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Home » Composers » German Composers » GF Handel » Handel Oratorios

Oratorios by George Frideric Handel

(Georg Friedrich Händel)

Following is a chronological list of the best available commercial recordings of Handel's oratorios, serenatas, anthems and masques, with links to Amazon listings, reviews, and record companies. Mozart's reorchestrations of Acis & Galatea, the Ode for St. Cecilia's Day, Alexander's Feast and Messiah are on a separate page. For European off-the-air recordings, some of which are superior to any available commercial recordings of certain works, see the Handel listings by the Classical Music and Opera Exchange. See my ongoing review of The Story of "A" by Bruce Haynes for the author's conclusions about the performance pitch of Handel's oratorios. Similar NewOlde.com pages: Handel operas | Handel pasticci | Handel cantatas.

Early Music's Dramatic Significance in Handel's Saul, by Ruth Smith. Early Music 35(2): 173-190 (2007).

Text and English translation of the Brockes Passion HWV 48.

Recordings

Handel & Caldara. Carmelite Vespers 1709. dhm 88691926042 (2 CDs, March 2012). Alessandro de Marchi, Accademia Montis Regalis. Roberta Invernizzi, soprano; Robin Johannsen, soprano; Martín Oro, countertenor; Markus Brutscher, tenor; Antonio Abete, bass. US | UK | FR | DE | CA | JP
Handel. Carmelite Vespers. Second Vespers of the Feast of Our Lady of Mount Carmel. Dixit Dominus (HWV 232), Laudate Pueri (HWV 237), Te Decus Virgineum (HWV 243), Nisi Dominus (HWV 238), Haec est Regina Virginum (HWV 235), Saeviat Tellus (HWV 240) & Salve Regina (HWV 241) - Rome, 1707. EMI CDS 7 49749 2 (2 CDs 1989), reissued as Virgin VBD 5615792. Andrew Parrott, Taverner Players & Choir. Jill Feldman, Emma Kirkby, Emily Van Evera, Margaret Cable, Mary Nichols, Joseph Cornwell, David Thomas. Superb production. The booklet in the original edition could be used as an eye chart to test the ability to read extremely small print. US | UK | DE | FR | CA | JP
Handel. Dixit Dominus HWV 232. Vivaldi. Dixit Dominus RV 807, In furore irae RV 626. Harmonia Mundi 807587 (1 CD, April 2013). Lucy Crowe, soprano. David Bates, La Nuova Musica. US | UK | FR | DE | JP
Handel. Dixit Dominus (HWV 232). Telemann. Deus Judicium Tuum. Eloquentia EL 0916 (1 CD, September 2009). Details. Pierre Cao, Arsys Bourgogne Choir, Harmonie Universelle. Yeree Suh, soprano; Ingrid Perruche, soprano; Britta Schwarz, contralto; Markus Schäffer, tenor; Alain Buet, bass (Teleman); Arnaud Richard, bass (Handel). US | UK | FR | DE | CA | JP
Handel. Dixit Dominus (HWV 232) - Rome, 1707 & J.S. Bach, Magnificat. Virgin Veritas (1 CD, November 2007). Emmanuelle Haïm, Le Concert d'Astrée. Natalie Dessay, soprano; Karine Deshayes, mezzo-soprano; Philippe Jaroussky, countertenor; Laurent Naouri, baritone; Toby Spence, tenor. US | UK | FR | DE | CA | JP
Handel. Dixit Dominus (HWV 232), Laudate Pueri (HWV 237), Saeviat Tellus (HWV 240) & Salve Regina (HWV 241) - Rome, 1707. DG-Archiv 459 627 (1 CD 2000). Marc Minkowski, Les Musiciens du Louvre. Annick Massis, soprano; Magdalena Kožená, mezzo-soprano. US | UK | DE | FR | CA | JP
Handel. Gloria & Dixit Dominus. BIS 1235 (2001). Gloria: Emma Kirkby, soprano. Laurence Cummings, Royal Academy of Music Baroque Orchestra (new recording). Dixit Dominus: Anders Öhrwall, Drottningholm Baroque Ensemble (reissue from BIS LP-322 (1 LP 1986)). The not quite newly-discovered Gloria plus a so-so Dixit Dominus. US | UK | DE | FR | CA | JP
Handel. Il Trionfo del Temp e del Disinganno. (HWV 46a, Rome 1707). Wigmore Hall Live 0042/2 (2 CDs, January 2011). Review. Christian Curnyn, Early Opera Company. Bellezza: Lucy Crowe, soprano; Piacere: Anna Stéphany, soprano; Disinganno: Hilary Summers, contralto; Tempo: Andrew Staples, tenor. US | UK | FR | DE | CA | JP
Handel. Il Trionfo del Tempo e del Disinganno. (HWV 46a, Rome 1707). Hyperion CDA 67681/2 (2 CDs, May 2008). Details. Alessandro De Marchi, Academia Montis Regalis. Bellezza: Roberta Invernizzi, soprano; Piacere: Kate Aldrich, mezzo-soprano; Disinganno: Martín Oro, countertenor; Tempo: Jörg Dürmüller, tenor. Another fine recording, but Alessandrini's is my favorite. US | UK | FR | DE | CA | JP
Handel. Il Trionfo del Tempo e del Disinganno. (HWV 46a, Rome 1707). Virgin Veritas 3634282 (2 CDs, April 2007). Emmanuelle Haïm, Le Concert d'Astrée. Bellezza: Natalie Dessay, soprano; Piacere: Ann Hallenberg, mezzo-soprano; Disinganno: Sonia Prina, contralto; Tempo: Pavol Breslik, tenor. US | UK | DE | FR | CA | JP
Handel. Il Trionfo del Tempo e del Disinganno. (HWV 46a, Rome 1707). Opus 111 OPS 30-321/22 (2 CDs 2001). Rinaldo Alessandrini, Concerto Italiano. Bellezza: Deborah York, soprano; Piacere: Gemma Bertagnolli, mezzo-soprano; Disinganno: Sara Mingardo, contralto; Tempo: Nicholas Sears, tenor. Most movements slower than Minkowski, except for the unusual, brisk and staccato performance of the sarabande Lascia la spina. Highly recommended. US | UK | DE | FR | CA | JP

