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Marcus Bosch|Alexander's Feast

Alexander's Feast

Georg Friedrich Händel

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Language available : english

Handel's oratorio Alexander's Feast, composed in 1736, is English to the core, with its talky text by John Dryden and straightforward, clearly structured arias and choruses. The victory of Alexander the Great in the Persian city of Persepolis (an impressive ruin today) in 330 BCE was said to have been followed by a feast that gave Dryden the excuse for a sort of ode to the power of music (rendered in mixed language as "the power of musik" in the booklet of this German release), with arias illustrating the various affects. There isn't really any plot or action; the piece is more an extended secular cantata than an oratorio, especially inasmuch as the soloists (the soprano and the tenor are the prominent ones) do not represent characters in the story. Conductor Marcus Bosch and the Aachen Symphony Orchestra, with the joined Aachen Chamber Choir and Overbacher Chamber Choir, are not on the music's home ground, and they're not (except for soprano Dorothee Mields) especially noted as Baroque specialists. But they deliver smooth, agreeable, slightly plummy readings of modest size that fit the text well and avoid the stomping around of many modern-instrument readings. The soloists are a varied group; Mields and alto Judith Berning are German, while Woong-jo Choi is Korean-Swiss and tenor Paul Agnew is from Scotland. The non-Anglophones do quite well with the English -- you know they're not from England, but you can't quite pin down the origin -- and Mields' bright sound is even a bit more in the spirit of the work than Agnew, who is a bit stolid in doggerel like "Happy, happy, happy pair/ None but the brave deserve the fair." The "live" sound (apparently meaning that the music was recorded in single takes, for the recording spanned five days) is superior, and this is the kind of recording both choral singers and their soloists will enjoy setting up as a benchmark for their own activities. Texts are in English and German.
© TiVo

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Alexander's Feast

Marcus Bosch

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1
Alexander's Feast or the Power of Music, HWV 75, Act I, Scene 1: Overture
Sinfonieorchester Des Hessischen Rundfunks
00:03:59

Sinfonieorchester Aachen - Marcus Bosch, direction

2007 MBM Mielke Bergfeld Musikproduktion KG 2007 MBM Mielke Bergfeld Musikproduktion KG

2
Alexander's Feast or the Power of Music, HWV 75, Act I, Scene 1: Overture. Text
Marcus Bosch
00:00:39

Sinfonieorchester Aachen - Marcus Bosch, direction

2007 MBM Mielke Bergfeld Musikproduktion KG 2007 MBM Mielke Bergfeld Musikproduktion KG

3
Alexander's Feast or the Power of Music, HWV 75, Act I, Scene 1: Overture. Andante
Sinfonieorchester Des Hessischen Rundfunks
00:02:35

Sinfonieorchester Aachen - Marcus Bosch, direction

2007 MBM Mielke Bergfeld Musikproduktion KG 2007 MBM Mielke Bergfeld Musikproduktion KG

4
Alexander's Feast or the Power of Music, HWV 75, Act I, Scene 2: Recitative. "Twas at the Royal Feast"
Sinfonieorchester Des Hessischen Rundfunks
00:00:57

Paul Agnew, ténor - Sinfonieorchester Aachen - Marcus Bosch, direction

2007 MBM Mielke Bergfeld Musikproduktion KG 2007 MBM Mielke Bergfeld Musikproduktion KG

5
Alexander's Feast or the Power of Music, HWV 75, Act I, Scene 3: Air. "Happy, Happy, Happy Pair"
Sinfonieorchester Des Hessischen Rundfunks
00:04:46

Paul Agnew, ténor - Aachener Kammerchor - Overbacher Kammerchor - Sinfonieorchester Aachen - Marcus Bosch, direction

2007 MBM Mielke Bergfeld Musikproduktion KG 2007 MBM Mielke Bergfeld Musikproduktion KG

6
Alexander's Feast or the Power of Music, HWV 75, Act I, Scene 4: Recitative. "Timotheus, Plac'd on High"
Sinfonieorchester Des Hessischen Rundfunks
00:00:27

Paul Agnew, ténor - Sinfonieorchester Aachen - Marcus Bosch, direction

2007 MBM Mielke Bergfeld Musikproduktion KG 2007 MBM Mielke Bergfeld Musikproduktion KG

7
Alexander's Feast or the Power of Music, HWV 75, Act I, Scene 5: Recitative. "The Song Began from Jove"
Sinfonieorchester Des Hessischen Rundfunks
00:00:55

Dorothee Mields, soprano - Sinfonieorchester Aachen - Marcus Bosch, direction

2007 MBM Mielke Bergfeld Musikproduktion KG 2007 MBM Mielke Bergfeld Musikproduktion KG

8
Alexander's Feast or the Power of Music, HWV 75, Act I, Scene 6: Chorus. "The List'ning Crowd"
Sinfonieorchester Des Hessischen Rundfunks
00:02:15

