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George Frideric Handel (1685-1759)

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Handel: Israel in Egypt, HWV54

Handel: Israel in Egypt, HWV54

Three-part Original Version from 1739


Rosemary Joshua (soprano), Atsuko Suzuki (soprano), Gerhild Romberger (alto), Kobie van Rensburg (tenor), Simon Pauly (baritone), Thomas Hamberger (bass-baritone), Harald Hoeren (harpsichord) & Christoph Lehmann, Max Hanft (organ)

Chor des Bayerischen Rundfunks & Concerto Köln, Peter Dijkstra (director)

Georg Friedrich Händel’s great choral oratorio, “Israel in Egypt” is the most valuable gift the composer ever gave to choral music. The chorus functions as protagonist in this powerful work, which tells the Old Testament story of Exodus with telling dramatic intensity. Two multiple prize-winning, major ensemble, Concerto Köln, the well known period instrument ensemble and the Chor des Bayerischen Rundfunks, joined forces for the first time in November of 2008. The strong individual characteristics of the vocal soloists combine impressively with the chorus and orchestra for a multi-layered interpretation that is concurrently borne by a clear, common musical objective. This recording features the original three-part version from 1739.

Live-recording; Munich, Prinzregententheater, Nov. 2008

Booklet Notes: English, German, French

Libretto: English, German

“Concerto Köln play with muscularity...the Bavarian Radio Chorus does not seem to be very large, although it makes a grand old-fashioned choral society noise...Its English pronunciation is flawless...Dijkstra achieves another worthy entry into a competitive discography” Gramophone Magazine, August 2010

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Handel: Messiah

Handel: Messiah

Live-Recording, Munich, Herkulessaal, 29.11.2014


Julia Doyle (soprano), Lawrence Zazzo (counter-tenor), Steve Davislim (tenor) & Neal Davies (bass baritone)

Chor des Bayerischen Rundfunks B’Rock, Belgisches Barockorchester Gent, Peter Dijkstra

As a steady favourite with audiences, Handel's most famous oratorio "Messiah" has met regularly with rapturous receptions ever since its premiere back in 1742! This three-part masterpiece portrays the life of the "anointed one" (the literal meaning of the Hebrew word 'Messiah'), from the Annunciation and his birth to his death on the cross and revelation, and contains a considerable number of baroque super-hits - including the world-famous 'Hallelujah Chorus.'

What makes the present complete recording into something really special is, above all, the successful interpretation with its excellent line-up of performers: Julia Doyle, Lawrence Zazzo, Steve Davislim and Neal Davies, the Chor des Bayerischen Rundfunks (recently called "a new center for historically informed performance practice") under the overall direction of Peter Dijkstra, accompanied by B'Rock, the Belgian Baroque Orchestra Ghent.

“a performance that is never less than stylish and, perhaps most importantly, heartfelt...[Davies and Zazzo] opt for visceral theatricality in their delivery of text, Zazzo tiring somewhat in the process. Soprano Julia Doyle sings with sweetness and candour, decorating 'I know that my Redeemer liveth' vivaciously.” BBC Music Magazine, January 2016 *****

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Handel: The Occasional Oratorio, HWV62

Handel: The Occasional Oratorio, HWV62

World premiere recording of the Oratorio according to the Neue Hallische Handel edition, Herkulessaal , Munich, 11.02.2017


Julia Doyle (soprano), Ben Johnson (tenor) & Peter Harvey (baritone)