Reissued on Naïve OP 30440 in April 2007. US | UK | FR | DE | CA | JP

Handel. Il Trionfo del Tempo e del Disinganno. (HWV 46a, Rome 1707). Erato 2292-45351-2 (2 CDs 1988). Marc Minkowski, Les Musiciens du Louvre. Bellezza: Isabelle Poulenard, soprano; Piacere: Jennifer Smith, soprano; Disinganno: Nathalie Stutzmann, contralto; Tempo: John Elwes, tenor. Outstanding recording - highly recommended. US | UK | DE | FR | CA | JP

Reissued in 2008 in a 6-CD set with Minkowki's recordings of Amadigi & Teseo. UK | FR | DE | JP

Handel. La Resurrezione. (HWV 47, Rome 1708). Virgin 6945670 (2 CDs, September 2009). Libretto with translations (pdf). Emmanuel Haïm, Le Concert d'Astrée. Angelo: Camilla Trilling, soprano; Maddalena: Kate Royal, soprano; Cleofe: Sonia Prina, contralto; San Giovanni: Toby Spence, tenor; Lucifero: Luca Pisaroni, bass. Yet another recording of my favorite Handel oratorio! I thought I would never say this, but instead of more Resurreziones, how about recording some excellent but unknown Italian oratorio from the same period, such as Il faraone sommerso by Francesco Nicolà Fago -- here is an aria from a superb performance by Biondi, Invernizzi et al. I'm undertaking a comparison of five recordings of La Resurrezione (Vitale, Minkowski, de Vriend, Hogwood, McGegan), set off after listening to the fine recording by Marco Vitale on Brilliant Classics -- the first at historical pitch. (I'm missing the old Koopman recording.) US | UK | FR | DE | CA | JP
Handel. La Resurrezione. (HWV 47, Rome 1708). Brilliant Classics 93805 (2 CDs, April 2009). Details. Marco Vitale, Contrasto Armonico. Angelo: Klaartje van Veldhoven, soprano; Maddalena: Stefanie True, soprano; Cleofe: Kristine Gether, contralto; San Giovanni: Marcel Beekman, tenor; Lucifero: Mitchell Sandler, bass. Performed at Roman pitch a=392 with oboes at 440. US | UK | FR | DE | CA | JP
Handel. La Resurrezione. (HWV 47, Rome 1708). L'Oiseau-Lyre D256D3 (3 LPs 1982), reissued on 2 CDs as 421 132-2. Christopher Hogwood, Academy of Ancient Music. Angelo: Emma Kirkby, Maddalena: Patrizia Kwella, Cleofe: Carolyn Watkinson, San Giovanni: Ian Partridge, Lucifero: David Thomas. US | UK | DE | FR | CA | JP

