Subject: I have found a CD that I think you would enjoy
|George Frederick Handel, Orpheus Chamber Orchestra|
Handel: Water Music; Music for the Royal Fireworks
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A wonderfully "chamber" approach!
Timothy Mikolay | Pittsburgh, PA | 05/15/2001
(5 out of 5 stars)
"I have Charles McKerras' fantastic all woodwind perf on vinyl of this music and as much as I enjoy it, the Orpheus Chamber Orchestra does bring a certain amount of refinement and dash the forementioned doesn't. I remember being in tears the first time I heard this disc in a huge CD store in Milano, Italy. It seems almost hushed at first compared to all the other bombastic discs of these works, but this is where it wins. The clarity of the inner voices and the concise and vibrant contrapuntal work are just a few of the accolades I give this CD. This collection of Handel's genius is graceful, shimmering and wonderfully played and would be a noble addition to anyone's listening library."
Good, but ...
Leonardo | Argentina | 09/14/2004
(3 out of 5 stars)
"... not definitive. A much better rendition can be found in Savall's set.
Why I am telling this? At first hearing this is a quite enjoyable recording. There is great clarity (surely a very small orchestra), good articulation and many times a sense of freedom expressed in clever improvisation in many places (the flute parts are remarkable in this aspect).
In general the aproach is energetic and light. BUT ...
sometimes I found them playing mechanically. And some arrangments (eg the first suite's hornpipe and bourre)are boring, lacking variety.
This, together with a truly lack of grandeur, I would say "majesty", aparts them from beeing a serious competitive reading. Listen to "Fireworks": the timpani parts are so boring: they don't join the tuttis like the Gardiner set, so you find silences that spoils the "majesty" I expressed before. And there are not other percussion instruments (listen to Leppard).
Another example? look at the overure of suite 1. I don't think that Gardiner is the best but he really adds a sense of "theatre" that is absent in this set: Look at sincopation in Gardiner's hands that is replaced by stupid thrills by the Orpheans musicians: it's obvious that Handel is thinking in a solemn begginning of an Opera, when the curtain rises and the public is eager to listen to dramma and emotions. It's also obvious that the Orpheans never went to an Opera theater, judging from this absolutely superficial passage.
It's like Handel made of plastic. Light, sound pleasing, but superficial.
A Little Help from Handel
A Minstrel in the Gallery | Portsmouth, New Hampshire USA | 07/28/2006
(5 out of 5 stars)
"Whenever I listen to this timeless music by Handel, it always puts me in a pleasant mood, even when I'm having a rough day. Handel had a knack for composing subtle yet uplifting melodies that stay in your head long after you have turned your stereo off. The Suite in G Major is particularly beautiful. While this recording is not one of the more definitive versions available, if you are just getting interested in classical music, this disc is a perfect introduction to some the greatest music from the Baroque era!"