Vous voulez voir cette page en français ? Cliquez ici.


or
Sign in to turn on 1-Click ordering.
or
Amazon Prime Free Trial required. Sign up when you check out. Learn More
More Buying Choices
Have one to sell? Sell yours here

Joseph A/H Brethren [Box set, Import]

George Frideric Handel Audio CD
5.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (1 customer review)
Price: CDN$ 57.41 & FREE Shipping. Details
o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o
Only 1 left in stock (more on the way).
Ships from and sold by Amazon.ca. Gift-wrap available.
Want it delivered Thursday, April 17? Choose One-Day Shipping at checkout.

Customers Who Bought This Item Also Bought


Product Details


Disc: 1
1. Ov - The King's Consort/Robert King
2. Be firm, My Soul! Nor Faint Beneath - James Bowman
3. Joseph, Thy Fame Has Reach'd Great Pharaoh's Ear - Catherine Denley
4. Come, Divine Inspirer, Come - James Bowman
5. Pardon, That I So Long Forgot Thee, Joseph! - Catherine Denley
6. Ingratitude's The Queen Of Crimes - Catherine Denley
See all 24 tracks on this disc
Disc: 2
1. Hail, Thou Youth, By Heaven Belov'd! - The Chor Of New College, Oxford/The Chor Of The King's Consort
2. How Vast A Theme Has Egypt For Applause! - Catherine Denley
3. Our Fruits, Whilst Yet In Blossom, Die - Yvonne Kenny
4. He's Egypt's Common Parent, Gives Her Bread - Catherine Denley
5. Blest Be The Man By Pow'r Unstain'd - The Chor Of New College, Oxford/The Chor Of The King's Consort
6. Phanor, We Mention Not His Highest Glory! - Yvonne Kenny
See all 25 tracks on this disc
Disc: 3
1. Sinf - The King's Consort/Robert King
2. What Say'st Thou, Phanor? - Yvonne Kenny
3. The Wanton Favours Of The Great - Catherine Denley
4. Whence So Disturb'd, My Lord? - Yvonne Kenny
5. Ah Jealousy, Thou Pelican - Yvonne Kenny
6. O Wrong Me Not! Thy Zaphnath Never Harbour'd - James Bowman
See all 23 tracks on this disc

Product Description

Amazon.ca

Winton Dean, the, ahem, dean of modern Handel scholarship, considered Joseph and His Brethren one of Handel's weakest oratorios. Don't believe it: the music is wonderful, and even the libretto isn't nearly as bad as Dean makes out. The King's Consort gives the same high-quality performance it always gives to Handel's oratorios. James Bowman sounds particularly comfortable in the title role; while all the soloists are good, soprano Yvonne Kenny (who gets all the best arias) is terrific. --Matthew Westphal

Product Description

Oratorio / Yvonne Kenny, soprano - Catherine Denley, mezzo-sop. - James Bowman, contreténor - Michael George, basse... - Choir of New College, Oxford - The Choir of King's Consort - The King's Consort, dir. Robert King

