Subject: I have found a CD that I think you would enjoy
|John Shirley-Quirk, George Frederick Handel, Johannes Somary|
Handel: Judas Maccabeus
Listen to Samples
An Old Friend in a Bargain Re-issue
Virginia Opera Fan | Falls Church, VA USA | 10/20/2007
(4 out of 5 stars)
"It is good to have Somary's Vanguard 30 something year old recording of Judas Maccabeus back in this Alto re-issue. Alexander Young is a wonderful title role hero with a nice, heroic heft to the voice. The rival performances on Harmonia Mundi and Hyperion don't measure up to the standard he sets in the role. Heather Harper, Helen Watts and Shirley-Quirk are also quite good. Orchestra and chorus are alert and precise.
Somary's conducting is perhaps a little leisurely and old fashioned sounding in comparison to today's tempo norms but the performance is well paced and stylish given the state of performance practice at the time.
The sound is well-remastered and at least as good as that of the Vanguard LPs (which I still own) without the surface clicks.
I prefer the sound of period instruments, so the rival (and very good) performance on Hyperion with Jamie McDougal in the title role, Emma Kirkby, Catherine Denley, Michael George (et al) conducted by Robert King is my first choice. The Harmonia Mundi set is routinely conducted and the title role is accurately sung, but without much heroim in evidence.
This set is worth the price as a memento of Alexander Young, one of the finest Handel tenors of the recent past."