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Robert King

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Handel: Ottone, Re di Germania

Handel: Ottone, Re di Germania


James Bowman (Ottone), Claron Mcfadden (Teofane), Jennifer Smith (Gismonda), Dominique Visse (Adelberto), Michael George (Emireno) & Catherine Denley (Matilda)

The King’s Consort, Robert King

Handel’s Ottone was one of the most popular operas of the composer’s career, with 34 known performances during his lifetime, beaten only by the 53 performances of Rinaldo. The premiere run in 1723 featured superstar Italian soloists including Senesino and Cuzzoni, and coincided with (and was perhaps the cause of) the height of London’s opera madness, with tickets changing hands for increasingly high prices on the black market. This recording of the 1723 version (Handel adapted the opera in later years for different singers) features James Bowman at the peak of his powers in the title role.

“Ottone is, even for Handel, unusually rich in lovely, heartrending arias” The Times

“Everywhere, the dexterity and resource of Robert King’s Consort lend enchantment” The Independent

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Hyperion - CDS44511/3

(CD - 3 discs)

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Purcell: Complete Odes & Welcome Songs

Purcell: Complete Odes & Welcome Songs


Purcell:

Arise, my Muse, Z320

for Queen Mary's birthday 1690

Welcome to all the pleasures (from Ode for St Cecilia's Day 1683), Z339

Now does the glorious day appear (from Come ye sons of Art, Z323)

Hail! Bright Cecilia (Ode for St Cecilia's Day 1692), Z328

Who can from joy refrain?, Z342

Fly, bold rebellion (Welcome Ode for Charles II, 1683)

Sound the trumpet, beat the drum, Z335

Celebrate this festival, Z321

Ye tuneful Muses (Welcome Song for James II, 1686)

Celestial Music did the gods inspire (for Mr Maidwell's School, 1689)

From hardy climes and dangerous toils of war (for the wedding of Prince George and Princess Anne, 1683)

Welcome, welcome, glorious morn, Z338

Great parent, hail to thee (for the Centenary of Trinity College, Dublin, 1694)

The summer's absence unconcerned we bear, Z337

Love's goddess sure was blind, Z331

Raise, raise the voice (for St Cecilia's Day, c1685)

From those serene and rapturous joys (Welcome Song for Charles II, 1684)

Of old, when heroes thought it base (The Yorkshire Feast Song, 1690)

Swifter, Isis, swifter flow (Welcome Song for Charles II, 1681)

What, what shall be done in behalf of the man? (Welcome Song for the Duke of York, 1682)

Come ye sons of art (Ode for Queen Mary's birthday, 1694), Z 323

Welcome, vicegerent of the mighty king, Z340

Why, why are all the Muses mute?, Z343


Well, strictly speaking this is not a new release, but as the original issue of this important and unique set has been out of stock for almost two years we think a reminder is called for.

The need to create new artwork caused the hiatus in repressing, but it also gave us the opportunity to re-think the packaging, and the set is now contained within a slim clamshell box with cardboard inner sleeves (rather than the original large box containing eight standard jewel cases with individual booklets for each disc). There is now one substantial and fully updated 72-page booklet which contains all the texts and a trilingual note.

This is the only complete recording of Purcell’s Odes and Welcome Songs and, as such, one of the treasures of the Hyperion catalogue—it makes a very welcome return.

'A treasure house of shamefully neglected music. Over nine hours of wonderful invention ... this major recording achievement must be an irresistible temptation' (BBC Music Magazine)

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Hyperion - Purcell Complete Edition - CDS44031/8

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Mozart: Exsultate jubilate!

Mozart: Exsultate jubilate!


Mozart:

Regina coeli in C, K108

Vesperae Solennes de Confessore, K339: Laudate Dominum

Sub tuum praesidium, K198

Sancta Maria, mater Dei, K273

Exsultate, jubilate, K165

Agnus Dei (from Coronation Mass)

Vesperae solennes de Domenica, K321: Laudate Dominum

Regina coeli in B flat, K127


“Unreservedly recommended” BBC Music Magazine

“This is a sunny and unpretentious disc which deserves to be among the successes of the Mozart year” Gramophone Magazine

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Hyperion 30th Anniversary - CDA30012

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Vivaldi - Cello Concertos

Vivaldi - Cello Concertos


Vivaldi:

Cello Concerto in G minor, RV416

Cello Concerto in A minor, RV420

Concerto in G minor for Two Cellos, RV531

Cello Concerto in C minor, RV401

Cello Concerto in G minor, RV417

Cello Concerto in A minor, RV418

Cello Concerto in G major, RV415

attributed to Vivaldi


Jonathan Cohen (cello) & Sarah McMahon (cello)

