Author Topic: Getting at Handel's operas and oratorios  (Read 170715 times)

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Offline Wendell_E

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Re: Getting at Handel's operas and oratorios
« Reply #840 on: December 16, 2013, 04:05:29 AM »
Octave, I just looked through the liner notes for the Chandos,  but they give no hint of what was cut; comparison of the track listings of the Chandos CD with the track listing on Presto's listen tab shows exactly one "air" that is on the Eloquence and not on the Chandos recording (Consider, fond shepherd).

I've got the L'Oiseau-Lyre LPs, I'll post the track list this evening, if I remember.  Unfortunately, it doesn't give timings.

It does include two versions of "O ruddier than the cherry", with a sopranino recorder playing the obbligato in the main body of the recording, a treble recorder playing it in an appendix.

Edit:  Sometimes I forget this is the 20th Century (what's that you say?  21st!  Dayum!!) and just scan the darn thing:

« Last Edit: December 16, 2013, 04:31:17 AM by Wendell_E »
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Offline Moonfish

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Re: Getting at Handel's operas and oratorios
« Reply #841 on: March 31, 2014, 10:58:25 PM »
I'm interested in getting this HM 4cd collection, mainly for some more Lorraine Hunt Lieberson and for Andreas Scholl's OMBRA MAI FU arias disc (included in its entirety), which has been recommended to me several times.  (And I loved Scholl's participation in McCreesh's THEODORA.)


Handel: FAMOUS ARIAS
One disc each by: Lorraine Hunt w/McGegan; Andras Scholl w/Akademie für Alte Musik Berlin; Dorothea Röschmann w/AfAMB; Mark Padmore w/Manze.

Just curious if there are any opinions of any/all these recordings.  It seems that there might be some overlap (perhaps ~22 min?) between the Lorraine Hunt disc and her disc of arias as 'Durastanti', which was included in the other HM arias box Arias for Senesino, Montagnana, Cuzzoni, Durastanti (with a disc apiece by Lisa Saffer, Drew Minter, and David Thomas), which I got pretty cheap from BRO and really enjoyed very much.  This one:



I'm still pretty new to Handel, but if there are recordings of arias etc that put these in the shade, I must hear them!  (In fact I have heard very little in the way of aria showcase/recital type discs; I have Hunt-Lieberson's disc with Harry Bicket, the aforementioned Ewa Podles, and, a bit different, Carolyn Sampson's NEUN DEUTSCHE ARIEN disc, which on last hearing I had cooled on, I'm disappointed to say.  Oh, and James Bowman's HEROIC ARIAS disc on Hyperion/Helios...tremendous.  And an Emma Kirkby 3cd that, somehow, I have not yet listened to...insane.  That one really should go on the player tonight.)

Hey Octave! Did you ever end up getting these Handel recordings from Harmonia Mundi?  If so, I would love to hear what you have to say about them.  Besides, this thread needs some more posts....   :D
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Offline Octave

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Re: Getting at Handel's operas and oratorios
« Reply #842 on: April 07, 2014, 01:58:53 AM »
Hey Octave! Did you ever end up getting these Handel recordings from Harmonia Mundi?  If so, I would love to hear what you have to say about them.  Besides, this thread needs some more posts....   :D

Moonfish: ugh, sorry to respond so slowly.  I saw your question and meant to listen to the set again before responding, but that has not worked out.
I am not confident in terms of comparisons, but the Scholl recital is marvelous.  The others are really fine, LRL as good as one would expect, though if one has none of her Handel, I wonder if the SACD on Avie (w/Bicket) might be even more highly recommended?  (But I think you have that one?)  I wish I could be more specific!  I think you got this one anyway, so maybe you should share your own opinion of it?

