Author Topic: Getting at Handel's operas and oratorios  (Read 167379 times)

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DarkAngel

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Re: Getting at Handel's operas and oratorios
« Reply #140 on: May 30, 2009, 04:23:44 AM »


I'm still agonising over this box. 6 operas - marvellous. But all the info is on a disc, not in a booklet - terrible. I hate that. So, I say - alright, I'll buy them separately and spread out the cost over a longer period. Well, that's fine for items like Radamisto or Arminio, but a couple of them - like Deidamia - are elusive at best and very expensive if found. Aaargh. What to do? What to do?

Why take the easy way out..................
and deny yourself the maddening agony of debating over new competing versions which will be filling the market  ;)

I suspect many of those versions in the boxset will soon be eclipsed by other versions, even Alan Curtis new Archiv label releases seem to have upped the bar already. Also those large boxes mess up my CD display rack system

DarkAngel

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Re: Getting at Handel's operas and oratorios
« Reply #141 on: May 30, 2009, 04:33:21 AM »
If one did want to purchase the Christie/Erato Alcina...........looks like now available as budget priced 2 opera, 6 CD boxset series:



This one was released 2/09
There are several of these out now with many of Handels operas & oratorios at reduced price, hopefully they didn't cheap out on the booklet content.........
« Last Edit: May 30, 2009, 04:35:41 AM by DarkAngel »

Offline Coopmv

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Re: Getting at Handel's operas and oratorios
« Reply #142 on: May 30, 2009, 04:36:33 AM »


I'm still agonising over this box. 6 operas - marvellous. But all the info is on a disc, not in a booklet - terrible. I hate that.
 

I hear you and feel the same way.  Putting all the info on a CD/ROM is just a fraction of the cost of printing the booklet.  The booklet is just more fun.

Offline Coopmv

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Re: Getting at Handel's operas and oratorios
« Reply #143 on: May 30, 2009, 04:51:03 AM »
If one did want to purchase the Christie/Erato Alcina...........looks like now available as budget priced 2 opera, 6 CD boxset series:



This one was released 2/09
There are several of these out now with many of Handels operas & oratorios at reduced price, hopefully they didn't cheap out on the booklet content.........
 

I just bought this set 2 months ago.  While both the recording and the performance are nice, the booklet is not that impressive.

Elgarian

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Re: Getting at Handel's operas and oratorios
« Reply #144 on: May 30, 2009, 05:01:58 AM »
If one did want to purchase the Christie/Erato Alcina...........looks like now available as budget priced 2 opera, 6 CD boxset series:



This one was released 2/09
There are several of these out now with many of Handels operas & oratorios at reduced price, hopefully they didn't cheap out on the booklet content.........

I own that particular box you're showing there. And I'm sorry to say ... they did cheap out on the booklet. There is a booklet, and it has cued synopses but no librettos (if you're going to make a booklet with cued synopses anyway, surely it can't cost so much more to include the librettos?). You can, however, download the librettos on pdf, but the quality/legibility of the text in the pdf is inexplicably poor. I printed it all out, guillotined off the languages I didn't need, and made myself two separate booklets for Alcina and Orlando, but it took a long time and the result still looks amateurish even after all my efforts, and is an inconvenient size. It's a great way of getting the music cheaply, but ... well, truth is, I won't be buying any of the other offerings in that series ...

Elgarian

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Re: Getting at Handel's operas and oratorios
« Reply #145 on: May 30, 2009, 05:06:02 AM »
 I hear you and feel the same way.  Putting all the info on a CD/ROM is just a fraction of the cost of printing the booklet.  The booklet is just more fun.

I suppose you must be right about the cost - but does it actually cost so much more to make a booklet that's a bit thicker - given that you're going to make a booklet at all (and would save the cost of making an extra CD)?

Offline Coopmv

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Re: Getting at Handel's operas and oratorios
« Reply #146 on: May 30, 2009, 05:11:14 AM »
I suppose you must be right about the cost - but does it actually cost so much more to make a booklet that's a bit thicker - given that you're going to make a booklet at all (and save the cost of making an extra CD)?
 

Commercial printing in the west is expensive.  I know someone who just retired from this business last year and he told me the latest trend is to have the typeset (printing lingo) done stateside and FedEx the work to China to be printed there.  &%$#  >:(

Elgarian

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Re: Getting at Handel's operas and oratorios
« Reply #147 on: May 30, 2009, 05:18:33 AM »
Why not?  Buy now, ask later ...

