- Audio CD (Dec 15 2001)
- Number of Discs: 1
- Format: Import
- Label: Bis
- ASIN: B00005LOUH
- Average Customer Review: 4.7 out of 5 stars See all reviews (6 customer reviews)
The world premiere recording of the Gloria was made just several weeks before the release date. In order to hit that deadline, Bis filled out the CD with a 1986 recording of Handel's lively setting of the Psalm Dixit Dominus, also written while the young Handel was in Italy. Any recording featuring the young Anne Sofie von Otter is worth hearing, and soprano Hillevi Martinpelto is a worthy colleague. Perhaps the Stockholm Bach Choir sounds a bit woollier than ideal, and some of conductor Anders Öhrwall's tempos are a tad too moderate for this exuberant Roman music. But this Swedish Dixit Dominus is quite creditable, if not as exciting as those by Andrew Parrott and Marc Minkowski. But then, you're probably not buying this CD for the Dixit Dominus. --Matthew Westphal
I bought the disk because I've always been a huge fan of 'Dixit Dominus', written by Handel when he was only 22, and a very appealing work indeed. While this is not the greatest rendition I have heard, it is still well-worth the purchase price. Some of the solo singing is just exquisite, and the ensemble lines are tight and vigorous.
Just a wee complaint: 'De Torrente in Via' is marked Adagio, but this seems to clip along at a fair pace, which somewhat robs the glorious soprano duet suspensions of their power. However, this is a minor gripe, and this recording often gets played in my house.
We heard the "Gloria" whilst running errands and we actually stopped to listen to it. I'm a Beethoven type of guy ("you feel it viscerally or you don't feel it at all") but my daughter digs way deep into technique, and declared Ms. Kirkby a rare talent who can make it sound easy. Make what sound easy? Well, Mr. Handel treats his audiences well by brutalizing his singers. Ms. Kirkby sounds like she's having fun (And should something called "Gloria" be anything else?) I'll leave to those better qualified the technical reasons why you should buy this disk. I'll just make the subjective promise that it'll knock your socks off.
Gardiner's 'Dixit Dominus' is superior to the well-known archive one on this recording, which comes across a little flat. It would have been good if the Academy could have produced a third Handel work to supplement the 'Gloria' - perhaps a Motet like 'Saeviat tellus inter rigores' or the Psalm 'Nisi Dominus'. Gardiner tags on the Vivaldi 'Gloria' instead. But it is something of a curious afterthought, and given the choice of the two I would definitely plump for this CD if it is the Handel you are after.
A couple of other recordings have become available since this release and the Philips one. The Gottingen Handel Festival Edition is a live recording from their 3 June 2001 gala performance with Dominique Labelle, soprano, the Philharmonia Baroque Orchestra, and conductor Nicholas McGegan. And the Baroque Academy of Montreal offer another period instrument rendition on Atma Classique (ACD2 2215), accompanied by the Bach and Vivaldi settings. However, Emma Kirby remains the benchmark.