Author Topic: Getting at Handel's operas and oratorios  (Read 124472 times)

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Morigan

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Re: Getting at Handel's operas and oratorios
« Reply #40 on: December 13, 2007, 09:47:28 AM »
Well, sadly, you missed it. The performance I saw was the last of the season. Daniels does have a disc of solo Handel arias out (with Norrington and his band accompanying), which includes the main arias from Cesare.

Yes, and this CD is in my possession. And the Handel oratorio one too. I just think Daniels should be cast for more Handel DVD's :)
« Last Edit: February 09, 2008, 10:43:52 AM by Figaro »

Offline MishaK

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Re: Getting at Handel's operas and oratorios
« Reply #41 on: December 13, 2007, 09:52:24 AM »
Yes, and this CD is in my possession. And the Handel oratorio one too. I just think Daniels should be cast for me Handel DVD's :)

He can be seen and heard on these two:





But I have not seen either one.

BTW, my review of the Cesare at the Lyric is here.

Morigan

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Re: Getting at Handel's operas and oratorios
« Reply #42 on: December 13, 2007, 09:55:11 AM »
There is a least one excerpt from the Rinaldo DVD on youtube (Venti turbini)... the staging looks... very, very weird. I'll have to investigate the Theodora one.

Kultur generally is an awful label, though.

Offline knight66

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Re: Getting at Handel's operas and oratorios
« Reply #43 on: December 13, 2007, 11:59:54 PM »
The Theodora is excellent, it has a modern twist to the staging, Peter Sellars is the Director. I am not a great admirer of his, but I could not imagine this piece brought more convincingly to life. As well as Daniels, who is superb, Upshaw is excellent. Their two duets are especially affecting, blissful. The whole approach by Christie is to produce long momnets of suspended time and each long aria is given with repeats. There is not a boring moment in it.

Additionally, Lorraine Hunt Lieberson is at the top of her form and rivets attention as she unrolls each of her arias, such great acting is rare.

We had this on VHS after accidentally catching about half of it on TV, we wore the tape out, it stretched. So, it is good to now have it safely on DVD.

Here is a site about Daniels, but it is not being kept up to date, I have pretty much all the recordings mentioned. I especially recommend the Vivaldi Stabat Mater.

http://www.danielssings.com/recordings.html

Mike
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Handel

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Re: Getting at Handel's operas and oratorios
« Reply #44 on: December 15, 2007, 07:15:15 PM »
I agree with the advice you have been given by TC. The arias can be extremely long and tend to be in the A-B-A structure.

But in his oratorios, he did not hesitated to do not respect the ABA rule...

Examples from Handel's Saul

http://www.box.net/shared/gkvfxlpbbv (where Saul tries to kill David)

http://www.box.net/shared/b1sffhujfr
« Last Edit: December 15, 2007, 07:16:49 PM by Handel »

Offline knight66

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Re: Getting at Handel's operas and oratorios
« Reply #45 on: December 16, 2007, 12:19:00 AM »
Yes, but equally, he many times does keep to the ABA structure. Theodora, Messiah etc....it was not a golden rule, but it was a frequent habit. The Messiah has one of the longest such arias, 'He was Despised' can last 13 minutes unless it is partially cut, which does often happen.

Mike
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Offline knight66

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Re: Getting at Handel's operas and oratorios
« Reply #46 on: February 09, 2008, 03:05:19 AM »
Here is an elderly, but very beautiful rendition of a duet from Rodelinda with Janet Baker and Joan Sutherland.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=4NHS5xiJbhQ

Mike

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I wasted time: and time wasted me.

Offline Rod Corkin

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Re: Getting at Handel's operas and oratorios
« Reply #47 on: February 09, 2008, 03:31:35 AM »
or getting a Handel on the deluge...

...

So, I'm really getting into Handel's operas and oratorios (I'm considering them largely as one and the same body of work). When I'm getting into a new composer, I really like to steep myself single-mindedly in their stuff. But the problem with Handel is that there are so many of these bloody things and, unlike the Bach cantatas, it costs a serious amount of time and money to buy and properly get to know any one of them. I have bought and got into several of them already over the past six months, but I keep having a nagging feeling that I'm missing out on the best stuff  ::).