The King’s Consort, Robert King (director, harpsichord)

“Cohen is an expressive player with a feeling for articulate phrasing who responds readily to the poetry of slow movements… The King's Consort under Robert King's direction from the harpsichord offers stylish and alert support throughout.” BBC Music Magazine, August 2006 ****

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Hyperion - CDA67553

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Monteverdi - Vespers

Monteverdi - Vespers


Monteverdi:

Vespro della beata Vergine (1610)

Missa 'In illo tempore' (1610)


Carolyn Sampson, Rebecca Outram, Daniel Auchincloss & Nicholas Mulroy

The King’s Consort, Robert King

A dazzling array of soloists join King - his choir and orchestra on top form - in presenting this new recording of a true masterpiece to the world: a project made possible by the generosity of all the many hundreds of people who donated to Hyperion’s appeal for recording funds in 2005.

“More than any other version, this one sounds like its director has set out to enjoy himself and forget the musicological baggage. Gleefully choral and revelling in presenting the Vespers as a work of splendour, it benefits from some strong solo singing (notably from Charles Daniels and James Gilchrist)” Gramophone Magazine, June 2010

“Despite four wonderful volumes of Monteverdi's sacred music from The King's Consort, nothing will prepare you for the ecstatic consequences of taking seriously at least one aspect of Monteverdi's so-called seconda pratica – using much freer counterpoint, with an increasing hierarchy of voices: that the word is mistress of the music. And what ecstasy! Never mind the majestic opening psalm: just listen to the eloquent gestures in the 'Dixit Dominus', which range from the declamatory to the reticent with astonishing flexibility. Or the freedom and delicacy of tenor James Gilchrist in the 'Nigra sum', equally matched by the fragile spaciousness of Caroline Sampson's and Rebecca Outram's 'Pulchra es'.
Spaciousness soon loses its fragility in the propulsive 'Nisi Dominus' and the 'Lauda Jerusalem' with its luxuriant finale. And although the 'Sonata sopra Sancta Maria' is still preferable with a solo soprano line, its instrumental variations are here dispatched with such fluency it's hard not to be won over; the 'Ave maris stella' is similarly eloquent.
The second disc includes equally superb performances of the alternative six-voice Magnificat and the Missa In illo tempore.
The cumulative effect here is of a dazzling chiaroscuro that Monteverdi surely would have recognised. With its use of full choir, King's recording has room to manoeuvre – which gives the imagination more room to take flight.”
Gramophone Classical Music Guide, 2010

“The majesty and the ecstasy - King's forces are glorious in Monteverdi… Never mind the majestic opening psalm: just listen to the eloquent gestures in the 'Dixit Dominus', which range from the declamatory to the reticent with astonishing flexibility. Or the freedom and delicacy of tenor James Gilchrist in the 'Nigra sum', equally matched by the fragile spaciousness of Caroline Sampson's and Rebecca Outram's 'Pulchra es'.” Gramophone Magazine, June 2006

GGramophone Magazine

Editor's Choice - June 2006

Building a Library

First Choice - April 2007

Building a Library

First Choice - December 2010

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Hyperion Monteverdi Sacred Music - CDA67531/2

(CD - 2 discs)

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Monteverdi - The Sacred Music 4

Monteverdi - The Sacred Music 4


Monteverdi:

Laetatus sum I - S S T T B B soli, choir

Salve Regina - T solo

Domine, ne il furore

Salve Regina I - T T soli

Dixit Dominus II - choir

Sanctorum meritis II - T solo

Adoramus te, Christe

Beatus vir (from Selva Morale e Spirituali)

Exulta, filia Sion

Magnificat II - choir

Salve, o Regina, o Mater - T solo

Laudate Dominum omnes gentes III - S S HT HT T T B B soli


“The disc opens with a splendid Laetatus sum for six solo singers, choir and instruments. …the tenor in Salve, o Regina delivers some wonderfully impassioned decoration, and the sopranos in the final Laudate Dominum are flashingly bright throughout and end on a perfect unison. Nor should we forget the instrumentalists: the violinists in Sanctorum meritis dance their way through the music in a way that transfigures the bare notes on the page.” BBC Music Magazine, December 2005 *****