I am hell-bent on getting LHL's THEODORA w/Wm. Christie, supposedly a fine one; I'll probably opt for the Blu-Ray for the sound quality (whether Peter Sellars' staging appeals to me or not....another matter), but you have probably seen the nice CD edition as well (same show AFAIK). 
The only reason I've dragged my feet is because it will be my fourth THEODORA and I'm starting to feel inundated. 
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Offline Jo498

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Re: Getting at Handel's operas and oratorios
« Reply #843 on: February 22, 2016, 02:16:12 PM »
We lean in the same direction. I prefer the operas in general to the oratorios, and I prefer the Italian influenced oratorios to the English ones though I concede the greatness of Theodora. Acis and Galatea, a favorite, can for many purposes be regarded as an opera (or at least a masque). The cantatas in general are superb. If we try to extrapolate from this; the conclusion is; the Italian Handel is generally superb. The English Handel is, with a few exceptions, merely very good.
This is quite interesting (and so is the fact that the thread is clearly dominated by operas, the early cantatas and the most operatic oratorios (like Hercules, Semele, Theodora).

Because it almost completely inverts the common opinion of 200 years between ca. 1770 (or maybe even earlier) and the late 20th century. (I wonder if Handel would have been as forgotten as Porpora or Bononcini had he died in 1730 before the major English works were written). That is for Haydn, Mozart, Beethoven, Mendelssohn, Brahms and the public until the late 20th century Handel was first and foremost THE composer of CHORAL music, sublime, devote, uplifting, powerful monumental choral pieces with some arias in between for contrast ;) (This is not completely true; while the operas were mostly forgotten, Acis & Galatea was almost as popular as Messiah and some of the instrumental music was also frequently reprinted.)

Now I concur that this was a somewhat skewed view of the composer. And his "Italian" music (both the early pieces actually written in Italy and the Italian operas for London) is very good. Still, it is not *that* different from A. Scarlatti, Caldara, Bononcini etc. and it would be IMO hard to argue that Handel was more than primus inter pares. If at all, hardly any listener knows the cantatas, serenatas, operas and oratorios of these guys as well as Handel's (I certainly do not although I have heard some pieces) to be even able to do a fair comparison. 

Whereas the English oratorio seems a genuinely Handelian invention and a successful fusion of Italian style with English (Masque, Anthem) and German (contrapuntal choral style) that did not only "save" him from bankruptcy but brought forth some of the first musical works that never left the active repertoire since their first productions and defined the general style of "monumental" choral music until Brahms' Triumphlied.

So while I agree that it was past time that the "Italian" works received their fair share of attention, I think tradition had it right that the best of the English oratorios are superb and unique and therefore historically dominant whereas some of the operas might be superb but most are only very good ;) 
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Offline bluemooze

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« Last Edit: May 29, 2016, 08:57:40 PM by Que »

Online Que

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Offline The new erato

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Re: Getting at Handel's operas and oratorios
« Reply #846 on: May 29, 2016, 09:48:37 PM »
100 p booklet is mentioned, but I too noticed there was no indication of any texts (wouldn't fit in 100 pages).

Anyway I have all the works and wouldn't be surprise if I had most of the performances in the box as well, event though some of my collection comes from the Erato stable of recordings. I plan to check......
« Last Edit: May 30, 2016, 02:12:24 AM by The new erato »

Offline Jo498

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Re: Getting at Handel's operas and oratorios
« Reply #847 on: May 29, 2016, 10:17:39 PM »
It's not clear to me which recordings are in the box; probably L'oiseau Lyre, Decca and some Archiv? In any case, I bet I own already 60-80% of them (maybe even all, except Jephtha where I have only the one on Berlin/Brilliant).
Struck by the sounds before the sun,
I knew the night had gone.
The morning breeze like a bugle blew
Against the drums of dawn.
(Bob Dylan)

Offline king ubu

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Re: Getting at Handel's operas and oratorios
« Reply #848 on: May 30, 2016, 02:10:54 AM »
Similar here ... have all but "Esther" and "Judas Maccabaeus", I think. Several by Gardiner, some Hogwood, and several again by Harnoncourt (Das alte Werk, thus not included).
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Offline Jo498

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Re: Getting at Handel's operas and oratorios
« Reply #849 on: May 30, 2016, 05:27:20 AM »
What I meant is that I am pretty sure I have most of the very recordings of that box. If they are mainly from Universal labels, that is Hogwood's L'oiseau lyre, Gardiners on Philips, Minkowski/Archiv.
The one I wonder about is Samson. Not sure if there was a recording on a Universal label...
Struck by the sounds before the sun,
I knew the night had gone.
The morning breeze like a bugle blew
Against the drums of dawn.
(Bob Dylan)

