Search - King's College Choir - Cambridge, The Brandenburg Consort :: Handel - Israel in Egypt / Bostridge, Chance, Gritton, Varcoe, King's College Choir, The Brandenburg Consort, Cleobury

Handel - Israel in Egypt / Bostridge, Chance, Gritton, Varcoe, King's College Choir, The Brandenburg Consort, Cleobury
King's College Choir - Cambridge, The Brandenburg Consort
Handel - Israel in Egypt / Bostridge, Chance, Gritton, Varcoe, King's College Choir, The Brandenburg Consort, Cleobury
Genre: Classical
 
  •  Track Listings (28) - Disc #1
  •  Track Listings (20) - Disc #2

Israel in Egypt is by far the most choral of all of Handel's oratorios. Indeed, Part II (which describes the plagues of Egypt with extraordinary vividness) is all chorus, apart from one short alto aria. For the most par...  more »

      
?

Larger Image
Listen to Samples

CD Details


Synopsis

Amazon.com
Israel in Egypt is by far the most choral of all of Handel's oratorios. Indeed, Part II (which describes the plagues of Egypt with extraordinary vividness) is all chorus, apart from one short alto aria. For the most part, the King's College Choir, Cambridge, does a splendid job here. There's something unutterably beguiling about the freshness of children's voices in this context, especially when they are warmed with the delicate touch of vibrato which the "King's sound" requires. If the young singers do not have the sophistication of the adult female voices of, say, the Monteverdi Choir, they certainly have an unmistakable bloom. Cleobury keeps things very clear in the contrapuntal and fugal sections, but is less inspired in the passages that need more drama and orchestral color: the plagues of flies, lice, and locusts are woefully restrained, for example. The soloists, however, do their best to inject some theatricality during their arias. Ian Bostridge is in particularly fine form, and Susan Gritton sounds gorgeous. An attractive interpretation. --Warwick Thompson
 

CD Reviews

Dramatic Excursion
Zvi Goren | Tel Aviv, Israel | 06/24/2000
(5 out of 5 stars)

"This great oratorio by Handel has many good recorded versions, but none is as dramatic and revealing as this new release. It was recorded in 1995, but it has the required freshness and immediacy, a kind of prophetic recording. Each instrument of the orchestra is vivid, as well as the various sections of the choir. It is conducted with full awareness of the meaning of that historical excursion from slavery in the flourishing kingdon of Egypt into the freedom of the Israelites on their way to become a nation in the Promised Land. The glory of this recording is mainly in the voices of Michael Chance, a counter tenor of the highest degree, and that unique singing voice of Ian Bostridge, a tenor who performs his music in the vein of Dietrich Fischer-Dieskau with a rare intelligent reading of both music and text."
The search is over.....
William | Brisbane, Queensland Australia | 02/22/2002
(5 out of 5 stars)

"For a number of years I have searched for an interpretation of this magnificent work of art. And I must say now that my search has now been concluded.I have always held in high esteem the marvellous renditions of the King's College Choir, and this heavenly music is no exception. They have done it yet again, combining powerful vocal skills, with beautifully played orchestral parts, achieving a choral spectacle, in this most 'choral' of Handel's oratorios. I constantly use the word 'grand', 'stately' and all it's variants and forms to describe Handel, and so it is with this recording, for it does wonderful justice to these all so characteristically 'Handelian' attributes."
A Magnificent Performance of One of Handel's Finest Oratorio
Grady Harp | Los Angeles, CA United States | 08/06/2005
(5 out of 5 stars)

"ISRAEL IN EGYPT is an important step in Handel's career, a time when he took a breath from his Italian Operas and turned to the English libretti of his mighty oratorios. ISRAEL IN EGYPT is one of the more dramatic of his choral works, somehow capturing the drama of opera through the exciting role the chorus plays. Stephen Cleobury conducts what is certainly one of the most exciting and beautiful performances on record and he does so in the quintessential style of the Baroque era.

The soloists are all superb interpreters of the style and music of Handel and while tenor Ian Bostridge, countertenor Michael Chance and soprano Susan Gritton contribute the strongest roles, the work of Libby Crabtree, Angela East, Stephen Varcoe, and Henry Herford are also consistently excellent. The 'major role' in this opus is divided between the chorus and the orchestra and here is where the recording is the most radiant of any. The King's College Choir and the Brandenburg Consort are as fine as ensembles come for this music and Cleobury knows how to coax the beauty of line and energy of text from the entire ensemble.

For those unfamiliar with Handel's oratorios this recording is a fine start. And for those lovers of baroque music (and Handel in particular), this is a superlative example of how Handel's oratorios should be sung and played. Highly Recommended. Grady Harp, August 05"