Reissued in an 8-CD box set along with Hogwood's recordings of Messiah, Athalia and Esther (2005). US | UK | DE | FR | CA | JP

Handel. La Resurrezione. (HWV 47, Rome 1708). DG-Archiv 447 767-2 (2 CDs 1996), reissued on MHS 5244953. Marc Minkowski, Les Musiciens du Louvre. Angelo: Annick Massis, soprano; Maddalena: Jennifer Smith, soprano; Cleofe: Linda Maguire, mezzo-soprano; San Giovanni: John Mark Ainsley, tenor; Lucifero: Laurent Naouri, bass. US | UK | DE | FR | CA | JP
Handel. La Resurrezione. (HWV 47, Rome 1708). Challenge Classics CC72120 (2 CDs 2003). Review by David Vickers. Jan Willem de Vriend, Combattimento Consort Amsterdam. Angelo: Nancy Argenta, soprano; Maddalena: Maria Cristina Kiehr, soprano; Cleofe: Marijana Mijanovic, mezzo-soprano; San Giovanni: Marcel Reijans, tenor; Lucifero: Klaus Mertens, bass. US | UK | DE | FR | CA | JP
Handel. Aci, Galatea e Polifemo. (HWV 72, Rome 1708). Glossa GCD 921515 (2 CDs, September 2013). Details. Fabio Bonizzoni, La Risonanza. Aci: Roberta Invernizzi, soprano; Galatea: Blandine Staskiewicz, mezzo-soprano; Polifemo: Lisandro Abadie, bass. US | UK | FR | DE | CA | JP
Handel. Aci, Galatea e Polifemo. (HWV 72, Rome 1708). Brilliant Classics (2 CDs, March 2008). Marco Vitale, Contrasto Armonico. Aci: Stefanie True, soprano; Galatea: Luciana Manchini, mezzo-soprano; Polifemo: Mitchell Sandler, bass. US | UK | FR | DE | CA | JP
Handel. Aci, Galatea e Polifemo. (HWV 72, Rome 1708). Harmonia Mundi HMC 1253/54 (2 LPs) & HMC 901253/54 (2 CDs 1987), reissued as HMA 1901253/54. Charles Medlam, London Baroque. Aci: Emma Kirkby, soprano; Galatea: Carolyn Watkinson, contralto; Polifemo: David Thomas, bass. US | UK | DE | FR | CA | JP
Handel. Aci, Galatea e Polifemo. (HWV 72, Rome 1708). Virgin 545 557-2 (2 copy-controlled CDs (CCCDs), April 2003); reissued on genuine Red Book CDs as Virgin 545 580-2 (2 CDs, November 2004). Emmanuelle Haïm, Le Concert d'Astrée. Aci: Sandrine Piau, soprano; Galatea: Sara Mingardo, contralto; Polifemo: Laurent Naouri, bass. Like the older recording, performed at a=415, rather than a=392, the pitch of original performance. (See Bruce Haynes, The Story of "A".)
5455572 (2 CCCDs - not recommended): US | UK | DE | FR | CA | JP
5455802 (2 CDs): US | UK | DE | FR | CA | JP
Music for the Peace of Utrecht - Handel, Utrecht Te Deum and Jubilate. (HWV 278 & 279, London 1713); Croft (1678-1727), Ode for the Peace of Utrecht. Channel Classics CCS SA 29610 (1 CD, June 2010). Jos van Veldhoven, The Netherlands Bach Society. Nicki Kennedy, soprano; William Towers, countertenor; Wolfram Lattke, tenor; Julian Podger, tenor; Peter Harvey, bass. UK | FR | DE | JP
Handel. Utrecht Te Deum and Jubilate. (HWV 278 & 279, London 1713). Music for St. Paul's. Hyperion CDA 67009 (1 CD 1998). Plus works of Blow and Boyce. John Scott, Parley of Instruments. Julia Gooding, Sophie Daneman, Robin Blaze, Rogers Covey-Crump, Mark Le Brocq, Andrew Dale Forbes. US | UK | DE | FR | CA | JP
