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Handel: Oratorio Arias / David Daniels


Release Date: 09/17/2002 
Label:  Virgin Classics   Catalog #: 45497   Spars Code: n/a 
Composer:  George Frideric Handel
Performer:  David Daniels
Conductor:  John Nelson
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Paris Orchestral Ensemble
Number of Discs: 1 
Recorded in: Stereo 
Length: 1 Hours 7 Mins. 

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Notes and Editorial Reviews


This is a beautiful selection of arias from Handel's oratorios composed in the latish 1740s. Each one is a gem and David Daniels again proves himself the leading "operatic" (yes, I know these are from oratorios) countertenor of our day. He possesses one of the few countertenor voices that might be called "sensual", not to mention one of the few with any respectable volume. He even puts pressure on it occasionally--as opposed, say, to Drew Minter or Alfred Deller, who aim (aimed) for a diaphonous sound.

Some of these arias were composed for male altos or sopranos, others for mid-range women; Daniels is at home wherever. The dazzling opening aria from Belshazzar is
Read more two-and-a-half minutes of trumpets a-blazing along with the voice; the next aria, from the same work, is five minutes of introspection. Just listening to the one after the other gives us an example of how fine a singer Daniels is: he alters his tone remarkably for the two characters, first offering coloratura fireworks and great agility, and then long legato, smooth delivery, and lovely tone. Athamas' love song from Semele is just gorgeous--heartfelt and luscious.

And so it goes throughout the CD. In aria after aria Daniels ornaments very lightly; when simplicity is called for, as in "He was despised", simplicity is what we get. He stretches that last-mentioned aria to almost 11 minutes, but it's sung about as beautifully as you'll ever hear it. John Nelson leads the modern-instrument Ensemble Orchestre de Paris with an absolutely correct sense of Baroque style, and it plays handsomely. This disc is stunning.
--Robert Levine, ClassicsToday.com Read less

