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Athalia Import

5.0 out of 5 stars 1 customer review

Price: CDN$ 133.90
Only 1 left in stock.
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Product details

  • Audio CD (Oct. 25 1990)
  • Number of Discs: 2
  • Format: Import
  • Label: Universal Music Group
  • ASIN: B00000E37W
  • In-Print Editions: Audio CD
  • Average Customer Review: 5.0 out of 5 stars 1 customer review
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Disc: 1
1. Act One, Scene 1: Sinf - The Academy Of Ancient Music/Christopher Hogwood
2. Act One, Scene 1: Aria: Blooming Virgins, Spotless Train - Emma Kirkby
3. Act One, Scene 1: Chor: The Rising World Jehovah Crown'd - Chor Of New College, Oxford/Edward Higginbottom
4. Act One, Scene 1: Solo & Chor: Tyrants Would In Impious Throngs - Emma Kirkby/Chor Of New College, Oxford/Edward Higginbottom
5. Act One, Scene 1: Recitative: When He Is In His Wrath Reveal'd - David Thomas
6. Act One, Scene 2: Recitative: Your Sacred Songs Awhile Forbear - James Bowman
7. Act One, Scene 3: Recitative: What Scenes Of Horror Round Me Rise! - Joan Sutherland
8. Act One, Scene 3: Chor: The Gods, Who Chosen Blessings Shed - Chor Of New College, Oxford/Edward Higginbottom
9. Act One, Scene 3: Chor: Cheer Her, O Baal - Chor Of New College, Oxford/Edward Higginbottom
10. Act One, Scene 3: Aria: Gentle Airs, Melodious Strains! - Anthony Rolfe Johnson
See all 14 tracks on this disc
Disc: 2
1. Act Two, Scene 1: Chor: The Mighty Pow'r - Chor Of New College, Oxford/Edward Higginbottom
2. Act Two, Scene 1: Aria: Through The Land So Lovely Blooming - Emma Kirkby
3. Act Two, Scene 1: Aria: Ah Canst Thou But Prove Me!/Scene 2: Recitative: Confusion To My Thoughts! - David Thomas/Joan Sutherland
4. Act Two, Scene 2: Aria: Will God, Whose Mercies Ever Flow - Aled Jones
5. Act Two, Scene 2: Aria: My Vengeance Awakes Me - Joan Sutherland
6. Act Two, Scene 2: Duet: My Spirits Fail, I Faint, I Die!/Scene 3: Recitative: Dear Josabeth - Emma Kirkby/Aled Jones/James Bowman
7. Act Two, Scene 3: Duet: Cease Thy Anguish, Smile Once More - James Bowman/Emma Kirkby
8. Act Two, Scene 3: Chor: The Clouded Scene Begins To Clear - Chor Of New College, Oxford/Edward Higginbottom
9. Act Three, Scene 1: Recitative: What Sacred Horrors Shake My Breast! - James Bowman
10. Act Three, Scene 1: Chor: Unfold, Great Seer, What Heav'n Imparts - Chor Of New College, Oxford/Edward Higginbottom
See all 19 tracks on this disc

Product description

Product Description

Many Aled Jones fans have asked for recordings of him as a boy soprano. This recording of Handel's oratorio is one such and it included a cast of stars including Australia's very own Joan Sutherland, the Baroque soprano par excellence Emma Kirkby and a conductor very familiar to Australians, Christopher Hogwood. It went on to win many prestigious awards including the Gramophone Award for best choral recording and is here reissued by popular demand as a "twofer".

Messiah is the best known of Handel's oratorios, but it's far from typical. More common are Old Testament narratives such as Israel in Egypt, Joshua, and Saul. One of Handel's finest such efforts is Athalia, a tightly constructed, vivid retelling of the downfall of tyrannical Queen Athalia, daughter of Jezebel and worshiper of Baal. This superb 1985 recording was controversial in its initial release, due to the casting in the title role of the soon-to-retire Joan Sutherland--not the diva you'd expect to find starring in a period-practice Handel performance. Dame Joan doesn't exactly fit in with the baroque instruments (she overwhelms the obbligato flute in one aria) or with her colleagues (all Hogwood regulars), but her performance works: the tormented Athalia comes off as a creature very much separated from those around her, and Sutherland's notoriously mushy diction and inept acting are replaced by clear enunciation and real dramatic involvement. Anthony Rolfe Johnson, James Bowman (in unusually good voice), David Thomas, and the young Aled Jones all do sterling work as well. Then there's the radiant Emma Kirkby, who sings her high-flying, florid role with remarkable clarity, precision, and imagination. Check out her opening aria, "Blooming virgins": you won't find a better example of how to embellish a da capo aria--or how to transform a simply lilting song into a thrilling showpiece. --Matthew Westphal

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on March 27, 2004
Format: Audio CD
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5.0 out of 5 starsA Sutherland/Kirkby Treasure
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5.0 out of 5 starsA Delightful Recording
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1.0 out of 5 starsThe countertenor ruined it.
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