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Classical - Released May 4, 2015 | Winged Lion

Hi-Res Booklet Distinctions Gramophone Editor's Choice - 5 Sterne Fono Forum Klassik
Handel's L'Allegro, il Penseroso, ed il Moderato was composed in 1740, and musically it shares much with Messiah, from a couple of years later. It has been comparatively neglected because, in several ways, it does not hang together as well as the later work. Based on a pair of poems by John Milton, L'Allegro (The Joyful One) and Il Penseroso (The Thoughtful One), with a third middle-of-the-road type added by Messiah librettist Charles Jennens (whom one satirist dubbed "Il Moderatissimo"), the work has been called an oratorio, a semi-oratorio, a pastoral ode, and more. It has no plot to speak of, and Handel kept revising the work to suit new performance demands, with the result that its performance tradition has accumulated a large number of random arias. This performance by conductor Paul McCreesh and his Gabrieli Consort & Players represents an attempt to reconstruct what Handel intended for the original performance, and far from being an exercise, this results in a concise work with a persuasive alternation of big, Messiah-like choruses and arias that embody the qualities depicted in the poems. For those who love Messiah and have never heard this work, sample the opening chorus-and-bass number on CD 2, "Populous cities please me then," with its big musical spaces. McCreesh introduces each of the work's three sections with an instrumental concerto, something well attested to in the original sources, and he benefits from an exceptionally strong group of soloists who capture the moods essential to what logic the work has. Strongly recommended for anyone interested in going beyond the Handelian basics. © TiVo
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Classical - Released February 10, 2008 | Passacaille

Distinctions The Qobuz Ideal Discography
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Classical - Released September 13, 2007 | Challenge Classics

Distinctions 4 étoiles du Monde de la Musique
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Classical - Released August 22, 2020 | UMG Recordings, Inc.

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Classical - Released April 3, 2020 | Signum Records

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Classical - Released March 4, 2016 | Avie Records

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The music's authenticity has been questioned, but it is impressively played and may be unfamiliar even to Handel lovers. © TiVo
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Classical - Released February 9, 2018 | Ëvoe Music

This recording of Handel arias announces exciting new talents on several fronts. First is that of countertenor Jakub Józef Orlinski, who has studied at both the Juilliard School (graduating in 2017) and the Fryderyk Chopin University of Music in Warsaw. He's colorful, expressive, and endowed with plenty of power. More broadly there is the growth of the early music scene in Poland, which has existed for some time but has produced few state-of-the-art releases like this one, with fine, edgy backing from the group Il Giardino d'Amore, founded in 2012 in Krakow and thoroughly Polish despite its name. Check out the spectacular talent of harpsichordist Ewa Mrowca in Vo far guerra in the lengthy keyboard interludes in Rinaldo. The presence of that piece indicates the strength of the program as a whole, which is varied in tone and structure, with several duets that show real sympathy between the principals, rather than offering a string of inevitable da capo arias. Last but not least there is the spectacular Natalia Kawalek, who's classed as a mezzo-soprano but runs the whole gamut from a low growl (sample Amor è qual vento from Orlando) to light agility at the top, in many pieces that would generally be considered soprano arias. Complaints? Poorly edited translations in the booklet. End of list. © TiVo
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Classical - Released October 2, 2020 | Coro

The "greatest hits" album is generally the province of traditional symphony orchestras and large popular choruses; ensembles from the historical performance movement, generally intent on the exploration of specific musical moments, have avoided the format. Yet there's a place for such recordings by authentic performance groups, as this release by The Sixteen and their director, Harry Christophers, shows. The new listener who has been moved by the "Hallelujah" chorus from Messiah, HWV 56, ought to have a place to go next, and that place should not by default be the London Philharmonic Orchestra and its ilk: the size of the ensemble here, with 16 singers, give or take a few, and roughly that many instrumentalists, is closer to what Handel would have known. The selections on the album were recorded between 1990 and 2018 in a group of four London churches that have been skillfully knitted together sonically by remastering engineers. They include the "Hallelujah" chorus and the other favorites one would expect, nicely paired with pieces of similar impact but lesser renown. The mood is generally triumphal but is intelligently varied so as to give the listener an idea of the unerring dramatic sense that lies behind the popularity of Handel's choruses and of the various ways he used the chorus. There is a lengthy excerpt from Esther, HWV 50, "The Lord our enemy has slain," which is like a self-contained cantata with varied sections, and a chorus from the masque Acis and Galatea, HWV 49, which is made up of different stuff than the big oratorio choruses. The bottom line is that this collection fulfills its worthwhile purpose. © TiVo
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Symphonic Music - Released June 29, 2015 | 2015 Burgess Entertainment Inc

