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Händel: Gloria; Dixit Dominus Import


Price: CDN$ 21.26 & FREE Shipping on orders over CDN$ 25. Details
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Product Details

  • 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)

Customer Reviews

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It's wonderful that we still occasionally see works by long-dead masters being discovered during our lifetime. This newly-discovered Handelian 'Gloria' may not set the world on fire, but it's still a fine work, and Emma Kirkby does her usual stylistic interpretation with aplomb. At times her vocal production seems a little too "forward in the head" but I guess that's a beautiful thing to some.
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.
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The words of a tyro and a pro: I'm the tyro. I (sort of) sing tenor in church and for a local Gilbert and Sullivan-based light opera company. My daughter is the pro. She's a student of grand opera, has been singing publicly since age five.
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.
Cheers
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Emma Kirby's radiant performance on the premiere recording of Handel's rediscovered 'Gloria' is well worth the entrance price. The Royal Academy's Baroque Orchestra also give a strong performance, albeit one lacking the richer tones of John Eliot Gardiner's period ensemble on the Philips (462 597-2) recording which appeared a couple of months later. By Handel's standards this a fairly straight setting of a traditional text, but all the expected flourishes, trills, sustains and extended runs are there to add the colour we would expect. The outcome is a splendid combination of required simplicity and appropriate elaboration.
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.
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