I'm still dithering. For the price of the big box, I can get Radamisto and Arminio (let's say) in their original editions with proper booklets, and they'd keep me quite happy for a while. The downside is the unavailability of Deidamia outside the big box. The cheapest Deidamia on Amazon is £50 secondhand. Compared with that, it's almost worth buying the big box just for the sake of Deidamia ....

Oh the anguish of us music lovers. They don't know how we suffer, do they?
« Last Edit: May 30, 2009, 05:20:46 AM by Elgarian »

Offline Coopmv

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Re: Getting at Handel's operas and oratorios
« Reply #148 on: May 30, 2009, 05:24:47 AM »
I'm still dithering. For the price of the big box, I can get Radamisto and Arminio (let's say) in their original editions with proper booklets, and they'd keep me quite happy for a while. The downside is the unavailability of Deidamia outside the big box. The cheapest Deidamia on Amazon is £50 secondhand. Compared with that, it's almost worth buying the big box just for the sake of Deidamia ....

Oh the anguish of we music lovers. They don't know how we suffer, do they?

I have done just that.  I bought the Karajan Symphony Edition just to get the Bruckner and Haydn Symphonies I did not have but I had everything else.  I also bought the following set by Leppard just for Samson since I already have Messiah by him on Erato.  I only had Samson on LP (both Erato and RCA) and the quality is not the greatest - can't stand those pops and clicks.  The only things I am missing are the individual CD artworks and the liner notes that go with the specific recordings.  But to get these "luxury" items, I will have to pay a lot more ...   


Elgarian

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Re: Getting at Handel's operas and oratorios
« Reply #149 on: May 30, 2009, 05:30:36 AM »
I have done just that.  I bought the Karajan Symphony Edition just to get the Bruckner and Haydn Symphonies I did not have but I had everything else.  I also bought the following set by Leppard just for Samson since I already have Messiah by him on Erato.  I only had Samson on LP (both Erato and RCA) and the quality is not the greatest - can't stand those pops and clicks.  The only things I am missing are the individual CD artworks and the liner notes that go with the specific recordings.  But to get these "luxury" items, I will have to pay a lot more ...    

There's a kind of comfort in knowing that I'm not alone in my music-buying neuroses! I'm wondering whether just to get the box - so at least then I have all the music and the words (albeit in rubbishy form) - but look out for cheap copies of the original issues secondhand. Alternatively, I could abandon all CD-buying and try something less painful, like lying on beds of nails, or firewalking.

Offline Coopmv

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Re: Getting at Handel's operas and oratorios
« Reply #150 on: May 30, 2009, 05:46:10 AM »
There's a kind of comfort in knowing that I'm not alone in my music-buying neuroses! I'm wondering whether just to get the box - so at least then I have all the music and the words (albeit in rubbishy form) - but look out for cheap copies of the original issues secondhand. Alternatively, I could abandon all CD-buying and try something less painful, like lying on beds of nails, or firewalking.

No music-buying neuroses on my part.  The decision was a pure economic decision.  It comes down to whether I want to pay at least 2 or 3 times as much to get exactly what I want or get a much bigger, perhaps watered down collection (i.e. without the individual liner notes and CD artworks) and a bunch of surplus discs. 

Elgarian

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Re: Getting at Handel's operas and oratorios
« Reply #151 on: May 30, 2009, 06:24:30 AM »
Well, let's get right away from this tangled hell of decision-making (neurotic, economic, or otherwise), and take a look at this 2CD set:



I bought it a while back in a half-price Handel sale at Hyperion, and it's been one of my most successful purchases. Anyone else out there have this? I've talked about it in another thread, concerning the unhappy thickness of its booklet, and how to solve it (I know, I know - I'm starting to sound like a booklet-neurotic), but I don't think I've written anything about the fabulousness of the music. I'm thinking of arias like the one beginning 'There held in holy passion still', which conveys a deep feeling of silent stillness at the beginning which I think is truly remarkable, and then moves into passages of such lyrical beauty that they bring me close to tears: the alternating high and low notes of the words 'and hears the muses in a ring' when sung for the second time are wonderful - Lorna Anderson's voice makes me dissolve at this point. Or try 'Sweet bird, that shun'st the noise of Folly', most particularly the middle section beginning 'Or missing thee, I walk unseen' with its steady, slow, verging on the numinous, build-up 'to behold the wand'ring moon'.

There's a lovely Arcadian/pastoral feeling throughout the whole - exquisitely sung, beautifully played. There are moments when the music seems to spring almost naturally from the surrounding air as if it were part of the natural order of things, rather than an artificial contruction. I'm aware of the nonsense that sounds like - but see what you think when you're fully immersed in it, with its delicious birdsong music equivalents played on the flute, and its strings suggesting warm breezes. This is an absolute Handel must-have.

