complete recording, are Handel’s. As a performance, it’s persuasive evidence indeed that what may seem mediocre on the page can spring to life, given the artistry and conviction of performers of this calibre. Excellent – don’t miss it!
Performance: 5 (out of 5) Sound: 5 (out of 5)

-- George Pratt, BBC Music Magazine

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Works on This Recording

Judas Maccabaeus, HWV 63 by George Frideric Handel
Performer:  Catherine Denley (Mezzo Soprano), Jamie MacDougall (Tenor), Emma Kirkby (Soprano),
Michael George (Bass), James Bowman (Countertenor), Simon Birchall (Bass)
Conductor:  Robert King
Orchestra/Ensemble:  King's Consort,  Oxford New College Choir
Period: Baroque 
Written: 1747; London, England 
Date of Recording: 03/1992 
Length: 149 Minutes 34 Secs. 
Language: English 

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