What I'm really looking for are value judgements about the relative merits of Handel's compositions in this field. Which are the major ones to look into, which are less essential? I want to experience the best of Handel's output in this field without shovel-feeding myself dozens of 3-hour works! Most commentary on them makes them out as all being superb. I can believe that, but I still want the best of the best.

I know already: Messiah, Saul, Giulio Cesare, Rinaldo - (loved all of these) - Il Trionfo del Tempo e del Disinganno, Israel in Egypt, and a number of the Italian cantatas (liked these, but not as much as the first four there). I have heard a number of the others in concert (Theodora, Solomon, Samson, &c) but not enough times to fully appreciate them.

I think my next investigations shall be Theodora and Orlando. The latter is being staged here in Dublin later in the year, should be great fun. The former seems to be "the One" for Handel nuts...

From investigations elsewhere, it seems Agrippina, Serse, Hercules, Rodelinda, Ariodante, Alcina, Belshazzar and Judas Maccabeus are prime Handel. But people often speak of all of them in glowing terms. And there's this post from Mr. Rinkel:

More thoughts along these lines would be appreciated.



I am trawling through the complete Handel Italian operas and English biblical oratorios at my site (see my signature or my profile) Secular oratorios will be dealt with too when I'm done with these. There are WMA downloads from each work, from the best recordings available, so join up and try the samples for yourself.
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Offline Rod Corkin

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Re: Getting at Handel's operas and oratorios
« Reply #48 on: February 10, 2008, 10:27:24 AM »
Another vote for the Christie Giulio Cesare DVD, though having just watched that same production live at the Lyric last Saturday (with Emanuelle Haim conducting) with the terriffic countertenor David Daniels in the lead role, I wish it had been recorded with him instead. I would also add that anyone looking for an excellent Hercules should likewise consider Christie's DVD:



Another engrossing production, excellently sung and vigorously directed by Christie. Nice stage direction as well. The choir pointing fingers at Dejanira, exclaiming "Jealousy!" is a great moment. I had the pleasure of seeing this production live as well, two years ago at the BAM.

I have this DVD and I agree with your assessment though I had a problem with the ending. They carry one the guilt ridden madness of Dejanira right into the final quite jubilant chorus, which produces a rather unsettling effect. Maybe that was the producers intent, I don't know, but it didn't work for me.

I thought the appearance of the huge statue of Hercules at the very end was a great idea, I would have brought it in a little earlier as its appearance was rather too brief to make its point before the final curtain.

Daniels sings on Minkowski's CD version of Hercules and is very good. I have the Christie Giulio Cesare DVD but was not particularly impressed with any of it, though GC 'himself' was quite good in this.
« Last Edit: February 10, 2008, 10:33:08 AM by Rod Corkin »
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Harry

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Re: Getting at Handel's operas and oratorios
« Reply #49 on: February 27, 2008, 04:34:46 AM »
I assembled in toto 6 compositions from Handel opera, oratorios etc, not the best performances, but merely for finding what opera fits me, and which not. After that I will probably put them in the Refusal bin. I would like comments on the operas, and other versions, plus what best to avoid and what not. I do not like big voices, neither heavy vibrato, or unnatural drama. I am very much open for HIP performances too!
So, help me a bit on my way, if you please.

The ones I have on my desk now:

Solomon.
Justino Diaz.
Sheila Armstrong.
Robert Tear.
Michael Rippon.
Felicity Palmer.
Amor Artis Chorale, English Chamber Orchestra/Johannes Somary.
********************

Belsazar.
Peter Schreier.
Renate Frank Reinecke.
Ute Trekel Burkhardt.
Gisela Pohl.
Hermann Christian Polster.
Joachim Vogt.
Gunther Beyer.
Berliner Singakademie.
Kammerorchester Berlin/Dietrich Knothe.
*******************

Judas Maccabaeus.
Heather Harper.
Helen Watts.
Alexander Young.
John Shirley Quirk.
Enmglish Chamber Orchestra,
Amor Artis Chorale,
Wandsworth School Boys Choir
Conducted by Johannes Somary.
*********************