Offline Coopmv

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Re: Getting at Handel's operas and oratorios
« Reply #152 on: May 30, 2009, 06:42:28 AM »
Well, let's get right away from this tangled hell of decision-making (neurotic, economic, or otherwise), and take a look at this 2CD set:



I bought it a while back in a half-price Handel sale at Hyperion, and it's been one of my most successful purchases. Anyone else out there have this? I've talked about it in another thread, concerning the unhappy thickness of its booklet, and how to solve it (I know, I know - I'm starting to sound like a booklet-neurotic), but I don't think I've written anything about the fabulousness of the music. I'm thinking of arias like the one beginning 'There held in holy passion still', which conveys a deep feeling of silent stillness at the beginning which I think is truly remarkable, and then moves into passages of such lyrical beauty that they bring me close to tears: the alternating high and low notes of the words 'and hears the muses in a ring' when sung for the second time are wonderful - Lorna Anderson's voice makes me dissolve at this point. Or try 'Sweet bird, that shun'st the noise of Folly', most particularly the middle section beginning 'Or missing thee, I walk unseen' with its steady, slow, verging on the numinous, build-up 'to behold the wand'ring moon'.

There's a lovely Arcadian/pastoral feeling throughout the whole - exquisitely sung, beautifully played. There are moments when the music seems to spring almost naturally from the surrounding air as if it were part of the natural order of things, rather than an artificial contruction. I'm aware of the nonsense that sounds like - but see what you think when you're fully immersed in it, with its delicious birdsong music equivalents played on the flute, and its strings suggesting warm breezes. This is an absolute Handel must-have.

 

This set is now on its way to me from MDT.  I ordered EVERY Handel's oratorio by the King's Consort on Hyperion this month.  My goal is to have at least one version (I have 20 versions of Messiah) of every Handel's oratorio in my collection.  Handel's operas are not part of this goal.  I do have a good number of them on LP.

Elgarian

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Re: Getting at Handel's operas and oratorios
« Reply #153 on: May 30, 2009, 06:56:06 AM »
This set is now on its way to me from MDT.

I bet you a million pounds that you'll love it.

Offline Coopmv

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Re: Getting at Handel's operas and oratorios
« Reply #154 on: May 30, 2009, 06:57:54 AM »




I also have this work by John Eliot Gardiner.

see link

Offline Coopmv

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Re: Getting at Handel's operas and oratorios
« Reply #155 on: May 30, 2009, 07:00:42 AM »
I bet you a million pounds that you'll love it.

I don't doubt it.  I am just saddened by how a talented man like Robert King could have gotten himself in such legal and moral morass.

Offline Coopmv

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Re: Getting at Handel's operas and oratorios
« Reply #156 on: May 30, 2009, 07:21:40 AM »
3 Handel's operas for about $32 at MDT.  It is a good deal but I am not too familiar with most of the soloists except Bernarda Fink and Rene Jacobs ...  see link


DarkAngel

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Re: Getting at Handel's operas and oratorios
« Reply #157 on: May 31, 2009, 03:57:42 AM »
A question for Handel fans:
Not including Messiah, what are your 2-3 other favorite Handel Oratorios along with your preferred recording for each one?

Offline Coopmv

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Re: Getting at Handel's operas and oratorios
« Reply #158 on: May 31, 2009, 05:36:11 AM »
A question for Handel fans:
Not including Messiah, what are your 2-3 other favorite Handel Oratorios along with your preferred recording for each one?


Among the better-known oratorios, Samson, Solomon, Judas Maccabeus and Israel in Egypt all rank quite high in my personal preference (in no particular ranking order).  I am now going through a number of lesser-known oratorios ...

I personally place Handel's operas in a different class, though some people tend to mix up the operas with the oratorios, which are quite different IMO.

DarkAngel

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Re: Getting at Handel's operas and oratorios
« Reply #159 on: May 31, 2009, 06:55:17 AM »
Among the better-known oratorios, Samson, Solomon, Judas Maccabeus and Israel in Egypt all rank quite high in my personal preference (in no particular ranking order).  I am now going through a number of lesser-known oratorios ...

I personally place Handel's operas in a different class, though some people tend to mix up the operas with the oratorios, which are quite different IMO.

I suppose the main attraction of Handel's oratorio format vs Italian opera is English language and substantial choral work

Available HIP oratorio performances tend to be dominated by Gardiner/Phillips and a few McCreesh, Hogwood, Jacobs, King, and older McGegan etc. Then we have some older modern orchestra versions by various conductors,,,,,,,

Although there is huge body of work not much available choice of CD set for each one   ???