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Georg Frideric Handel: Music for Cannons
George Frederick Handel, Graham O'Reilly, Academie de Ste Cécile
Georg Frideric Handel: Music for Cannons
Genre: Classical
 
  •  Track Listings (22) - Disc #1

"Cannons" was the spectacular estate (paid for by spectacular graft) of James Brydges, Earl of Chandos and paymaster to the British army. Handel spent much of 1717-18 in residence at Cannons, where he composed, among other...  more »

      
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"Cannons" was the spectacular estate (paid for by spectacular graft) of James Brydges, Earl of Chandos and paymaster to the British army. Handel spent much of 1717-18 in residence at Cannons, where he composed, among other things, 11 church anthems now known as the Chandos Anthems. While these pieces have since become favorites of choirs and chamber orchestras, Brydges had no choir at Cannons; Handel actually composed the pieces for soloists, even in the "choruses." Graham O'Reilly and his ensembles are the first to record the anthems this way; the three anthems on this disc are the first in a projected series. The chamber approach works nicely: balance is generally good, textures are clear, and the singers--especially tenor Ian Honeyman, who gets most of the work--are fine (though mezzo Brigitte Vinson would probably sound more comfortable in Renaissance music). If anything is lacking, it's the excitement that Harry Christophers and the Sixteen (larger forces notwithstanding) brought to these anthems. Nevertheless, this is a long-overdue approach to the Chandos Anthems which Handelians ought to hear. --Matthew Westphal