Customer Reviews

4 star
0
3 star
0
2 star
0
1 star
0
5.0 out of 5 stars
5.0 out of 5 stars
Most helpful customer reviews
5.0 out of 5 stars A neglected masterpiece from Handel's prime July 19 2004
Composed two years after Messiah and Samson and the same year as Semele, 1744, this Oratorio has not enjoyed the fame of these other examples of Handel's ripest genius nor a comparable recorded history. It has taken 250 years for this masterpiece to receive the performance that may nudge it, ever so slowly, into the conciousness of music lovers who respond to perfection, no matter the compositional era. This phenomenon is not new. Bach's "Matthew Passion" lay in a proverbial trunk for a century. So we owe Conductor Robert King a debt of gratitude for this exquisite performance.
King represents the culmination of the Period Performance movement that began in the 1950's. What was once new and strange to many, with concomitant controversy, is now ubiquitous practice for early music and not uncommon for the 19th Century repertoire. King, therefore, uses the so-called Authentic Period Style as just another means of expression and not a clarion call. This is significent for it frees him to adopt instrumental and vocal textures of exquisite delicacy. His are the most "French" sounding performances of this repertoire: crystalline and precise vocal expression. Soft and effortless instrumental lines. The two married into a structure of such rhythmic sleight-of-hand as to suggest the nearly unaccented sound of French Poetry.
These traits are all in evidence here. Set to a Libretto by James Miller, an Oxford-educated Vicar, and based on stories from the Old Testament, most of the music is newly composed by Handel. The singers are all associated with Mr. King and have rarely sounded better. Soprano Yvonne Kenny is wonderful as Asenath, singing with restrained passion about, well, restraining passion. James Bowman, Countertenor, sings Joseph and is an old hand to this repetoire.
Read more ›
Was this review helpful to you?
Most Helpful Customer Reviews on Amazon.com (beta)
Amazon.com: 5.0 out of 5 stars  3 reviews
20 of 21 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A neglected masterpiece from Handel's prime July 19 2004
By Michael Birman - Published on Amazon.com
Composed two years after Messiah and Samson and the same year as Semele, 1744, this Oratorio has not enjoyed the fame of these other examples of Handel's ripest genius nor a comparable recorded history. It has taken 250 years for this masterpiece to receive the performance that may nudge it, ever so slowly, into the conciousness of music lovers who respond to perfection, no matter the compositional era. This phenomenon is not new. Bach's "Matthew Passion" lay in a proverbial trunk for a century. So we owe Conductor Robert King a debt of gratitude for this exquisite performance.
King represents the culmination of the Period Performance movement that began in the 1950's. What was once new and strange to many, with concomitant controversy, is now ubiquitous practice for early music and not uncommon for the 19th Century repertoire. King, therefore, uses the so-called Authentic Period Style as just another means of expression and not a clarion call. This is significent for it frees him to adopt instrumental and vocal textures of exquisite delicacy. His are the most "French" sounding performances of this repertoire: crystalline and precise vocal expression. Soft and effortless instrumental lines. The two married into a structure of such rhythmic sleight-of-hand as to suggest the nearly unaccented sound of French Poetry.
These traits are all in evidence here. Set to a Libretto by James Miller, an Oxford-educated Vicar, and based on stories from the Old Testament, most of the music is newly composed by Handel. The singers are all associated with Mr. King and have rarely sounded better. Soprano Yvonne Kenny is wonderful as Asenath, singing with restrained passion about, well, restraining passion. James Bowman, Countertenor, sings Joseph and is an old hand to this repetoire. He brings his years of experience to the part, "living in the role". Joseph MUST have sounded like this (if he sang all the time). Bass Michael George playing Pharoah brings authority to his portrayal. His voice is one of the most refined Basses I've heard. John Mark Ainsley, well known and one of my favorite Tenors, sings the dual roles of Simeon and Judah, Brothers to Joseph. He is superb. Mezzo Soprano Catherine Denley and Treble Connor Burrowes round out the cast.
Make no mistake, this is an ensemble performance: the music demands it. The Choir of the King's Consort is magnificent. Choral outbursts are dramatic yet restrained. Commentary is perfection. This is one of the world's greatest vocal ensembles. As for the King's Consort itself, is there anywhere a finer instrumental assembly specializing in the Baroque repertoire? The credit for these accumulating superlatives must ultimately go to Mr. King. And to Hyperion for consistently releasing recordings of greatness. I urge anyone interested in Handel to try this recording. 5 stars for a masterpiece that has finally seen the light of day.
10 of 10 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars MILLER'S TALE March 13 2007
By DAVID BRYSON - Published on Amazon.com
The librettist of Joseph and His Brethren was not Jennens or Morell or any of the other names familiar from Handel's oratorios. It was a certain James Miller, a rural vicar who sounds as if he would have been interesting to know. He queered his pitch with the ecclesiastical authorities by writing stage satires, and he died at age 36 shortly after Joseph was premiered. However before his untimely demise he set what ought to have become a precedent. Appreciating, it seems, that the plot of the oratorio, although not complicated, might be unintelligible to its audience without some background information, he provided what he called an `advertisement' summarising the biblical story. I suspect that to this day eager audiences for Il Trovatore might be grateful for something similar.