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Classical - Released January 1, 2006 | Avie Records

George Frideric Handel's Trio Sonatas, Op. 2, were between 10 and 30 years old when they first appeared in a bootleg edition under the imprint of Estienne Roger around 1730. Nonetheless, these sonatas, the second of which was written in Handel's 17th year and the rest created during his tenure with the Earl of Carnarvon in 1717 and 1718, were still innovative when Roger (really, John Walsh under a disguise) rolled them out minus the composer's approval. That they proved enormously popular right off the bat is due to these sonatas' seriousness of purpose, relative lack of frilly ornaments, and a freedom from the tendency toward "Liebhaber" (i.e., amateur) settings so common in printed trio sonatas of the early eighteenth century. The six sonatas in Handel's Op. 2 are obviously meant for skilled players and traverse a surprising range of expressive territory, experienced to the fullest in Sonnerie's Avie recording Handel: Trio Sonatas, Op. 2. Monica Huggett and Sonnerie have chosen wisely in recording mainstream repertoire that is not to date overdone. Only the Academy of St. Martin-in-the-Fields Chamber Ensemble, London Baroque, and L'Ecole d'Orphée have recorded the Op. 2 set in its entirety, and some of these versions utilize the optional suggestion of flute or recorder over the solo violin. In the course of these performances, Huggett and her faithful second-in-command in Sonnerie Emilia Benjamin, establish through the authority of their playing that the violin was likely the only instrument that Handel himself had in mind when it came to these works, save the first sonata where it seems to make sense. The recording, made at Saint Silas Church in Kentish Town, London, is extraordinary, achieving a full and clear balance of all instruments including the continuo, which is expertly played by Joseph Crouch on the cello and Matthew Halls on a single-manual Italian harpsichord. While all of the performances are excellent, pressed to pick among the six sonatas in this set one gravitates most strongly toward Sonata No. 5 in G minor -- it is truly fabulous. The six sonatas are intelligently sequenced to facilitate attractive listening, rather than in the order given in the published set. As a result, Sonnerie's Handel: Trio Sonatas, Op. 2, moves forward so comfortably that when the end is reached it seems over long before one's threshold of patience is exceeded. © TiVo
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Vocal Music (Secular and Sacred) - Released January 27, 2017 | Groupe Analekta, Inc

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Classical - Released October 2, 2020 | UMG Recordings, Inc.

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Classical - Released April 20, 1990 | Coro

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Classical - Released February 26, 2007 | Challenge Classics

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Classical - Released July 30, 1981 | VDE-GALLO

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Classical - Released September 29, 2014 | Coro

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Boston's Handel and Haydn Society gave the first complete performance of Messiah in the U.S. in 1818 and has done the work hundreds of times since then, with an annual performance tradition, of which this live recording is a part, since 1854. Since the last quarter of the 20th century, the group has moved in the direction of historically informed performance, but a bit of the old community flavor remains. It's characteristic of H&H's current conductor, Harry Christophers, that he steers a course incorporating the choir's American strengths. His Handel and Haydn Society is 30 voices strong, in no way minimalist, but entirely clean in bringing a focus to the text and well balanced with the orchestra. The precision of his readings resembles that in the Baroque recordings of his English group, The Sixteen, but the overall effect is different: he lets the singers, including a strong quartet of soloists, hold forth strongly; the group makes a lot of noise for 30 singers. The result is a real English-American hybrid performance that some may find splendid, others a bit shouty; you can sample one of the big choruses, like "And with his stripes" to determine which camp you might fall into. The live sound from Boston's Symphony Hall, which has heard this music countless times, is clear. Recommended for those enjoying Christophers' American experiment, although there are, of course, many other choices for Messiah. © TiVo
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Concertos - Released July 7, 2013 | Past Classics

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Classical - Released August 8, 2020 | UMG Recordings, Inc.

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Classical - Released June 23, 2015 | ClassicalPirosDigital

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Classical - Released September 12, 2020 | UMG Recordings, Inc.

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Georg Friedrich Händel in the magazine