Subject: I have found a CD that I think you would enjoy
|George Frederick Handel, Harry Christophers, Sixteen Orchestra|
Chandos Anthems Vol.4 No. 10 & 11
This series of eleven church anthems is a sterling example of doing more with less. Though their format is multiple movements for soloists and chorus and inviting of grand treatment, Handel had available only a couple of o... more »
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This series of eleven church anthems is a sterling example of doing more with less. Though their format is multiple movements for soloists and chorus and inviting of grand treatment, Handel had available only a couple of oboes and a small string band and choir (with no violas or altos for nos. 1-6). Yet each one of these anthems is a gem. Handel's music captures well the changing moods of the Psalm texts--from somber penitence to serene bliss to infectious joy to the raging of storms and seas. Though Bowman's arias lie uncomfortably low for him, he and George do fine work; Lynne Dawson, Patrizia Kwella, and Ian Partridge are delightful. Harry Christophers leads his choir and orchestra in subtly inflected and beautifully paced performances. --Matthew Westphal
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Leslie Richford | Selsingen, Lower Saxony | 11/26/2005
(5 out of 5 stars)
"Harry Christophers and the Sixteen Choir and Orchestra seem to have been much more at home with Handel?s English Chandos Anthems than they were with Bach?s St. John Passion, which they also recorded in the spring of 1989. This fourth CD containing Anthems No. 10 and 11 is quite brilliantly done: Handel was at his greatest, using the slightly increased forces at the future Duke of Chandos? chapel to the best of effects. Psalm texts such as: ?The earth trembled and quak?d, the very foundation of the hills shook, and were removed [?]. They are brought down and fall?n, but we are risen? brought out the maximum in imitative orchestral writing and choral splendour, and the closing fugue of ?Let God Arise? could, despite the limited forces available, almost be mistaken for one of the ?purple patches? from ?Messiah?.
Anthem No. 10 (?The Lord is My Light and My Salvation?) is written for five part choir with three tenor solo airs and one short but very effective soprano air, masterfully performed by Lynne Dawson. Anthem No. 11 (?Let God Arise?) is mainly choral, with the two soloists having only one short air each. Ian Partridge is perhaps not quite as convincing as Lynne Dawson but does all that is required of him; the orchestra (this time with four each of first and second violins plus three cellos and a double bass in the strings, then two recorders, an oboe and a bassoon as woodwind and organ continuo) sounds decidedly mature in comparison with, say, the first volume and provides some highly entertaining moments.
The only slightly sour point about this particular CD is the playing time of merely 49 minutes, but if you are collecting Handel?s sacred works, that should in no wise deter you from buying and listening to this superb music.