Tuesday, November 07, 2006

Parrott does Handel

Wow. Wow! Wow!!!

Everyone who reads this needs to run over to Amazon and purchase this. $9.99 for four CD's of two of Handel's greatest oratorios! By the incredible Taverner Choir under the direction of Andrew Parrott!

I have both of these recordings from previous purchases. The choral singing is top-notch; the choruses in these works are to die for. The solo singing is great in "Israel in Egypt", somewhat hit-or-miss in "Messiah." But "Messiah" is worth picking up just to hear the angelic Emma Kirkby. And again, this chorus is fabulous! The best soprano section I've ever heard . . .

I cannot recommend this purchase more . . . I may pick up another copy myself.


At Tuesday, November 07, 2006 10:27:00 AM, Blogger Cantor said...

There are some other Virgin issues along this line: little 4-CD box sets with very few liner notes. I have one of Herreweghe doing Bach cantatas (great performances of 131 and 105, especially), and the Brandenburg Concertos with some Violin concertos.

Mental note for my next Amazon purchase - too bad I just received one! (Ahh, free shipping.)

I have to disagree, though on Emma Kirkby. I miss the warmth that I hear in other non-early-music-specialist voices.

At Tuesday, November 07, 2006 10:29:00 PM, Anonymous moconnor said...

Check out the Boston Baroque recording of Messiah. It's quite good.

I agree about Kirkby, her Renaissance stuff is nice, but her baroque singing pushes her abilities. There are, btw, some great baroque specialist singers out there. Nice thing about Handel oratorios is that they were written for church singers, not his Italian opera singers. That means you don't need the super technique, just a good solid sound.


At Thursday, November 09, 2006 3:39:00 AM, Blogger PrayingTwice said...

Couldn't disagree more about my dear Emma: I think her voice is perfectly suited for the Baroque repertoire. Listen to her rendition of "Rejoice Greatly" and get back to me . . .

At Friday, November 10, 2006 11:33:00 PM, Blogger Cantor said...

moconnor - Are you sure, re the written-for-church comment?

I was always under the impression (and am fairly sure I have been taught) that the same singers did the operas and the oratorios, even for Handel.


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