Handel - Great Oratorio Duets

BIS: BISSACD1436

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Handel - Great Oratorio Duets

Label:

BIS

Catalogue No:

BISSACD1436
(BIS-SACD-1436)

Discs:

1

Release date:

3rd April 2006

Barcode:

7318599914367

Length:

70 minutes

Medium:

SACD (download also available)

Format:

Hybrid Multi-channel

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Handel - Great Oratorio Duets


Handel:

Jephtha: These labours past

Oh peerless maid; Our limpid streams (from Joshua, HWV64)

Great victor, at your feet I bow (from Belshazzar)

Susanna: When thou art nigh...To my chaste Susanna's praise

To thee, thou glorious son of worth; Streams of pleasure ever flowing (from Theodora, HWV68)

Ode for the birthday of Queen Anne, HWV74: Kind health descends

Deborah: Where do thy ardours raise me!...Smiling freedom, lovely guest

Hail wedded love (from Alexander Balus, HWV65)

Alexander's Feast: Let's imitate her notes above

Esther: Who calls my parting soul

world première recording

O fairest of ten thousand fair

At persecution I can laugh (from Saul)

Solomon: Welcome as the dawn of day

Ev'ry joy that wisdom knows (from Solomon)


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George Frideric Handel: Jephtha, HWV 70

Jephtha, HWV 70, Act I: These labours past

George Frideric Handel: Joshua, HWV 64

Act III: Oh peerless maid

Act I: Our limpid streams

George Frideric Handel: Belshazzar, HWV 61

Belshazzar, HWV 61, Act III: Great victor, at your feet I bow

George Frideric Handel: Susanna, HWV 66

Act I: When thou art nigh

Act III: To my chaste Susanna's praise

George Frideric Handel: Theodora, HWV 68

Act II: To thee, thou glorious son of worth

Act III: Streams of pleasure ever flowing

George Frideric Handel: Solomon, HWV 67

Act I: Welcome as the dawn of day

Act III: Ev'ry joy that wisdom knows

George Frideric Handel: Ode for the Birthday of Queen Anne, HWV 74, "Eternal Source of Light Divine"

Ode for the Birthday of Queen Anne, HWV 74, "Eternal Source of Light Divine": Kind health descends

George Frideric Handel: Saul, HWV 53

Act II: O fairest of ten thousand fair

Act II: At persecution I can laugh

George Frideric Handel: Deborah, HWV 51

Act I: Where do thy ardours raise me!

Act II: Smiling freedom, lovely guest

George Frideric Handel: Alexander Balus, HWV 65

Alexander Balus, HWV 65, Act II: Hail wedded love

George Frideric Handel: Alexander's Feast, HWV 75

Alexander's Feast, HWV 75: Part II: Let's imitate her notes above

George Frideric Handel: Esther, HWV 50b

Esther, HWV 50b, Act II: Who calls my parting soul

BBC Music Magazine

May 2006

****

“The duets selected here… form an attractive programme, especially when the two voices are as well blended and as perfectly in tune as Carolyn Sampson's and Robin Blaze's. …whether the mood is languid and sensual, as in Solomon, spiritual (Theodora) or consolatory (the Ode for the Birthday of Queen Anne), the performances, as well as Handel's music, are entirely apt.”

Gramophone Classical Music Guide

2010

“'Great Oratorio Duets'? It seems a strange concept at first – not many of these pieces have made an individual name for themselves just yet.
But then the point of this disc is evidently to bring together in mouthwatering partnership two of the most dulcet-voiced young Baroque singers Britain has to offer, and it does not take long to discover that that is a very good idea indeed. Carolyn Sampson's voice is bright and clear yet warmed by judiciously selected and moderated vibrato, while Robin Blaze has a more distinctively tangy sound, but they fit each other well and in their faultless display of Handelian style, lyricism and warmth they are in total mental and spiritual accord.
The music, meanwhile, does indeed have greatness. The vocal style of Handel's English oratorios does not recreate the virtuoso flashiness of the Italian operas but speaks in a more direct, lyrical manner, expressing with unimpeachable honesty all the sympathy and human understanding for which their composer is so revered. The majority here are love duets, but with what variety, from carefree (examples from Jephtha and Susanna) to chaste (Deborah) to ambiguously melancholy (Joshua and Saul). The forgiveness duet from Esther is indescribably tender (especially in this performance), the duet from Saul in which a love-drunk David is reluctant to leave when warned by his fiancée of approaching danger is effortlessly theatrical, and the two duets for the doomed lovers from Theo-dora are works of pure and noble genius. If the performances in these last do not quite reach the heartbreaking intensity of which Peter Sellars's Glyndebourne production proved them capable, it is hard to see how that could ever be achieved in a recital; Sampson and Blaze surely manage as well as anyone ever could. With intelligent, kind-hearted accompaniments from Nicholas Kraemer and the OAE, this is a truly beautiful Handel recording, a disc to give pleasure for years to come.”

Gramophone Magazine

May 2006

“Carolyn Sampson's voice is bright and clear yet warmed by judiciously selected and moderated vibrato, while Robin Blaze has a more distinctively tangy sound, but they fit each other well and in their faultless display of Handelian style, lyricism and warmth they are in total mental and spiritual accord. With intelligent, kind-hearted accompaniments from Nicholas Kraemer and the OAE, this is a truly beautiful Handel recording, a disc to give pleasure for years to come.”

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