“The fourth volume of Robert King's exploration of Monteverdi's sacred music continues to mix pieces from different sources: the composer's authorised collection Selva morale e spirituale, the posthumous Venetian collection Messa aquattro voci e salmi, and various Italian anthologies.
The beginning of Laetatus sum I instantly establishes the impeccable technical credentials of these stunning performances. The organ and chitarrone continuo is steady and sure-footed, joined a few bars later by a flamboyant violin duel stunningly dispatched by Simon Jones and Andrea Morris, and then crowned with a glorious duet by Carolyn Sampson and Rebecca Outram. The Choir of The King's Consort reinforce tutti passages with some splendid contributions and meet the florid, extrovert eightpart writing in Dixit Dominus II with colourful commitment. In the motet Adoramus te, Christe – not to be confused with the comparably beautiful but better known Christe adoramus, te – the choir shows its skill at gentler music, although I wonder if the use of solo voices might have been equally attractive and closer to what Monteverdi would have expected.
Charles Daniels and James Gilchrist beautifully judge several intimate tenor solos; Gilchrist's glorious and heartfelt singing in Salveregina I features some wonderful echo contributions from Daniels. Their tender communication of the text and sweet high registers consolidate their status as the finest English tenors of their type. Robert King never rushes the music but cannily treads the fine line between dizzying excitement and authoritative splendour. Even if you already admire seminal recordings of Monteverdi sacred music by the likes of Andrew Parrott, Konrad Junghänel and Rinaldo Alessandrini, there are plenty of less familiar gems included that make this series essential.”
Gramophone Classical Music Guide, 2010

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Hyperion Monteverdi Sacred Music - CDA67519

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Vivaldi - The Complete Sacred Music

Vivaldi - The Complete Sacred Music


Ruggieri:

Gloria RV ANH. 23

Vivaldi:

Magnificat RV610a (version for double choir)

Lauda, Jerusalem, RV609

Kyrie, RV587

Credo, RV591

Dixit Dominus, RV594

In furore iustissimae irae, RV626

Longe mala, umbrae, terrores, RV629

Clarae stellae, scintillate, RV625

Canta in prato, ride in monte, RV623

Introduzione al miserere, RV 638 'Filiae maestae Jerusalem'

Nulla in mundo pax sincera, motet for soprano, strings & continuo, RV 630

Dixit Dominus, RV595

Domine ad adiuvandum me (Psalm 69), RV593

Credidi propter quod, RV605

Beatus vir, RV598

Beatus vir, RV597

Juditha Triumphans, RV644

In turbato mare irato, RV627

Non in pratis aut in hortis RV641

Stabat Mater, RV621

O qui coeli terraeque serenitas, RV631

Deus tuorum militum RV612

Confitebor tibi, Domine RV596

Beatus vir RV795

Salve Regina, RV 617

Laudate Dominum, RV606

In exitu Israel, RV 604

Nisi Dominus (Psalm 126), RV608

Laetatus sum (psalm 121), R.607

Laudate pueri, RV601

Vestro Principi divino - Mottetto per contralto, archi e continuo RV 633 in F major

Introduzione al Gloria, RV 639 'Jubilate, o amoeni chori'

Gloria, RV588

Sum in medio tempestatum RV632

Laudate pueri, RV600

Cur sagittas, cur tela RV637

Sanctorum meritis, RV 620

Salve Regina, RV 616

Laudate pueri, RV602

Salve Regina, RV 618

Introduzione al Dixit Dominus, RV 635 'Ascende laeta'

Gaude mater Ecclesia RV613

Vos aurae per montes RV634

Gloria Patri RV602a

Gloria in D major, RV589

Nisi Dominus RV803

Introduzione al Gloria, RV 642 'Ostro picta, armata spina'


Choir of The King’s Consort, The King’s Consort, Robert King

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Hyperion - Vivaldi Sacred Music - CDS44171-81

(CD - 11 discs)

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Michael Haydn: Requiem

Michael Haydn: Requiem


Haydn, M:

Requiem in C minor pro defuncto Archiepiscopo Sigismundo, MH 155

Missa in honorem Sanctae Ursulae, MH 546 'Chiemsee-Messe'


Carolyn Sampson (soprano), Hilary Summers (alto), James Gilchrist (tenor), Peter Harvey (bass)