Offline king ubu

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Re: Getting at Handel's operas and oratorios
« Reply #850 on: May 30, 2016, 05:47:56 AM »
What I meant is that I am pretty sure I have most of the very recordings of that box. If they are mainly from Universal labels, that is Hogwood's L'oiseau lyre, Gardiners on Philips, Minkowski/Archiv.
The one I wonder about is Samson. Not sure if there was a recording on a Universal label...
Yeah, sorry, I should have been somewhat more specific: I have most of the oratorios in at least one recording, and several of them (Gardiner, Hogwood) might be the ones I own. Some others I have are from the Warner label family (Virgin, Das alte Werk; that's the ones by Harnoncourt and Parrott's "Israel in Egypt", seems originally on EMI?). But bottom line is: not really interested in the box all that much, I guess (unless the content will hold any surprises or excellent readings that cannot be found easily elsewhere).
Es wollt ein meydlein grasen gan:
Fick mich, lieber Peter!
Und do die roten röslein stan:
Fick mich, lieber Peter!
Fick mich mehr, du hast dein ehr.
Kannstu nit, ich wills dich lern.
Fick mich, lieber Peter!

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Online Que

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Re: Getting at Handel's operas and oratorios
« Reply #851 on: May 30, 2016, 08:31:02 AM »

The one I wonder about is Samson. Not sure if there was a recording on a Universal label...

Gardiner on Philips.....

I'm behind on Händel's oratorio's with a few exceptions, so this set would definitely serve a purpose...if I figure out where to get the libretti.... ::)

Q
« Last Edit: May 30, 2016, 08:36:19 AM by Que »

Offline Jo498

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Re: Getting at Handel's operas and oratorios
« Reply #852 on: May 30, 2016, 11:17:31 AM »
Gardiner on Philips.....

Doesn't exist.

Gardiner did several for Erato (not Samson, I think there was a pre-HIP Leppard recording on Erato)_ L'allegro, Israel, Semele, Funeral Ode
on Philips: Messiah, Israel, Alexander's Feast, Saul, Solomon, Jephta
on DG Archiv: Acis, Hercules

Assuming Universal recordings and preferring HIP, the options could be (I have all the ones with a star)

CD1-2 LA RESURREZIONE, HWV 47 Hogwood*, Minkowski
CD3-4 ACIS & GALATEA, HWV 49 (First version) Gardiner/archiv*
CD5-6 ESTHER, HWV 50 (First version) Hogwood*
CD7-8 ATHALIA, HWV 52 Hogwood*
CD9-10 ALEXANDER S FEAST, HWV 75 Gardiner*
CD11-13 SAUL, HWV 53 Gardiner* or McCreesh
CD14-15 ISRAEL IN EGYPT, HWV 54 Gardiner/Philips* (or Mackerras/Archiv or Preston?/Decca)
CD 16-17 MESSIAH, HWV 56 Gardiner/Philips, McCreesh*, Pinnock (both Archiv)
CD 18-20 SAMSON, HWV 57 ??? maybe Richter/Archiv

CD 21-23: SEMELE, HWV 58 Nelson/DG* (because Battle is mentioned, I am pretty sure it's that one
CD 24-26 HERCULES, HWV 60 Minkowski/Archiv* (Gardiner* is on 2 discs)
CD 27-29 BELSHAZZAR, HWV 61 Pinnock/Archiv*
CD 30-32 JUDAS MACCABAEUS, HWV 63 Mackerras/Archiv*
CD 33-35 SOLOMON, HWV 67 probably McCreesh/Archiv* (because Gardiner* is abridged and on 2 discs)
CD 36-38 THEODORA, HWV 68 McCreesh
CD 39-41 JEPHTHA, HWV 70 Gardiner
Struck by the sounds before the sun,
I knew the night had gone.
The morning breeze like a bugle blew
Against the drums of dawn.
(Bob Dylan)

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Re: Getting at Handel's operas and oratorios
« Reply #853 on: May 30, 2016, 12:00:40 PM »
The Amazon list of performers includes Harry Christophers, the Sixteen, and the Symphony of Harmony and Invention....all of whom are found on this recording



Offline Jo498

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Re: Getting at Handel's operas and oratorios
« Reply #854 on: May 30, 2016, 12:20:53 PM »
Yes, I was wondering what Christophers name was doing there as he has to my knowledge not recorded for any Universal label. The Coro recording of Samson was originally on Collins (I have it...), so I wonder who it could end up in that "Decca" box. I am not sure, but it might be the only complete HIP recording of Samson.

