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George Frideric Handel: Oratorio SAUL
George Frideric Handel, Jürgen Budday, Hannoversche Hofkapelle
George Frideric Handel: Oratorio SAUL
Genre: Classical
 
  •  Track Listings (27) - Disc #1
  •  Track Listings (33) - Disc #2

This recording is part of a cycle of old testament oratorios by G. F. Handel and is one of the many concerts performed at Maulbronn monastery over the past years. The Maulbronn monastery, founded by Cistercian monks in the...  more »

     
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Album Description
This recording is part of a cycle of old testament oratorios by G. F. Handel and is one of the many concerts performed at Maulbronn monastery over the past years. The Maulbronn monastery, founded by Cistercian monks in the year 1147, is the only completely preserved mediaeval complex north of the Alps and since 1994 as the 13th German site on the list of UNESCO World Heritage Sites. The series of recordings combines authentically performed baroque oratorios with the optimal acoustics and atmosphere of this unique monastic church. This ideal location demands the transparency of playing and the interpretive unveiling of the rhetoric intimations of the composition, which is especially aided by the historically authentic performance. The music is exclusively performed on reconstructed historical instruments, which are tuned to the pitch customary in the composers lifetime (a = c. 415 Hz). Soloists: Nancy Argenta ? Sopran (Michal), Laurie Reviol ? Sopran (Merab), Michael Chance ? Altus (David), Mark LeBrocq ? Tenor (Jonathan), Michael Berner ? Tenor (Abner, Hoherpriester, Hexe von Endor, Amalikter), Stephen Varcoe - Bass (Saul), Steffen Balbach ? Bass (Samuel, Doeg) Ensembles: Hannoversche Hofkapelle (on period instruments), Maulbronn Chamber Choir Conductor: Jürgen Budday
 

CD Reviews

A voice teacher and early music fan
George Peabody | Planet Earth | 01/06/2006
(5 out of 5 stars)

"A LIVE PERFORMANCE ENHANCES THE EXCITEMENT OF BOTH PERFORMERS AND LISTENERS!

I've just finished listening to Saul for the first time. It has left me breathless with it's drama and excellent singing! The fact that this is a LIVE performance makes it all the more exciting to hear!!!!The performers and conductor are all 'up' for a live situation, and it definitely shows in their output. If small defects creep in, or not, it doesn't disturb or distress because the listener is totally involved with the existing emotion.


I suggest that before you listen to it you should read up on the story of Saul in the books of Samuel in the old testament. Handel's knowledge of the bible is displayed in his ability to choose biblical characters who were colorful and led exciting lives and performed great deeds. The story of Saul also must include the story of David and Jonathan whose friendship was legendary.

This story has so much drama and excitement such as Saul's love-hate relationship with David; Jonathan's defense of David defying his father's instruction to kill David. Saul's fear that God has abandoned him causing him to visit the Witch of Endor asking her to bring Samuel out of his grave so that he may get his advise. And finally the the death of Jonathan on the battlefield sending David into deep sorrow and depression.. Picture all of this drama described musically as only Handel would do, and you have marvelous musical sounds.

The accompanying booklet is in German except for the first line of each aria which is in English, but all the singers are quite understandable. I was totally impressed by Stephan Varcoe's Saul; he was marvelous in the role both vocally and dramatically! But my favorite aria sung magnificently by Michael Chance as David was "O Lord, whose Mercies numberless". He absolutely outdid himself througout the entire production. Nancy Argenta in the role of Michel(Saul's daugher) does her usual skillful and dramatic singing. If I could give this l0 stars I would do so."