Chor des Bayerischen Rundfunks & Akademie für Alte Musik Berlin, Howard Arman

For his Occasional Oratorio, composed in 1746 in an age of personal and political upheaval, Handel made generous use of much of his own earlier material, and this resulted in something quite close to an anthology: a choice collection of his most beautiful and most famous pieces – a 'Best Of', as it were. The Messiah librettist Charles Jennens complained loudly that the oratorio was "a triumph for a victory not yet gain'd", and that its libretto, by a certain Newburgh Hamilton, was an "inconceivable jumble of John Milton and Edmund Spenser". Nevertheless, the Occasional Oratorio offers the modern listener magnificent and largely familiar melodies, highly virtuosic Baroque arias, moving choruses and, above all, a magnificent Late Baroque sound that, in this extremely compact score, is quite unique. Audiences at the time probably considered this to be 'Handel at his best', and today's public doubtlessly shares that opinion. This virtuoso and colourful interpretation, recorded recently on February 11, 2017 in the Herkulessaal of the Munich Residenz, was an exemplary success, delighting the audience and the trade press alike. Howard Arman conducted the Chor des Bayerischen Rundfunks, the Akademie für Alte Music Berlin with its historically informed performance practice, and a line-up of highly talented English soloists. This concert recording is also the world's first recording of the Occasional Oratorio according to the historically researched and edited score of the Neue Hallische Handel edition.

“Julia Doyle sings with quicksilver suppleness…Peter Harvey’s diction, vocal suavity and persuasive authority are all spot-on. Ben Johnson’s perfect enunciation, husky timbre and fulsome projection remind me of Robert Tear. The Bavarian Radio Choir always have plenty of discipline and articulacy, with only rare hints of Teutonic vowels. They sing with robust muscle in the bellicose music.” Gramophone Magazine, Awards Issue 2017

“Conductor Howard Arman uses fairly modest forces, with the Chor des Bayerischen Rundfunks comprising of 43 singers. Performing with an elevated quality, the choir delivers full-toned singing in a constantly rewarding performance marked by a compelling unity and unaffected expression in the text.” MusicWeb International, September 2017

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Bach: Magnificat & Handel: Dixit Dominus

Bach: Magnificat & Handel: Dixit Dominus


Bach, J S:

Magnificat in D major, BWV243

Handel:

Dixit Dominus, HWV 232


Maarten Engeltjes (counter-tenor), Diana Haller (mezzo-soprano), Maximilian Schmitt (tenor), Christina Landshamer (soprano) & Konstantin Wolff (bass-baritone)

Bavarian Radio Chorus & Concerto Koln, Peter Dijkstra

The Chor des Bayerischen Rundfunks joins forces with Concerto Köln to produce another superb CD.

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BR Klassik - 900504

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Gloria: Highlights of sacred choral music

Gloria: Highlights of sacred choral music


Bach, J S:

Mass in B minor, BWV232: Gloria in excelsis Deo

Concerto Köln, Peter Dijkstra

Magnificat in D major, BWV243: Gloria Patri Filio

Concerto Köln, Peter Dijkstra

St Matthew Passion, BWV244: O Haupt voll Blut und Wunden

Concerto Köln, Peter Dijkstra

St John Passion, BWV245: Herr, unser Herrscher

Concerto Köln, Peter Dijkstra

Beethoven:

Missa Solemnis in D major, Op. 123: Kyrie

Symphonieorchester des Bayerischen Rundfunks, Bernard Haitink

Dvorak:

Eja Mater (from Stabat Mater, Op. 58)

Symphonieorchester des Bayerischen Rundfunks, Mariss Jansons

Gounod:

St Cecilia Mass: Kyrie

Symphonieorchester des Bayerischen Rundfunks, Mariss Jansons

Handel:

Dixit Dominus, HWV 232: Dixit Dominus

Concerto Köln, Peter Dijkstra

Haydn:

Die Schöpfung: Die Himmel erzählen

Symphonieorchester des Bayerischen Rundfunks, Bernard Haitink

Schubert:

Mass No. 2 in G major, D167 - Gloria

Symphonieorchester des Bayerischen Rundfunks, Mariss Jansons

Verdi:

Dies Irae (from Requiem)