Harnoncourt's is abridged by about 30% or more. There is another live recording on Carus with McGegan but I think it is also slightly cut (I got rid of it not because of the cuts but the weak singers, some major parts are very poorly cast, unfortunately as it is more lively in the choral scenes than Christophers)

Samson might be a little too long and not dramatic enough but the title role is quite fascinating (again unfortunately the probably best singer here is Rolfe Johnson with Harnoncourt, severely cut and with some poor supporting cast) and it has a few very good choirs as well.
« Last Edit: May 30, 2016, 12:23:59 PM by Jo498 »
Struck by the sounds before the sun,
I knew the night had gone.
The morning breeze like a bugle blew
Against the drums of dawn.
(Bob Dylan)

Online Que

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Re: Getting at Handel's operas and oratorios
« Reply #855 on: May 30, 2016, 08:38:27 PM »
Doesn't exist.

My bad, I confused Samson with Solomon. .... 8)

Q

Offline The new erato

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Re: Getting at Handel's operas and oratorios
« Reply #856 on: June 01, 2016, 06:42:48 PM »
There's also this new release:

HANDEL Oratorios

“The finest Composition of Musick that ever was heard” – this was only one of the enthusiastic press reviews written after the world premiere of Handel’s Messiah. Handel’s oratorios were, overall, already very popular during his lifetime and were frequently performed. Since 2009, Carus has been issuing a CD series with Handel’s oratorios as well as select vocal works, operas and instrumental compositions. Now a box containing 13 CDs and comprising several large-scale oratorios has been compiled: it includes, in addition to Messiah, Alexander’s Feast, Israel in Egypt, Brockes-Passion, Solomon as well as the relatively unknown gem L'Allegro, il Penseroso ed il Moderato. The artists on this CD collection include the Kölner Kammerchor under Peter Neumann, Kammerchor Stuttgart under Frieder Bernius, Vocalensemble Rastatt under Holger Speck and Winchester Cathedral Choir under Nicolas McGegan.

Carus 13cds CARUS83040

Offline Andante

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Re: Getting at Handel's operas and oratorios
« Reply #857 on: July 18, 2016, 01:19:42 PM »
I must admit I came to Handel only about 20-25 years ago when a friend kept bombarding me with GFH, every time we hade a music evening he would include excerpts from the popular oratorio and eventually it clicked and now I am a committed Handelarian but in no way a knowledgeable expert.
Andante always true to his word has kicked the Marijuana soaked bot with its addled brain in to touch.

Offline mc ukrneal

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Re: Getting at Handel's operas and oratorios
« Reply #858 on: November 14, 2017, 11:44:13 AM »
Coming in July...

http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B01FENQ1C8/ref=pd_luc_rh_sbs_03_03_t_img_lh?ie=UTF8&psc=1


Is this worth getting? The Oratorios are a huge hole in my collection (I think I have just messiah).
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Offline Jo498

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Re: Getting at Handel's operas and oratorios
« Reply #859 on: November 14, 2017, 12:31:39 PM »
It's certainly worth getting. I have all but three of the included recordings (Messiah, Jephtha and Theodora). They are all major works, except Esther and Athalia, and most of the recordings are among the best. Although this does not mean so much because for many of them there are only about 3-5 recordings available, they are all very good. And most of the major pieces are included. (There are few more out there with even fewer recordings, mostly on Hyperion, such as Joshua, Joseph, Alexander Balus...)
A small flaw is that the version of Israel in Egypt is the 2-part-one (but if you like the piece, Parrott's recording of the 3-part version is on a cheap twofer).
Struck by the sounds before the sun,
I knew the night had gone.
The morning breeze like a bugle blew
Against the drums of dawn.
(Bob Dylan)