Aachener Kammerchor - Overbacher Kammerchor - Sinfonieorchester Aachen - Marcus Bosch, direction

2007 MBM Mielke Bergfeld Musikproduktion KG 2007 MBM Mielke Bergfeld Musikproduktion KG

9
Alexander's Feast or the Power of Music, HWV 75, Act I, Scene 7: Air. "With Ravish'd Ears the Monarch Hears"
Sinfonieorchester Des Hessischen Rundfunks
00:03:44

Dorothee Mields, soprano - Sinfonieorchester Aachen - Marcus Bosch, direction

2007 MBM Mielke Bergfeld Musikproduktion KG 2007 MBM Mielke Bergfeld Musikproduktion KG

10
Alexander's Feast or the Power of Music, HWV 75, Act I, Scene 8: Recitative. "The Praise of Bacchus"
Sinfonieorchester Des Hessischen Rundfunks
00:00:35

Paul Agnew, ténor - Sinfonieorchester Aachen - Marcus Bosch, direction

2007 MBM Mielke Bergfeld Musikproduktion KG 2007 MBM Mielke Bergfeld Musikproduktion KG

11
Alexander's Feast or the Power of Music, HWV 75, Act I, Scene 9: Air and Chorus. "Bacchus, Ever Fair and Young"
Sinfonieorchester Des Hessischen Rundfunks
00:04:07

Woong-jo Choi, basse - Aachener Kammerchor - Overbacher Kammerchor - Sinfonieorchester Aachen - Marcus Bosch, direction

2007 MBM Mielke Bergfeld Musikproduktion KG 2007 MBM Mielke Bergfeld Musikproduktion KG

12
Alexander's Feast or the Power of Music, HWV 75, Act I, Scene 11: Recitative. "Sooth'd with the Sound"
Sinfonieorchester Des Hessischen Rundfunks
00:00:38

Paul Agnew, ténor - Sinfonieorchester Aachen - Marcus Bosch, direction

2007 MBM Mielke Bergfeld Musikproduktion KG 2007 MBM Mielke Bergfeld Musikproduktion KG

13
Alexander's Feast or the Power of Music, HWV 75, Act I, Scene 12: Recitative. "He Chose a Mournful Muse"
Sinfonieorchester Des Hessischen Rundfunks
00:01:18

Dorothee Mields, soprano - Sinfonieorchester Aachen - Marcus Bosch, direction

2007 MBM Mielke Bergfeld Musikproduktion KG 2007 MBM Mielke Bergfeld Musikproduktion KG

14
Alexander's Feast or the Power of Music, HWV 75, Act I, Scene 13: Air. "He Sung Darius, Great and Good"
Sinfonieorchester Des Hessischen Rundfunks
00:02:57

Dorothee Mields, soprano - Sinfonieorchester Aachen - Marcus Bosch, direction

2007 MBM Mielke Bergfeld Musikproduktion KG 2007 MBM Mielke Bergfeld Musikproduktion KG

15
Alexander's Feast or the Power of Music, HWV 75, Act I, Scene 14: Recitative. "With Downcast Looks the Joyless Victor Sate"
Sinfonieorchester Des Hessischen Rundfunks
00:00:50

Dorothee Mields, soprano - Sinfonieorchester Aachen - Marcus Bosch, direction

2007 MBM Mielke Bergfeld Musikproduktion KG 2007 MBM Mielke Bergfeld Musikproduktion KG

16
Alexander's Feast or the Power of Music, HWV 75, Act I, Scene 15: Chorus. "Behold, Darius Great and Good"
Sinfonieorchester Des Hessischen Rundfunks
00:02:29

Aachener Kammerchor - Overbacher Kammerchor - Sinfonieorchester Aachen - Marcus Bosch, direction

2007 MBM Mielke Bergfeld Musikproduktion KG 2007 MBM Mielke Bergfeld Musikproduktion KG

17
Alexander's Feast or the Power of Music, HWV 75, Act I, Scene 16: Recitative. "The Mighty Master Smil'd to See"
Sinfonieorchester Des Hessischen Rundfunks
00:00:28

Paul Agnew, ténor - Sinfonieorchester Aachen - Marcus Bosch, direction

2007 MBM Mielke Bergfeld Musikproduktion KG 2007 MBM Mielke Bergfeld Musikproduktion KG

18
Alexander's Feast or the Power of Music, HWV 75, Act I, Scene 17: Arioso. "Softly Sweet in Lydian Measures"
Sinfonieorchester Des Hessischen Rundfunks
00:03:12