Choir of The King’s Consort, The King’s Consort, Robert King

“Robert King suggests that Michael Haydn's Requiem of 1771 for the Archbishop-Prince of Salzburg reflects a personal outpouring of grief for the loss of Haydn's beloved patron and the recent death of his infant daughter. The fervent expressions of grief, consolation and hope must have made some impression on the 15-year-old Mozart. A comparison with Mozart's Requiem setting of 20 years later is inevitable: Haydn didn't give his solo quartet anything that compares with the immediacy of Mozart's 'Tuba mirum', but the older man's masterful choral writing, brilliant orchestral scoring and sensitive use of solo voices created plenty of musical riches and dramatic moods, such as the brooding Kyrie and the bursting energy of the 'Dies irae'.
The quartet of soloists is impeccable; the choir and orchestra of The King's Consort prove to be increasingly assured and dynamic with each recording released. Robert King's measured and emphatic direction makes it easy to appreciate why the Requiem was performed at his brother Joseph's funeral in 1809.
His interpretation of the sunnier, extrovert Missa in honorem Sanctae Ursulae (1793) helps the music to sound natural and spontaneous. In some respects the Mass is an even finer composition, full of charismatic and inventive musical charms (it's worth buying for Carolyn Sampson's ravishing 'Benedictus' alone).
Anybody who enjoys the choral works of Mozart and Joseph Haydn will be delighted by this double-disc set, and will probably concur that Michael Haydn's neglect in the shadow of his younger friend and older brother is substantially corrected by these exquisite performances.”
Gramophone Classical Music Guide, 2010

“A quality quartet of soloists, led by the vernal soprano of Carolyn Sampson.” BBC Music Magazine, March 2006

GGramophone Magazine

Editor's Choice - June 2005

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Hyperion - CDA67510

(CD - 2 discs)

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Monteverdi - The Sacred Music 3

Monteverdi - The Sacred Music 3


Monteverdi:

Dixit Dominus II

Sancta Maria a 2 e B.c.

Lauda, Jerusalem, Dominum I

Memento Domine David

Confitebor tibi III alla francese

Christe, adoramus te

Salve Regina II a 2 voci, due Tenore

Nisi Dominus I à 3 voci & duoi violini

Cantate Domino a 6 voci (1620)

Ecce sacrum paratum a voce sola e B.c.

Gloria in excelsis Deo à 7 voci


Carolyn Sampson, Rebecca Outram (sopranos), Daniel Auchincloss, Rogers Covey-Crump (high tenors), Charles Daniels, James Gilchrist (tenors), Peter Harvey, Robert Evans (basses)

The King’s Consort, Robert King

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Hyperion Monteverdi Sacred Music - CDA67487

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Handel: Ode for St Cecilia's Day

Handel: Ode for St Cecilia's Day


Handel:

Ode for St Cecilia's Day, HWV76

Cecilia, volgi un sguardo HWV89


Carolyn Sampson (soprano) & James Gilchrist (tenor)

Choir of The King’s Consort & The King’s Consort, Robert King

“This completes the series of recordings exploring the smaller works Handel inserted into his glorious setting of Dryden's Alexander's Feast. Robert King has previously recorded The Choice of Hercules, which was created for the 1751 revival. The tenor cantata Look down, harmonious Saint was intended as the interlude for the original run in 1736, but was rejected in favour of Cecilia, volgi un sguardo.
It's a splendid idea to pair this seldom-heard Italian cantata with Dryden's sublime Ode for StCecilia's Day that Handel created to fulfil the same function three years later.
This is a mouth-watering performance of Handel's colourfully gorgeous ode. 'The trumpets' loud clangour' features Crispian Steele-Perkins on fine form, flautist Rachel Brown enchants in 'The soft complaining flute', and Jonathan Cohen's cello solo in 'What passion cannot Music raise and quell!' is sweetly inspired. The King's Consort and Choir perform with perfect juxtaposition of flamboyance and taste. James Gilchrist sings with authority: he's a Handel tenor of the highest order.
This recording is in a class of its own when it comes to the seemingly effortless, beautiful singing of Carolyn Sampson, now the best British early music soprano by quite some distance.
She's sensitively partnered by organist Matthew Halls in the sublime 'But oh! what art can teach', which has a breathtaking poignancy. Notwithstanding many agreeable past achievements, King has seldom produced a disc of such outstanding conviction.”
Gramophone Classical Music Guide, 2010

“This is a mouth-watering performance of Handel’s colourfully gorgeous ode … the recording is in a class of its own when it comes to the seemingly effortless, beautiful singing of Carolyn Sampson, now the best British early music soprano by quite some distance … notwithstanding many agreeable past achievements, King has seldom produced a disc of such outstanding conviction” Gramophone Magazine

GGramophone Magazine

Disc of the Month - Awards Issue 2004

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Hyperion - CDA67463

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