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Haendel: Judas Maccabaeus


Price: CDN$ 37.03 & FREE Shipping. Details
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Amazon.com: 1 review
2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
Pretty good... Feb. 17 2012
By F. Rupert - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Audio CD
This recording is from a live performance in France. It has both virtues and drawbacks.

The virtues:

The solo singers, orchestra and chorus are well rehearsed and play with a good, but not extreme (i.e. harsh sounds, ultra fast tempi) historically informed approach. This works well in many of the solo airs, which flow nicely and avoid sluggishness. Some of the duets, notably "Oh, Solimah" are very well done. The female leads are quite excellent and sing with fine intonation, style and ornamentation. The men are good, maybe less impressive overall. Overall, it's a stylish, dramatic performance that does the work justice.

The drawbacks:

The performance space has quite a reverberant acoustic, which muddies the chorus in a number of places, basically anywhere there is fugal or canonic writing--which is often. The soloists don't sound like native speakers of English, and their accents intrude on the enjoyment here and there. The bass especially needs some English diction coaching. The stately Largo that starts the overture is pretty quick, more of an Andante. This undermines the contrast between the Largo and the following Allegro (which is very well played, by the way).

Bottom line: it's a good live performance, but not in the same league with Somary and Mcgegan.

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