Miller's libretto is not bad, although not comparable with what Jennens could do, as in Samson not to say Messiah itself. The diction is straight out of the trite 18th-century phrase-mill admittedly. However an oratorio libretto, focusing less on action than an opera book would need to and more on simple situations and statements, is really a far harder thing to get wrong, and Miller seems to me to turn out a perfectly adequate piece of work. Handel, predictably, does much better. I would not myself quite rate Joseph with Samson or Belshazzar, but there's not much I would rate with those. It seems that Handel had the time to compose Joseph mainly from scratch without borrowings or adaptations or recycling, but all his familiar magic is here again.

I have got used to Robert King's Handel issues by now, and I think I admire them more with every successive acquisition. As an exponent of the `authentic' school of ancient music he seems to me more relaxed than, for example, McCreesh does. This way of interpreting Handel and Bach has gradually imbued our culture over the last 30 years, but to whatever extent there is still resistance to be overcome King is more urbane in the way he overcomes it. I'd guess that the main stumbling-block for conservative listeners in this performance would be the counter-tenor role of Joseph, sung by James Bowman. This is one of the two lead parts, along with that of Asenath sung by Yvonne Kenny. As well as carrying the spotlight, the counter-tenor voice is also deployed face-to-face in the scenes with the boy treble role of Benjamin. Bowman is of course a total professional and expert in this kind of music, but it may be that his particular tone and enunciation could fatigue the ear after a while, and I wonder whether any consideration was given to casting Michael Chance instead. Whatever - I'll never know that, and Bowman performs with his familiar artistry. I can't imagine who Yvonne Kenny might seem controversial to, and she seems to me superb from beginning to end. With Catherine Denley, John Mark Ainsley and Michael George in the other parts quality and beauty of sound are guaranteed, and a particular prize should go to the youngster Connor Burrowes as Benjamin. If this is a cameo role it's quite a big cameo role, and he carries it off with aplomb. The orchestral contribution is magnificent as usual, and the choir sing as if inspired from above. Considering what they are given to sing this is only what one would hope for and expect. I tend to think that Handel's choral writing could make a heavenly host out of a choir of orcs.

With Joseph my collection of the oratorios of Handel (17 of them on my own definition) is now complete. They are a musical world of their own, and they are one of the crowning glories of European music. I don't expect I have stopped collecting them, because fine though the accounts that I own from King and others are, music of this stature benefits from a range of interpretations, as indeed does the music of far lower stature that is more commonly performed. Apart from adding what must be, after what I have just said, a superfluous recommendation of this magnificent set, and expressing my thanks to Robert King and to Hyperion, there seems to be little else to say - unless perhaps `Hallelujah'.
8 of 10 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Handel's Workmanlike Oratorio. Great, but not sublime. Nov. 13 2006
By B. Marold - Published on Amazon.com
'Joseph and his Brethren', the Oratorio by the German, become English composer, George Frideric Handel is described as 'A Sacred Drama' based on a libretto by James Miller, adapted from the story in Genesis of Joseph being sold to slavers, becoming a steward to the Egyptian Pharoah, interpreting Pharoah's dreams, becoming something of a secretary of agriculture, in charge of stockpiling grain for the predicted seven years of famine, and meeting his brothers seeking food in Egypt, during the famine affecting all of the Middle East.

While the recitatives may not be the very best music, on average, one has the feeling that Handel could set the Manhattan telephone book to choral music and have it come out sounding great. The choruses are not as famous as in Handel's greatest oratorio, 'The Messiah', but they are great indeed.

The main question one must ask oneself is whether you are willing to sit through the instrumental parts and the recitatives until you get to the 'good stuff' in the choruses. Of course, the very best thing about the recitatives is that they are all in English. No wading through English translations of German, Italian, or French!.

If you like sacred music, but are bored with masses, this is a great listen!
Search Customer Reviews
Only search this product's reviews
ARRAY(0x10526ee8)

Look for similar items by category


Feedback