Author Topic: Getting at Handel's operas and oratorios  (Read 146982 times)

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DarkAngel

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Re: Getting at Handel's operas and oratorios
« Reply #180 on: June 03, 2009, 04:59:19 AM »
In case anyone's missed it, the Hyperion half-price Handel sale has returned, see below:

http://www.hyperion-records.co.uk/o.asp?o=1019

£13.49 for 2CD sets, £17.47 for 3 CD sets, post free.

I put in an order for Alexander Balus and Deborah yesterday just before lunchtime, and they arrived this morning. I am excited about the prospect of further improvements in their system, so that CDs arrive before I order them.

Great news........except that I just purchased the Joshua Hyperion set shown above  :'(
Since it was used I still made out OK compared to sale price

The current exchange rate is 1 pound = 1.65 US dollars and shipping is free so I may take Hyperion up on its sale offer
for some additional titles.........I expect delivery will take a bit longer to USA compared your lightning fast service

« Last Edit: June 03, 2009, 05:02:13 AM by DarkAngel »

Elgarian

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Re: Getting at Handel's operas and oratorios
« Reply #181 on: June 03, 2009, 05:18:30 AM »
I expect delivery will take a bit longer to USA compared your lightning fast service

At least an extra hour or two I should think.

Offline Coopmv

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Re: Getting at Handel's operas and oratorios
« Reply #182 on: June 03, 2009, 03:50:49 PM »
Great news........except that I just purchased the Joshua Hyperion set shown above  :'(
Since it was used I still made out OK compared to sale price

The current exchange rate is 1 pound = 1.65 US dollars and shipping is free so I may take Hyperion up on its sale offer
for some additional titles.........I expect delivery will take a bit longer to USA compared your lightning fast service



Hyperion actually offers free shipping to the US?

DarkAngel

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Re: Getting at Handel's operas and oratorios
« Reply #183 on: June 04, 2009, 07:46:57 AM »


OK order placed with Hyperion, the UK economy now has my stimulus check.........God save the Queen   ;)

Back to Handel's Italian cantatas for a moment, I like this collection quite a bit:



Extremely cheap used at Amazon, Magdalena Kozená provides great vitality and dramatic impact in these works, her ornamentation is distinctive and creative...............so much so that many stuffed shirts at Amazon reject her individual style, this is usually a very good sign that you actually an artist that dares to express themselves.

Elgarian

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Re: Getting at Handel's operas and oratorios
« Reply #184 on: June 04, 2009, 11:11:38 AM »


OK order placed with Hyperion, the UK economy now has my stimulus check.........God save the Queen   ;)

Back to Handel's Italian cantatas for a moment, I like this collection quite a bit:



Extremely cheap used at Amazon, Magdalena Kozená provides great vitality and dramatic impact in these works, her ornamentation is distinctive and creative...............so much so that many stuffed shirts at Amazon reject her individual style, this is usually a very good sign that you actually an artist that dares to express themselves.

I'd just like to say, on behalf of the United Kingdom, how grateful we are for your donation purchase.

While we're counting your money (we haven't seen any money for some time, having been giving so much of it away to finance our members of parliament's expenses) I'll say a word about them....

The L'Allegro is beyond praise - I've listened to it every day for the last few days. Fabulous - you'll love it. [Be prepared to look up my special technique for preserving the extra-thick booklet that you can just get out of the case ... but can't get back in again afterwards.] The Parnasso also is superb, but the vibrato of Diana Moore might give you some uneasy moments. Now I'm getting used to it, and it's OK - but my first reactions were distinctly dodgy. The rest of the performance is excellent though.

I was listening for the first time yesterday to that cantatas CD you have there. I love Kozená - her Handel arias collection has some unbelievably fine performances on it - and this cantatas disc is very idiosyncratic, isn't it? My first impression is that some of the recitativs are a bit hard to cope with in the screeching-rather-a-lot department, but I'm willing to give it time, because she's such a powerful and interesting performer that I'm in no doubt it'll be worth persevering.
« Last Edit: June 04, 2009, 11:14:49 AM by Elgarian »

DarkAngel

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Re: Getting at Handel's operas and oratorios
« Reply #185 on: June 04, 2009, 11:50:46 AM »
Ha! Some chance! I didn't mention that I couldn't resist buying the new Piau/Mingardo Handel duets CD as well.

Any impressions yet, this CD is in my buy basket awaiting the buy button to engage..........
(also I have Piau's Handel aria CD so this would make a perfect companion)

« Last Edit: June 04, 2009, 11:56:32 AM by DarkAngel »

Elgarian

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Re: Getting at Handel's operas and oratorios
« Reply #186 on: June 04, 2009, 12:00:36 PM »
Any impressions yet, this CD is in my buy basket awaiting the buy button to engage..........