Faramondo.
D'Anna Fortunato.
Julianne Baird.
Drew Minter.
Jennifer Lane.
Mary Ann Callahan.
Peter Castaldi.
Lorie Gratis.
Mark Singer.
Brewer Chamber Orchestra/Rudolph Palmer.
*******************************

Acis and Galatea.
Julianne Baird.
Frederick Urrey.
David Price.
Kevin Deas.
Ama Deus Ensemble/Valentin Radu.
***************

Jeptha.
John Mark Ainsley.
Michael George.
Catherine Denley.
Christiane Oelze.
Axel Kohler.
Julia Gooding.
RIAS Kammerchoir,
Akademie fur Alte Music, Berlin/Marcus Creed.


That's it for now. :)
« Last Edit: February 27, 2008, 05:01:26 AM by Harry »

Offline The new erato

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Re: Getting at Handel's operas and oratorios
« Reply #50 on: February 27, 2008, 04:47:35 AM »
I think there is only one opera in your list; Faramondo. The rest are oratorioes, or in the case og Acis & Galatea; a quasi-masque. There are also several old recordings which I would be sceptical of performancewise, but I don't know any of these .


Offline (poco) Sforzando

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Re: Getting at Handel's operas and oratorios
« Reply #51 on: February 27, 2008, 04:54:18 AM »
I think there is only one opera in your list; Faramondo. The rest are oratorioes, or in the case og Acis & Galatea; a quasi-masque.

That is correct. I don't know all of Handel's operas by any means, but my very favorite is Orlando, which you can get in a good HIP version conducted by William Christie. I like even more an older LP version with Sofia Steffan conducted by Stephen Simon, but it is not available on CD and has some serious cuts.
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Harry

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Re: Getting at Handel's operas and oratorios
« Reply #52 on: February 27, 2008, 04:59:10 AM »
I think there is only one opera in your list; Faramondo. The rest are oratorioes, or in the case og Acis & Galatea; a quasi-masque. There are also several old recordings which I would be sceptical of performancewise, but I don't know any of these .



Yes you are right, true my fault. :-[
Nevertheless, I would like some advice in this.
Corrected the error.
« Last Edit: February 27, 2008, 05:01:02 AM by Harry »

Offline JoshLilly

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Re: Getting at Handel's operas and oratorios
« Reply #53 on: February 27, 2008, 09:26:34 AM »
If you want to try Händel operas, and don't like big voices, how about the Gardiner Tamerlano? Nancy Argenta as Asteria should be enough to sell you on it.  ;D  All the singers are really good, and suit the small, period instrument ensemble (English Baroque Soloists) very well. Händel's operas are loaded with great melodies, and this is no exception.

Harry

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Re: Getting at Handel's operas and oratorios
« Reply #54 on: February 27, 2008, 10:11:13 AM »
If you want to try Händel operas, and don't like big voices, how about the Gardiner Tamerlano? Nancy Argenta as Asteria should be enough to sell you on it.  ;D  All the singers are really good, and suit the small, period instrument ensemble (English Baroque Soloists) very well. Händel's operas are loaded with great melodies, and this is no exception.

You are right, that one is on my maybe list, and Nancy Argenta, is a fine soprano.
Gardiner's approach is also one I admire.
So thank you for this pointer, as a sort of affirmation. :)

Offline Que

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uffeviking

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Re: Getting at Handel's operas and oratorios
« Reply #57 on: February 27, 2008, 11:56:05 AM »
Some clarification, please, if I may ask:

The advise you are seeking is only for CDs? You have not ventured into the treasures of seeing a large number of Handel's operas on DVD? Incredible riches awaiting you to see the operas performed by outstanding singers, actors!  ;)

Mozart

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Re: Getting at Handel's operas and oratorios
« Reply #58 on: February 27, 2008, 12:35:16 PM »
I think in Handel, the recording is more important than the music. What I mean is when 1 composer can make a fiasco out of it (Minkowski) another conductor can make the work fabulous (McGegan). Don't cheap out Harry!

Mozart

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