Subject: I have found a CD that I think you would enjoy
|G.F. Handel, Sir Neville Marriner, Christopher Hogwood|
Handel Masterworks/Various (Box)
Celebrate the 250th anniversary of Handel's death with this impressive box set. 30-CD box set of the composer's most celebrated works--including the Royal Fireworks and Water Music, The Messiah, concerti grossi and much mo... more »
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Celebrate the 250th anniversary of Handel's death with this impressive box set. 30-CD box set of the composer's most celebrated works--including the Royal Fireworks and Water Music, The Messiah, concerti grossi and much more! Featuring conductors Sir Neville Marriner, Christopher Hogwood, Trevor Pinnock, Mark Minkowski and others. Performances by the Gabrielli Players, Academy of St. Martin in the Fields, English Baroque Soloists and others.
Best Handel Compilation of the Year!
John Van Note | 07/18/2009
(4 out of 5 stars)
"I do think that this Decca set is arguably the best compilation reissue of such a bulk of Handel work which has been released in a long time, just in time to commemorate the two hundred fiftieth anniversary of the passing of il caro Sassone. There is a lot in this box, absence of libretti notwithstanding. The enclosed booklet is essential to navigate you through the track listings and timings and little else but a small general essay on GFH.
There are many who love classical music, baroque in particular, Handel still more particularly, who never get much further in their collections in most of their lives than acquiring Messiah, and that is a shame, beautiful and spiritually uplifting as Messiah is. It was one of the first things I purchased back when I was collecting records long ago. I think that there are very few Handel fans who would stop with buying just one Messiah. The added bonus to this set is that there is a Messiah here. Even before I purchased this Handel box I had six on CD, including the Shaw-ASO on Telarc, Pinnock and McCreesh on Arkiv, Somary on Vanguard, and a Mackerras conducting it in German, as re orchestrated by Mozart himself. There is more in this box set which can be purchased for such a relatively small sum than the Handel with which most people grow familiar in their whole lifetime, and the box set is a generous sampling of early through latter Handel.
Half of the box is digitally recorded, about a little more than half remastered from analog recordings. The first eleven disks in the box contains the instrumental Handel: Water Music, Fireworks, the Concerti Grossi Op. 3 and Op. 6, the eighteen Organ Concertos, three Oboe Concertos Op. 3, three Concerti a dui cori, an instrumental excerpt from the oratorio Solomon, six Trio Sonatas Op. 2, and Flute Sonatas. The rest of the set are the vocal works: Messiah, Marriner conducting a good analog version; Israel in Egypt; Coronation Anthems; Dixit Dominus; what for me was a previously unheard Nisi Dominus and Salve Regina; Dettingen Te Deum; Ode to St. Cecilia's Day; the music drama Hercules; an analog Judas Maccabeus, which was excellently done and comparable in quality to the Somary Vanguard recording I have; an almost perfect digital Solomon; and the only opera in the set, a relative recently performed Giulio Cesare. Handel opera lovers will be disappointed with the lack of depth here with inclusion of but one of the forty operas. Maybe Decca might have or ought to have included their Bartoli Rinaldo here as well. A Radamisto, or an Agrippina, a Deidamea to see the master in his operatic oblivion prior to his resurrection with oratorio, then it could have been a set of more operatic substance, a snack anyway. If you want a Handel operatic meal, you'll have to satisfy that appetite elsewhere apart from this set and a la carte to the tune of thirty or forty dollars apiece for the remainder of Handel`s oeurve. Aside from Messiah, Judas, Hercules, and Solomon, others who have deep and wide Handel collections would love to see still more works included here. A Saul, perhaps; a Samson, written the same year as Messiah; Theodora, Handel's next to last oratorio, and a very good one; definitely Jeptha, if but to get a glimpse at the composer in his decline but still being capable of composing sublime work nonetheless. Others will argue for a Joshua, an Esther, Athalia or a Deborah with reasons equally convincing. If Decca had included all of these suggestions here alone, there would have been another thirty disks included as a sprawling appendix doubly priced to what I am reviewing, and we would not have scratched the surface of the rest of Handel's work, which amounts to the girth of both J.S. Bach and Beethoven combined.
But as I don't think that there will be a Brilliant Complete Handel Edition with what might have been, a two hundred fifty disk megalith put out and issued any time soon, much less in my lifetime, this box set is the next best thing. The Handel which I had in my collection previous to it was rather extensive, much more than Messiah and Water Music, and with this set, about a third of it was new material for my collection, so the investment was well worth it.
All in all it is as good of a Handel set as you can get for the money.