Author Topic: Getting at Handel's operas and oratorios  (Read 164662 times)

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Offline mc ukrneal

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Re: Getting at Handel's operas and oratorios
« Reply #860 on: November 14, 2017, 12:44:15 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).

Thanks. I actually have Israel in Egypt...with Parrott no less! Didn't remember that one when I was writing. So except for that and Messiah, all new pieces for me. The singing sounded quite good on the clips.
Be kind to your fellow posters!!

Offline Dancing Divertimentian

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    probably something somebody somewhere is snickering at...wait, Schoenberg! Definitely Schoenberg! (And, let's see, does he have a disciple or two...)...
Re: Getting at Handel's operas and oratorios
« Reply #861 on: November 14, 2017, 04:10:01 PM »
Is this worth getting? The Oratorios are a huge hole in my collection (I think I have just messiah).

Absolutely worth getting. I have most of the Oratorios, though not necessarily from the Universal team (Decca, Philips, DG), but musically they are the equal of the operas in every respect. And I rather like Esther. ;)
Veit Bach-a baker who found his greatest pleasure in a little cittern which he took with him even into the mill and played while the grinding was going on. In this way he had a chance to have the rhythm drilled into him. And this was the beginning of a musical inclination in his descendants. JS Bach

Offline Jo498

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Re: Getting at Handel's operas and oratorios
« Reply #862 on: November 15, 2017, 12:10:46 AM »
There is nothing wrong with Esther but it is among the earliest of the english oratorios and certainly far less famous than "Saul" and most of the others included in that box.
The major omissions from the box are the Ode for St. Cecilia's Day (not really an oratorio which might be the reason) and "L'allegro, il penseroso ed il moderato" (where the reason is probably that Universal did not have a recording in their vaults although Christophers' Samson is also not from them).
Many listeners prefer the oratorios because they are generally more varied than the operas and the choral passages are what Handel has been most famous for since the late 18th century.
Some of the included oratorios have been successfully staged. Acis and Galathea (one of the most popular as the overhauling by both Mozart and Mendelssohn shows) is more like a chamber opera anyway. Semele and Hercules are also operas in all but in name and language. But some of the greatest ones are rather un-operatic. Solomon is pretty static except for the Harlot scene but has some of the greatest choral pieces ever.
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 Handelian

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Re: Getting at Handel's operas and oratorios
« Reply #863 on: November 07, 2020, 03:48:38 AM »
This is a fabulous set. Four discs by great performers:


Offline Biffo

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Re: Getting at Handel's operas and oratorios
« Reply #864 on: November 07, 2020, 04:00:52 AM »
This is a fabulous set. Four discs by great performers:



This is very tempting but I have a different HM box set of Handel arias and it has a disc devoted to arias written for Durastanti sung by Lorraine Hunt. Is this the same disc as in your set.

Offline Jo498

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Re: Getting at Handel's operas and oratorios
« Reply #865 on: November 07, 2020, 08:23:30 AM »
I don't think so. The Hunt-disc in the set above is mixed from operas and oratorios (e.g. "He was despised" that was sung originall by that English actress, not by an Italian diva). These sets were cheap arount the anniversary 11 years ago but the discs are of course also in principle findable separately and all worth getting. I also have the set shown and it is in fact very good. The 9 German Arias are not the most exciting music but beautiful contemplative little pieces. And the Scholl disc was at least when it originally appeared around 2000? one of the most spectacular countenor Handel disc with great accompaniment (brilliant horn solo in Va tacito from Giulio Cesare), including a very good "Alexander's Feast" concerto as a filler.
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 Biffo

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Re: Getting at Handel's operas and oratorios
« Reply #866 on: November 07, 2020, 08:49:41 AM »
I don't think so. The Hunt-disc in the set above is mixed from operas and oratorios (e.g. "He was despised" that was sung originall by that English actress, not by an Italian diva). These sets were cheap arount the anniversary 11 years ago but the discs are of course also in principle findable separately and all worth getting. I also have the set shown and it is in fact very good. The 9 German Arias are not the most exciting music but beautiful contemplative little pieces. And the Scholl disc was at least when it originally appeared around 2000? one of the most spectacular countenor Handel disc with great accompaniment (brilliant horn solo in Va tacito from Giulio Cesare), including a very good "Alexander's Feast" concerto as a filler.

Thanks for the info. I have found the box set on Amazon.co.uk and it has the reverse cover giving outline details - the Hunt disc is different from the one I have; it has the same conductor and orchestra and there may be some overlap in the Italian arias. Worth considering.

Offline Handelian

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Re: Getting at Handel's operas and oratorios
« Reply #867 on: November 07, 2020, 11:23:56 AM »
Thanks for the info. I have found the box set on Amazon.co.uk and it has the reverse cover giving outline details - the Hunt disc is different from the one I have; it has the same conductor and orchestra and there may be some overlap in the Italian arias. Worth considering.