Handel. Ode for the Birthday of Queen Anne (HWV 74, London 1713) / Dixit Dominus (HWV 232, Rome 1707). Harmonia Mundi HMC 902041 (1 CD, September 2009). Review by Johan Van Veen. Marcus Creed, Akademie für Alte Musik Berlin, Vocalconsort Berlin. Hélène Guilmette, soprano; Sophie Klussmann, soprano; Andreas Scholl, countertenor; Malcolm Bennett, tenor; Andreas Wolf, bass. US | UK | FR | DE | CA | JP
Handel. Birthday Ode for Queen Anne (HWV 74, London 1713), Queen Caroline Te Deum (HWV 280, London 1714), and Sing Unto God. (HWV 263, London 1736). Music for Royal Occasions. Hyperion CDA 66315 (1 CD 1989), reissued on MHS 5138578. Robert King, The King's Consort. Gillian Fisher, James Bowman, John Mark Ainsley, Michael George. US | UK | DE | FR | CA | JP
Handel. Birthday Ode for Queen Anne (HWV 74, London 1713) and Coronation Anthems. (HWV 258-261, London 1727). EMI 7243 5 57140-2 (1 CD 2001). Review by David Vickers. Stephen Cleobury, The Academy of Ancient Music. Susan Gritton, Robin Blaze, Michael George. US | UK | DE | FR | CA | JP
Handel. Chandos Anthems. (HWV 246-256, London 1717-1718). Chandos Records - Anthems 1-3: ABRD 1293 (1 LP) & CHAN 8600 (1 CD 1988); Anthems 4-6: EBRD 0504 (1 LP) & CHAN 0504 (1 CD 1989); Anthems 7-9: EBRD 0505 (1 LP) & CHAN 0505 (1 CD 1989) & Anthems 10-11: EBRD 0509 (1 LP) & CHAN 0509 (1 CD 1989). Reissued as the Box Set CHAN 05547 (4 CDs). Also reissued on MHS. Harry Christophers, The Sixteen. Lynne Dawson, Patrizia Kwella, James Bowman, Ian Partridge, Michael George. Members of The Sixteen included Paul Agnew and Mark Padmore, who went on to highly successful solo careers. US | UK | DE | FR | CA | JP
Handel. Chandos Anthems Nos. 5a, 6a & 8. (HWV 246-256, London 1717-1718). Hyperion CDA 67926 (1 CD, July 2013). Details. Stephen Layton, OAE, Choir of Trinity College, Cambridge. Susan Gritton, soprano; Iestyn Davies, countertenor; Thomas Hobbs, tenor. US | UK | FR | DE | CA | JP
Handel. Chandos Anthems. (HWV 246-256, London 1717-1718). Details. Anthems 7, 9 & 11. Hyperion CDA 67737 (1 CD, May 2009). Stephen Layton, The Academy of Ancient Music. Emma Kirkby, soprano; Iestyn Davies, countertenor; James Gilchrist, tenor; Neal Davies, bass. US | UK | FR | DE | CA | JP
Handel. Esther. (Cannons version, HWV 50a, London 1720). Linn CKD 397 (2 CDs, April 2012). Video / Details. John Butt, Dunedin Consort. Esther: Susan Hamilton, soprano; Robin Blaze, countertenor; Thomas Hobbs, tenor; James Gilchrist, tenor; Nicholas Mulroy, tenor; Haman: Matthew Brook, bass. US | UK | FR | DE | CA | JP
Handel. Esther. (HWV 50a, London 1720). L'Oiseau-Lyre 414 423-1 (2 LPs) & 414 423-2 (2 CDs 1985). Christopher Hogwood, The Academy of Ancient Music. Esther: Patrizia Kwella, soprano; Ahasuerus: Anthony Rolfe-Johnson, tenor; Mordecai: Ian Partridge, tenor; Haman: David Thomas, bass; Israelite Woman: Emma Kirkby, soprano; 1st Israelite: Paul Elliott, tenor; 2nd Israelite / Habdonnah / Officer: Andrew King, tenor; Priest: Drew Minter, countertenor. US | UK | DE | FR | CA | JP