Dorothee Mields, soprano - Sinfonieorchester Aachen - Marcus Bosch, direction

2007 MBM Mielke Bergfeld Musikproduktion KG 2007 MBM Mielke Bergfeld Musikproduktion KG

19
Alexander's Feast or the Power of Music, HWV 75, Act I, Scene 18: Air. "War, He Sung, Is Toil and Trouble"
Sinfonieorchester Des Hessischen Rundfunks
00:05:14

Dorothee Mields, soprano - Sinfonieorchester Aachen - Marcus Bosch, direction

2007 MBM Mielke Bergfeld Musikproduktion KG 2007 MBM Mielke Bergfeld Musikproduktion KG

20
Alexander's Feast or the Power of Music, HWV 75, Act I, Scene 20: Chorus. "The Many Rend the Skies"
Sinfonieorchester Des Hessischen Rundfunks
00:03:50

Aachener Kammerchor - Overbacher Kammerchor - Sinfonieorchester Aachen - Marcus Bosch, direction

2007 MBM Mielke Bergfeld Musikproduktion KG 2007 MBM Mielke Bergfeld Musikproduktion KG

21
Alexander's Feast or the Power of Music, HWV 75, Act I, Scene 19: Air. "The Prince, Unable to Conceal His Pain"
Sinfonieorchester Des Hessischen Rundfunks
00:06:26

Dorothee Mields, soprano - Sinfonieorchester Aachen - Marcus Bosch, direction

2007 MBM Mielke Bergfeld Musikproduktion KG 2007 MBM Mielke Bergfeld Musikproduktion KG

22
Alexander's Feast or the Power of Music, HWV 75, Act I, Scene 20: Chorus da capo. "The Many Rend the Skies"
Sinfonieorchester Des Hessischen Rundfunks
00:03:51

Aachener Kammerchor - Overbacher Kammerchor - Sinfonieorchester Aachen - Marcus Bosch, direction

2007 MBM Mielke Bergfeld Musikproduktion KG 2007 MBM Mielke Bergfeld Musikproduktion KG

DISC 2

1
Alexander's Feast or the Power of Music, HWV 75, Act II, Scene 21: Recitative. "Now Strike the Golden"
Sinfonieorchester Des Hessischen Rundfunks
00:02:45

Paul Agnew, ténor - Aachener Kammerchor - Overbacher Kammerchor - Sinfonieorchester Aachen - Marcus Bosch, direction

2007 MBM Mielke Bergfeld Musikproduktion KG 2007 MBM Mielke Bergfeld Musikproduktion KG

2
Alexander's Feast or the Power of Music, HWV 75, Act II, Scene 24: Air. "Revenge, Timotheus Cries"
Sinfonieorchester Des Hessischen Rundfunks
00:02:07

Woong-jo Choi, basse - Sinfonieorchester Aachen - Marcus Bosch, direction

2007 MBM Mielke Bergfeld Musikproduktion KG 2007 MBM Mielke Bergfeld Musikproduktion KG

3
Alexander's Feast or the Power of Music, HWV 75, Act II, Scene 25: Air. "Behold, the Ghastly Band"
Sinfonieorchester Des Hessischen Rundfunks
00:03:35

Woong-jo Choi, basse - Sinfonieorchester Aachen - Marcus Bosch, direction

2007 MBM Mielke Bergfeld Musikproduktion KG 2007 MBM Mielke Bergfeld Musikproduktion KG

4
Alexander's Feast or the Power of Music, HWV 75, Act II, Scene 25: Air da capo
Sinfonieorchester Des Hessischen Rundfunks
00:02:11

Woong-jo Choi, basse - Sinfonieorchester Aachen - Marcus Bosch, direction

2007 MBM Mielke Bergfeld Musikproduktion KG 2007 MBM Mielke Bergfeld Musikproduktion KG

5
Alexander's Feast or the Power of Music, HWV 75, Act II, Scene 26: Recitative. "Give the Vengeance Due to the Valiant Crew"
Sinfonieorchester Des Hessischen Rundfunks
00:01:35

Paul Agnew, ténor - Sinfonieorchester Aachen - Marcus Bosch, direction

2007 MBM Mielke Bergfeld Musikproduktion KG 2007 MBM Mielke Bergfeld Musikproduktion KG

6
Alexander's Feast or the Power of Music, HWV 75, Act II, Scene 27: Air. "The Princes Applaud with a Furious Joy"
Sinfonieorchester Des Hessischen Rundfunks
00:02:24

Paul Agnew, ténor - Sinfonieorchester Aachen - Marcus Bosch, direction

2007 MBM Mielke Bergfeld Musikproduktion KG 2007 MBM Mielke Bergfeld Musikproduktion KG

7
Alexander's Feast or the Power of Music, HWV 75, Act II, Scene 28: Air and Chorus. "Thais Led the Way"
Sinfonieorchester Des Hessischen Rundfunks
00:03:05