It arrived today, and I've just slipped it into the player now....

Let me ask first, if you have this wonderful CD which is already a favourite of mine?



The reason I ask is that I'm just going to compare a couple of duets these two discs have in common, and will report back.


Elgarian

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Re: Getting at Handel's operas and oratorios
« Reply #187 on: June 04, 2009, 12:20:51 PM »
OK ... these two discs are not directly comparable - the Ciofi/Didonato is a collection of duets; the Mingardo/Piau is a mix of duets and solo arias. But, that said, they have in common the duets 'Caro amico amplesso' from Poro and 'Scherzano sul tuo volto' from Rinaldo, so it's very interesting just switching between these to see how they compare.

I must say at the outset that the Didonato/Ciofi disc is simply fabulous - the voices complement each other beautifully, and the performances pulse with vitality. It's truly thrilling. Well, in my initial comparisons, I don't think the Piau/Mingardo versions quite match up, but they are so different that I hesitate to be too insistent on it. Piau has a very pure soprano voice, very technically perfect. Mingardo's contralto is quite deep, almost masculine - rather hard; a bit severe. So there are two extremes here. By contrast, Didonato's mezzo is softer, more feminine than Mingardo; and Ciofi's soprano is warmer than Piau. So the overall effect when they sing together is very, very different; and truly it's not easy to say which is 'best'.

I don't know if this is too subjective to be useful, but I feel I really must add that whereas Didonato/Ciofi give me shivers and thrills up my spine, Piau/Mingardo, frankly, do not. They're giving virtuoso performances alright, but they seem detached; cool. If I had to walk away with only one of these CDs, I wouldn't hesitate - I'd take the Didonato/Ciofi and leave the Piau/Mingardo behind. But whether it would strike others the same way is hard to know. If you don't have the Didonato/Ciofi disc already, then I'd say get that first, cherish it, revel in it, thrill to it; and then think about the Mingardo/Piau disc later.

« Last Edit: June 04, 2009, 10:28:27 PM by Elgarian »

Offline Coopmv

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Re: Getting at Handel's operas and oratorios
« Reply #188 on: June 04, 2009, 04:49:26 PM »
I will most likely give this CD a try.  While I have a number of recordings by Kozena and generally enjoy her singing, I have no experience with Minkowski.  Emma Kirkby has set the gold standard for Handel's Italian Cantatas ...


Offline The new erato

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Re: Getting at Handel's operas and oratorios
« Reply #189 on: June 04, 2009, 08:59:18 PM »
I will most likely give this CD a try.  While I have a number of recordings by Kozena and generally enjoy her singing, I have no experience with Minkowski.  Emma Kirkby has set the gold standard for Handel's Italian Cantatas ...


Minkowski is probably, overall, my favorite baroque conductor and I have, more or less, everything he has issued.

Elgarian

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Re: Getting at Handel's operas and oratorios
« Reply #190 on: June 04, 2009, 10:25:05 PM »
I will most likely give this CD a try.  While I have a number of recordings by Kozena and generally enjoy her singing, I have no experience with Minkowski.  Emma Kirkby has set the gold standard for Handel's Italian Cantatas ...

I'm still feeling uncomfortable with it. She seems to be trying to invest each recitativ with the maximum amount of dramatic (maybe melodramatic) content, and the result isn't easy listening. My feeling is that she probably developed a lot in the six years that separate this cantatas CD (2001) and her superb Handel arias collection (2007).

Offline Coopmv

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Re: Getting at Handel's operas and oratorios
« Reply #191 on: June 05, 2009, 04:25:21 PM »
Minkowski is probably, overall, my favorite baroque conductor and I have, more or less, everything he has issued.

I, on the other hand, have just about every baroque recording ever made by Hogwood ... 

Offline The new erato

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Re: Getting at Handel's operas and oratorios
« Reply #192 on: June 05, 2009, 11:17:29 PM »
  All CD's from MDT are meticulously wrapped in bubble-wraps before they are placed in a cardbox for shipping to the US. 

I have had similar good expereinec with the packaging from europadisc, prestoclassical, crotchet, amazon.uk and amazon.de, cduniverse et al. The by far BEST wrapping I ever have experienced, though, was from russiancdshop.com. Comforting to know as I soon will embark on my project of buying the complete Miaskovsky quartets from them.

On-topic: Playing Hyperions Juda Maccabeus, delivered mint from mdt yesterday (but arrival took two weeks from order, half of it I suspect, due to Norwegian customs). But what the heck, the music is nearly 300 years old, so what's another week.