Works on This Recording

1.
Messiah, HWV 56: He was despised and rejected by George Frideric Handel
Performer:  David Daniels (Countertenor)
Conductor:  John Nelson
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Paris Orchestral Ensemble
Period: Baroque 
Written: 1742; London, England 
Date of Recording: 09/2000 
Venue:  Notre-Dame du Liban Church, Paris 
Length: 10 Minutes 47 Secs. 
Language: English 
2.
Belshazzar, HWV 61: Destructive war, thy limits know by George Frideric Handel
Performer:  David Daniels (Countertenor)
Conductor:  John Nelson
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Paris Orchestral Ensemble
Period: Baroque 
Written: by 1745; London, England 
Date of Recording: 09/2000 
Venue:  Notre-Dame du Liban Church, Paris 
Length: 2 Minutes 25 Secs. 
Language: English 
3.
Belshazzar, HWV 61: O sacred oracles of truth! by George Frideric Handel
Performer:  David Daniels (Countertenor)
Conductor:  John Nelson
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Paris Orchestral Ensemble
Period: Baroque 
Written: by 1745; London, England 
Date of Recording: 09/2000 
Venue:  Notre-Dame du Liban Church, Paris 
Length: 4 Minutes 58 Secs. 
Language: English 
4.
Semele, HWV 58: Despair no more shall wound me by George Frideric Handel
Performer:  David Daniels (Countertenor)
Conductor:  John Nelson
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Paris Orchestral Ensemble
Period: Baroque 
Written: 1744; London, England 
Date of Recording: 09/2000 
Venue:  Notre-Dame du Liban Church, Paris 
Length: 4 Minutes 50 Secs. 
Language: English 
5.
Semele, HWV 58: Your tuneful voice by George Frideric Handel
Performer:  David Daniels (Countertenor)
Conductor:  John Nelson
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Paris Orchestral Ensemble
Period: Baroque 
Written: 1744; London, England 
Date of Recording: 09/2000 
Venue:  Notre-Dame du Liban Church, Paris 
Length: 5 Minutes 44 Secs. 
Language: English 
6.
Theodora, HWV 68: The raptur'd soul by George Frideric Handel
Performer:  David Daniels (Countertenor)
Conductor:  John Nelson
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Paris Orchestral Ensemble
Period: Baroque 
Written: 1749-1750; London, England 
Date of Recording: 09/2000 
Venue:  Notre-Dame du Liban Church, Paris 
Length: 8 Minutes 12 Secs. 
Language: English 
7.
Theodora, HWV 68: Kind heaven, if virtue be thy care by George Frideric Handel
Performer:  David Daniels (Countertenor)
Conductor:  John Nelson
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Paris Orchestral Ensemble
Period: Baroque 
Written: 1749-1750; London, England 
Date of Recording: 09/2000 
Venue:  Notre-Dame du Liban Church, Paris 
Length: 5 Minutes 39 Secs. 
Language: English 
8.
Theodora, HWV 68: Sweet rose and lily by George Frideric Handel
Performer:  David Daniels (Countertenor)
Conductor:  John Nelson
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Paris Orchestral Ensemble
Period: Baroque 
Written: 1749-1750; London, England 
Date of Recording: 09/2000 
Venue:  Notre-Dame du Liban Church, Paris 
Length: 2 Minutes 48 Secs. 
Language: English 
9.
Saul, HWV 53: Brave Jonathan by George Frideric Handel
Performer:  David Daniels (Countertenor)
Conductor:  John Nelson
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Paris Orchestral Ensemble
Period: Baroque 
Written: 1738-1739; London, England 
Date of Recording: 09/2000 
Venue:  Notre-Dame du Liban Church, Paris 
Length: 3 Minutes 3 Secs. 
Language: English 
10.
Saul, HWV 53: O Lord, whose mercies numberless by George Frideric Handel
Performer:  David Daniels (Countertenor)
Conductor:  John Nelson
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Paris Orchestral Ensemble
Period: Baroque 
Written: 1738-1739; London, England 
Date of Recording: 09/2000 
Venue:  Notre-Dame du Liban Church, Paris 
Length: 3 Minutes 54 Secs. 
Language: English 
11.
Jephtha, HWV 70: Dull delay in piercing anguish by George Frideric Handel
Performer:  David Daniels (Countertenor)
Conductor:  John Nelson
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Paris Orchestral Ensemble
Period: Baroque 
Written: 1752; London, England 
Date of Recording: 09/2000 
Venue:  Notre-Dame du Liban Church, Paris 
Length: 3 Minutes 17 Secs. 
Language: English 
12.
Jephtha, HWV 70: Up the dreadful steep ascending by George Frideric Handel
Performer:  David Daniels (Countertenor)
Conductor:  John Nelson
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Paris Orchestral Ensemble
Period: Baroque 
Written: 1752; London, England 
Date of Recording: 09/2000 
Venue:  Notre-Dame du Liban Church, Paris 
Length: 3 Minutes 50 Secs. 
Language: Latin 
13.
Theodora, HWV 68: From virtue springs each gen'rous deed by George Frideric Handel
Performer:  David Daniels (Countertenor)
Conductor:  John Nelson
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Paris Orchestral Ensemble
Period: Baroque 
Written: 1749-1750; London, England 
Date of Recording: 09/2000 
Venue:  Notre-Dame du Liban Church, Paris 
Length: 7 Minutes 14 Secs. 
Language: English 

Sound Samples

Belshazzar: Aria: Destructive War
Belshazzar: Aria: Oh sacred oracles of Truth
Semele: Aria: Despair no more shall wound me
Semele: Aria: Your tuneful voice
Theodora: Aria: The raptured soul
Theodora: Aria: Kind Heaven
Theodora: Aria: Deeds of kindness
Theodora: Aria: Sweet rose and lily
Saul: Aria: Brave Jonathan
Saul: Aria: O Lord, whose mercies numberless
Jephtha: Aria: Up the dreadful steep ascending
Jephtha: Aria: Dull delay
Messiah HWV56: He was despised

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