Dorothee Mields, soprano - Aachener Kammerchor - Overbacher Kammerchor - Sinfonieorchester Aachen - Marcus Bosch, direction

2007 MBM Mielke Bergfeld Musikproduktion KG 2007 MBM Mielke Bergfeld Musikproduktion KG

8
Alexander's Feast or the Power of Music, HWV 75, Act II, Scene 28: Chorus
Sinfonieorchester Des Hessischen Rundfunks
00:02:27

Aachener Kammerchor - Overbacher Kammerchor - Sinfonieorchester Aachen - Marcus Bosch, direction

2007 MBM Mielke Bergfeld Musikproduktion KG 2007 MBM Mielke Bergfeld Musikproduktion KG

9
Alexander's Feast or the Power of Music, HWV 75, Act II, Scene 29: Recitative. "Thus, Long Ago, Eere Heaving Bellows Learn'd to Blow"
Sinfonieorchester Des Hessischen Rundfunks
00:02:16

Paul Agnew, ténor - Aachener Kammerchor - Overbacher Kammerchor - Sinfonieorchester Aachen - Marcus Bosch, direction

2007 MBM Mielke Bergfeld Musikproduktion KG 2007 MBM Mielke Bergfeld Musikproduktion KG

10
Alexander's Feast or the Power of Music, HWV 75, Act II, Scene 30: Chorus. "At Last Divine Cecilia Came"
Sinfonieorchester Des Hessischen Rundfunks
00:02:38

Aachener Kammerchor - Overbacher Kammerchor - Sinfonieorchester Aachen - Marcus Bosch, direction

2007 MBM Mielke Bergfeld Musikproduktion KG 2007 MBM Mielke Bergfeld Musikproduktion KG

11
Alexander's Feast or the Power of Music, HWV 75, Act II, Scene 31: Recitative. "Let Old Timotheus Yield the Prize"
Sinfonieorchester Des Hessischen Rundfunks
00:00:25

Paul Agnew, ténor - Woong-jo Choi, basse - Sinfonieorchester Aachen - Marcus Bosch, direction

2007 MBM Mielke Bergfeld Musikproduktion KG 2007 MBM Mielke Bergfeld Musikproduktion KG

12
Alexander's Feast or the Power of Music, HWV 75, Act II, Scene 31: Recitative and Chorus. "Let Old Timotheus Yield the Prize"
Sinfonieorchester Des Hessischen Rundfunks
00:03:19

Dorothee Mields, soprano - Judith Berning, alto - Paul Agnew, ténor - Woong-jo Choi, basse - Aachener Kammerchor - Overbacher Kammerchor - Sinfonieorchester Aachen - Marcus Bosch, direction

2007 MBM Mielke Bergfeld Musikproduktion KG 2007 MBM Mielke Bergfeld Musikproduktion KG

Album Description

Handel's oratorio Alexander's Feast, composed in 1736, is English to the core, with its talky text by John Dryden and straightforward, clearly structured arias and choruses. The victory of Alexander the Great in the Persian city of Persepolis (an impressive ruin today) in 330 BCE was said to have been followed by a feast that gave Dryden the excuse for a sort of ode to the power of music (rendered in mixed language as "the power of musik" in the booklet of this German release), with arias illustrating the various affects. There isn't really any plot or action; the piece is more an extended secular cantata than an oratorio, especially inasmuch as the soloists (the soprano and the tenor are the prominent ones) do not represent characters in the story. Conductor Marcus Bosch and the Aachen Symphony Orchestra, with the joined Aachen Chamber Choir and Overbacher Chamber Choir, are not on the music's home ground, and they're not (except for soprano Dorothee Mields) especially noted as Baroque specialists. But they deliver smooth, agreeable, slightly plummy readings of modest size that fit the text well and avoid the stomping around of many modern-instrument readings. The soloists are a varied group; Mields and alto Judith Berning are German, while Woong-jo Choi is Korean-Swiss and tenor Paul Agnew is from Scotland. The non-Anglophones do quite well with the English -- you know they're not from England, but you can't quite pin down the origin -- and Mields' bright sound is even a bit more in the spirit of the work than Agnew, who is a bit stolid in doggerel like "Happy, happy, happy pair/ None but the brave deserve the fair." The "live" sound (apparently meaning that the music was recorded in single takes, for the recording spanned five days) is superior, and this is the kind of recording both choral singers and their soloists will enjoy setting up as a benchmark for their own activities. Texts are in English and German.
© TiVo

Details of original recording : 56:14 - 28:49 - DDD stéréo et multicanal - Enregistré en mai 2007 au Altes Kurhaus à Aix-la-Chapelle en Allemagne - Notes & texte chanté en anglais & allemand

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