The four disc set is really wonderful. I've had it some years and it also has Padmore's 'As steals the morn' recital which was highly praised. Also a Scholl recital too. So good stuff!

Offline Handelian

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Re: Getting at Handel's operas and oratorios
« Reply #868 on: November 07, 2020, 12:22:13 PM »


One of Handel's finest operas with a superb cast. Dessay has to be heard to be believed.

Offline Handelian

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Re: Getting at Handel's operas and oratorios
« Reply #869 on: November 09, 2020, 11:02:22 PM »


I usually get another Messiah for Christmas and this is it this year. This is a fabulous performance. Soloists and choir.

Offline Handelian

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Re: Getting at Handel's operas and oratorios
« Reply #870 on: November 09, 2020, 11:12:58 PM »


Been listening to the DVD of the 2006 production at Glyndebourne of Handel’s Julius Caesar by David McVicar. It says it in Egypt updated the Victorian times. To me it is a fairly light-hearted approach which works very well and he’s helped by stupendous performances by all the cast including Sarah Connolly as Caesar and Danielle Denneise as Cleopatra. I believe it was transferred to the Met with Dessay as Cleopatra. Well worth watching.

Offline Handelian

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Re: Getting at Handel's operas and oratorios
« Reply #871 on: November 13, 2020, 03:48:11 AM »


Loraine Hunt was taken from us far too early. These Handel arias are ravishing.

Offline Handelian

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Re: Getting at Handel's operas and oratorios
« Reply #872 on: November 14, 2020, 06:07:28 AM »
Dave,

In the Handel opera/oratorio arena the choices are burgeoning but probably the cheapest way to go and still get quality goods is Gardiner on Philips as quite a few of his recordings are 'old' enough to be released as reissues. They're not quite two-for-one prices but still better than full price.

I'd probably elect Gardiner's Agrippina as a safe next purchase - it's full of wonderful yet never hammy melodies and, price aside, is another of my favorite Handel operas. Although it's quite lengthy at three discs, but worth it.




Which is better? This or McGegan’s in peopke’s opinion?

Offline Scion7

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Re: Getting at Handel's operas and oratorios
« Reply #873 on: November 14, 2020, 01:25:41 PM »
Are you related to MadAboutMahler?   :P
Your enthusiasm borders on ..... insanity!

Do you know Camille Saint-Saens did much to bring awareness of Handel's music to the French? 
The Germans, who make doctrines out of everything, deal with music learnedly; the Italians, being voluptuous, seek in it lively, though fleeting, sensations; the French, more vain than perceptive, manage to speak of it wittily; and the English pay for it . . . - Stendhal

Offline Handelian

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Re: Getting at Handel's operas and oratorios
« Reply #874 on: November 14, 2020, 01:47:21 PM »
Are you related to MadAboutMahler?   :P
Your enthusiasm borders on ..... insanity!

Do you know Camille Saint-Saens did much to bring awareness of Handel's music to the French?

Saint-Saens also played all the Beethoven piano sonatas at nine I believe. An astounding prodigy.

Offline Pohjolas Daughter

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Re: Getting at Handel's operas and oratorios
« Reply #875 on: November 15, 2020, 03:52:22 AM »
The four disc set is really wonderful. I've had it some years and it also has Padmore's 'As steals the morn' recital which was highly praised. Also a Scholl recital too. So good stuff!
I don't own the 4-disc set, but I do possess the Hunt and Padmore discs which I enjoy.  I know that I have at least one Scholl disc but am not familiar with Roschmann.  Any youtube recommendations to sample her singing?



One of Handel's finest operas with a superb cast. Dessay has to be heard to be believed.
That's a lovely opera and a fine recording! +1  :)

PD

p.s.  Currently listening to Sunday Morning Baroque program.  Some gorgeous playing by Sharon Isbin of music by Bach (for guitar--if you don't know her name).

Offline Pohjolas Daughter

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Re: Getting at Handel's operas and oratorios
« Reply #876 on: November 15, 2020, 03:53:57 AM »


Loraine Hunt was taken from us far too early. These Handel arias are ravishing.
Yes, I agree on both accounts.  :(

PD

Offline Handelian

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Re: Getting at Handel's operas and oratorios
« Reply #877 on: November 16, 2020, 11:52:42 AM »


Handel Rinaldo Glyndebourne 2011

Schoolboy humour and jolly hockey sticks wears thin by the end with Handel somewhat relegated to second place.

My full review
https://handelian.blogspot.com/2020/11/thoughts-on-rinaldo-glyndebourne-2011.html