DarkAngel

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Re: Getting at Handel's operas and oratorios
« Reply #193 on: June 06, 2009, 07:09:20 AM »
OK ... these two discs are not directly comparable - the Ciofi/Didonato is a collection of duets; the Mingardo/Piau is a mix of duets and solo arias. But, that said, they have in common the duets 'Caro amico amplesso' from Poro and 'Scherzano sul tuo volto' from Rinaldo, so it's very interesting just switching between these to see how they compare.

I must say at the outset that the Didonato/Ciofi disc is simply fabulous - the voices complement each other beautifully, and the performances pulse with vitality. It's truly thrilling. Well, in my initial comparisons, I don't think the Piau/Mingardo versions quite match up, but they are so different that I hesitate to be too insistent on it. Piau has a very pure soprano voice, very technically perfect. Mingardo's contralto is quite deep, almost masculine - rather hard; a bit severe. So there are two extremes here. By contrast, Didonato's mezzo is softer, more feminine than Mingardo; and Ciofi's soprano is warmer than Piau. So the overall effect when they sing together is very, very different; and truly it's not easy to say which is 'best'.

I don't know if this is too subjective to be useful, but I feel I really must add that whereas Didonato/Ciofi give me shivers and thrills up my spine, Piau/Mingardo, frankly, do not. They're giving virtuoso performances alright, but they seem detached; cool. If I had to walk away with only one of these CDs, I wouldn't hesitate - I'd take the Didonato/Ciofi and leave the Piau/Mingardo behind. But whether it would strike others the same way is hard to know. If you don't have the Didonato/Ciofi disc already, then I'd say get that first, cherish it, revel in it, thrill to it; and then think about the Mingardo/Piau disc later.

I have both of those CDs in my buy later basket, but since both are still very expensive I have not acted yet.
The Piau disc is especially pricely right now at Amazon, so I will probably go for the DiDonati/Ciofi disc when the price is right
(although both may eventually be mine)

BTW why do our baroque divas look like stiff robots on that CD cover photo   ???

« Last Edit: June 06, 2009, 07:15:35 AM by DarkAngel »

Offline Coopmv

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Re: Getting at Handel's operas and oratorios
« Reply #194 on: June 06, 2009, 07:17:41 AM »
I have had similar good expereinec with the packaging from europadisc, prestoclassical, crotchet, amazon.uk and amazon.de, cduniverse et al. The by far BEST wrapping I ever have experienced, though, was from russiancdshop.com. Comforting to know as I soon will embark on my project of buying the complete Miaskovsky quartets from them.

On-topic: Playing Hyperions Juda Maccabeus, delivered mint from mdt yesterday (but arrival took two weeks from order, half of it I suspect, due to Norwegian customs). But what the heck, the music is nearly 300 years old, so what's another week.

Is russiancdshop.com a Russia-based e-tailer?

Offline Coopmv

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Re: Getting at Handel's operas and oratorios
« Reply #195 on: June 06, 2009, 07:21:28 AM »
I have had similar good expereinec with the packaging from europadisc, prestoclassical, crotchet, amazon.uk and amazon.de, cduniverse et al. The by far BEST wrapping I ever have experienced, though, was from russiancdshop.com. Comforting to know as I soon will embark on my project of buying the complete Miaskovsky quartets from them.

On-topic: Playing Hyperions Juda Maccabeus, delivered mint from mdt yesterday (but arrival took two weeks from order, half of it I suspect, due to Norwegian customs). But what the heck, the music is nearly 300 years old, so what's another week.

BTW, Amazon's packaging cannot match MDT's packaging and I have shopped at both Amazon US and Amazon UK ...

Offline Coopmv

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Re: Getting at Handel's operas and oratorios
« Reply #196 on: June 06, 2009, 07:22:55 AM »



The robotic divas.  They make good companies with the crash test dummies   ;D
« Last Edit: June 06, 2009, 07:24:31 AM by Coopmv »

DarkAngel

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Re: Getting at Handel's operas and oratorios
« Reply #197 on: June 06, 2009, 07:28:07 AM »
The robotic divas.  They make good companies with the crash test dummies   ;D

They are the newest most advanced model...............Baroque Soprano DivaDroids

Offline The new erato

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Re: Getting at Handel's operas and oratorios
« Reply #198 on: June 06, 2009, 08:00:37 AM »
Is russiancdshop.com a Russia-based e-tailer?
Yes, St Petersburg, but they seem to distribute from the Czech Republic.

Offline Coopmv

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Re: Getting at Handel's operas and oratorios
« Reply #199 on: June 06, 2009, 08:04:50 AM »
Yes, St Petersburg, but they seem to distribute from the Czech Republic.

Does it have good CD selections by Tatiana Nikolayeva?  Her CD's are often difficult to find at e-tailers in the west ...