Symphonieorchester des Bayerischen Rundfunks, Mariss Jansons


“Chorus”, the name for a community of singers that evolved in Europe from the Middle Ages onwards, derived from the choros of Ancient Greek theatre. The first polyphony soon arose from the initially purely monophonic Latin church music, sung since Late Antiquity and collected and standardised under Pope Gregory I as Gregorian chant. The Renaissance then brought forth complex types of polyphonic a cappella works; these reached new heights during the course of the 16th century in multiple choirs, bringing new experiences in sound through the juxtaposition - whenever space allowed - of several choirs inside churches. The choir became increasingly functional – above all in operas, cantatas and oratorios. By the Late Baroque period, the development stage had been reached that still characterises today’s concept of the choir: a fixed choral ensemble, clearly differentiated from an instrumental one (the orchestra); works of primarily spiritual content; texts in Latin but, increasingly, in national languages as well; and everything gradually becoming more representational in character. The first bourgeois choral societies of the 19th century – the forerunners of today's philharmonic choirs - were ensembles of a size that could compete as well as cooperate with symphonic orchestras. In choral singing, the content - sacred and secular, nationalist and idealist, reactionary and revolutionary – could be expressed with powerful emotion, not only in separate compositions but also in choral numbers extracted from their former, broader contexts. As the 19th century progressed, combinations of popular pieces appeared that were seldom coherent in terms of their content but still sounded highly impressive (in a musical context this is not referred to as an anthology but more usually as a Florilegium), and it is these that still determine today’s concert programmes.

The Chor des Bayerischen Rundfunks can be heard here performing highlights of sacred choral music dating from the Baroque period to modern times. Even today, three hundred years later, the large oratorio choirs by Bach and Handel are as vivid, realistic and captivating as ever. Haydn succeeded in preserving this for the sacred music of the Wiener Klassik era, which reached its peak in Beethoven's Missa solemnis. The heartfelt masses composed by Schubert are typical of early German Romanticism, Gounod’s St. Cecilia Mass is the French equivalent here, and Dvořák's Stabat mater represents Bohemian Romanticism of the mid- to late 19th century. Verdi's famous Messa da Requiem testifies to the close relationship between Italian opera and Italian church music. The Mass written just before the end of World War II by the Hungarian composer Kodály is still Late Romantic in its musical language, while in his Berlin Mass, written shortly before the start of the 20th century, the Estonian composer Arvo Pärt maintains the Tintinnabuli style that informs and inspires his work.

“From Bach through Haydn and Beethoven to Verdi, the Bavarian Radio Choir, one of the best in Germany, shows great versatility in this selection of recordings marking its 70th birthday.” BBC Music Magazine, May 2017 ****

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Great Singers Live: Lucia Popp

Great Singers Live: Lucia Popp

Selection from „Sunday Concerts“ with the Münchner Rundfunkorchester given in 1968, 1972, 1979, 1980 and 1982


Donizetti:

Quel guardo il cavaliere (from Don Pasquale)

Kurt Eichhorn

Handel:

V' adoro, pupille (from Giulio Cesare)

sung in German as 'Ich lieb euch, ihr Augen'

Kurt Eichhorn

Lehár:

Liebe du Himmel auf Erden (from Paganini)

Werner Schmidt Boelcke

Lortzing:

So wisse, dass in allen Elementen (from Undine)

Hans Zanotelli

Mozart:

Giunse alfin il momento... Deh, vieni, non tardar… (from Le nozze di Figaro)

Kurt Eichhorn

Vesperae Solennes de Confessore, K339: Laudate Dominum

Lamberto Gardelli

Rossini:

Una voce poco fa (from Il barbiere di Siviglia)

Kurt Eichhorn

Smetana:

Endlich allein (from Die verkaufte Braut)

Heinz Wallberg

Wie fremd und tod ist alles umher (from Die verkaufte Braut)

Heinz Wallberg

Stolz, R:

Du sollst der Kaiser meiner Seele sein (from Der Favorit)

Werner Schmidt Boelcke

Spiel auf deiner Geige das Lied von Leid und Lust (from Venus in Seide)

Werner Schmidt Boelcke

Weber:

Kommt ein schlanker Bursch gegangen (from Der Freischütz)

Hans Zanotelli


Lucia Popp is one of the best-documented and most versatile singers of her generation. Because of her linguistic and stylistic flexibility she was able to sing a very wide range of repertoire. Her acting talent was extraordinary as well. Before she began her vocal studies she had studied medicine and drama and acted in a number of movies. This new release shows a richly varied program with soprano arias by Mozart to Weber and Rossini all the way to Lehár and Stolz taken from concerts given in 1968 to 1982.

Previously unreleased live recordings from the “Sunday Concerts” with the Münchner Rundfunkorchester.

Singer portrait featuring Lucia Popp’s core repertoire, including famous arias from the likes of Mozart to Lehár.

After Mirella Freni, Nicolai Ghiaurov and Margaret Price, this release continues the successful “Great Singers Live” series

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Hark! The Herald Angels Sing!

Hark! The Herald Angels Sing!


Bach, J S:

Partita in A minor for solo flute, BWV1013: II. Corrente

Christmas Oratorio, BWV248: Ich steh an deiner Krippen hier

Partita in A minor for solo flute, BWV1013: III. Sarabande

Becker, A:

Liturgische Gesange fur das Kirchenjahr, Op. 46: Machet die Tore weit

Britten:

A Hymn to the Virgin

Grieg:

Ave Maris Stella

Gruber, F:

Stille Nacht

Handel:

Tochter Zion, freue dich

Mendelssohn:

Hark! the herald angels sing

Praetorius, M:

Es ist ein Ros' entsprungen

Telemann:

Fantasia for solo flute No. 3 in B minor, TWV 40:4

Fantasia for solo flute No. 11 in G major, TWV 40:12

trad.:

Maria durch ein’ Dornwald ging

O du fröhliche

Still, still, still

Es wird schon glei dumpa

O little town of Bethlehem

Bimbo, bimbo, fai la nanna

Angels We Have Heard On High

O Freude über Freude!

Wade, J F:

O come, all ye faithful

Whitacre:

Lux aurumque


Following the release of Bach’s Christmas Oratorio, BR-Klassik now presents a new CD in the spirit of the Yuletide season. On this CD, entitled “Hark, the Herald Angels Sing!” the Chor des Bayerischen Rundfunks under the direction of Florian Helgath performs traditional and beloved German holiday classics along with carols from the Tyrol, France and Italy. Framing this richly varied program at beginning and end is the 16th century carol Es ist ein Ros’ entsprungen (Lo, How a Rose e’er Blooming). Besides the well-known version by Praetorius at the beginning, the recording concludes with a version composed by Jan Sandström in 1990. It features the (untouched) setting by Praetorius cloaked in a hummed, gently changing cloud of music.

In between selections, oboist François Leleux enriches the CD with restful instrumental intermezzi and virtuosic touches.

“Here's another superb German choir, in an engagingly varied programme...Each track is a treat in itself, but the warmth and pliant expressivity of Praetorius's Es ist ein Ros entsprungen is particularly attractive.” BBC Music Magazine, Christmas Issue 2013 ***

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Michael Volle – A Portrait

Michael Volle – A Portrait


Handel:

Messiah: Thus saith the Lord

Te Deum in D major 'Dettingen', HWV283: Vouchsafe, O Lord

Lehár:

Da geh' ich zu Maxim (from Die Lustige Witwe)

Millöcker:

Dunkelrote Rosen (from Gasparone)

Mozart:

Deh! vieni alla finestra (from Don Giovanni)

Fin ch'han dal vino (from Don Giovanni)

Tutto e disposto...Aprite un po' quegl'occhi (from Le Nozze di Figaro)

Schubert:

An Sylvia, D891

Gruppe aus dem Tartarus, second version, D583 (Schiller)

Erlkönig, D328

Verdi:

Confutatis (from Requiem)

O Carlo, ascolta (from Don Carlo)

É sogno, o realta? (from Falstaff)

Ehi! Paggio! ... L'onore! Ladri! (from Falstaff)

Wagner:

Wie Todesahnung...O du, mein holder Abendstern (from Tannhäuser)

Nein, Lasst ihn unenthüllt (Parsifal)

Wahn! Wahn! Überall Wahn! (from Die Meistersinger von Nürnberg)


BR-Klassik presents the first portrait CD of baritone Michael Volle. Volle is a long-standing member of Bavarian State Opera choral ensemble.

This disc includes works from the Messiah, Don Giovanni and The Marriage of Figaro. Volle also commemorates Wagner and Verdi’s 200th Anniversary by singing arias from Parsifal, Tannhäuser, Don Carlos and Falstaff.

Previous recordings include, St John’s Passion (Harmonia Mundi); Ariadne Auf Naxos (Art Haus) and Zemlinksy: 21st Century Classics (EMI Classics).

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BR Klassik - 900312

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