Handel. Esther. (HWV 50a, London 1720). Collins Classics 70402 (2 CDs 1996), reissued on Regis RRC 2025 and Coro COR 16019. Harry Christophers, The Sixteen. Esther: Lynda Russell, soprano; Israeliste Woman: Nancy Argenta, soprano; Priest of the Israelites: Michael Chance, countertenor; Ahasuerus / 2nd Israelite: Thomas Randle, tenor; Mordecai / 1st Israelite: Mark Padmore, tenor; Officer / 4th Israelite: Matthew Vine; Habdonah / 3rd Israelite: Simon Berridge; Haman: Michael George, bass. Also includes Oboe Sonata in g (HWV 404), Anthony Robson, oboe. Regis: US | UK | DE | FR | Coro: US | UK | DE | FR | CA | JP
Handel. Acis & Galatea. (HWV 49a, London 1718). Linn Records CKD 319 (2 CDs, October 2008). Details. John Butt, Dunedin Consort & Players. Galatea: Susan Hamilton, soprano; Acis: Nicholas Mulroy, tenor; Damon: Thomas Hobbs, tenor; Coridon: Nicholas Hurndall Smith, tenor; Polyphemus: Matthew Brook, bass. Unusually slow tempos in a number of movements cause this performance to drag and exaggerate Galatea's heavy vibrato. I still prefer the old Gardiner recording. US | UK | FR | DE | CA | JP
Handel. Acis & Galatea. (HWV 49a, London 1718). New Classical Adventure (NCA) 60183 (2 CDs, November 2007). Martin Haselböck, Musica Angelica Baroque Orchestra. Galatea: Linda Perillo, soprano; Acis: Mark Bleeke, tenor; William Hite, tenor; Thomas Gray, tenor; Polyphemus: Florian Boesch, baritone. US | UK | FR | DE | JP
Handel. Acis & Galatea. (HWV 49a, London 1718). Erato 3984-25505-2 (2 CDs 1999). William Christie, Les Arts Florissants. Galatea: Sophie Daneman, soprano; Damon: Patricia Petibon, soprano; Acis: Paul Agnew, tenor; Coridon: Joseph Cornwell, tenor; Polyphemus: Alan Ewing, bass. Chorus: Andrew Sinclair, François Piolino, David Le Monnier. Superb recording of a hybrid version with a few later additions, such as the soprano Damon, choral reprise of "Happy We", and additional chorus members, plus some typical Christie reorchestration, doubling violins with alto recorders. See Dean's Oratorio book for details about the fascinating but odd evolution of Acis & Galatea under Handel and in the following century. US | UK | DE | FR | CA | JP
Handel. Acis & Galatea. (HWV 49a, London 1718). DG-Archiv 2708 038 (2 LPs 1978), reissued on 423 406-2 (2 CDs 1988). John Elliot Gardiner. English Baroque Soloists. Galatea: Norma Burrowes, soprano; Acis: Anthony Rolfe Johnson, tenor; Damon & Coridon (solo): Martyn Hill, tenor; Polyphemus: Willard White, tenor; Coridon (choruses): Paul Elliott, tenor. Still enjoyable despite the rough, out-of-tune playing, squawking oboes, and weak Polyphemus. US | UK | DE | FR | CA | JP

Reissued on 474 225-2 (2003): US | UK | DE | FR | CA | JP

Handel. Acis & Galatea. (HWV 49a, London 1718). Hyperion CDA 66361/2 (2 CDs 1990). Plus "Look down harmonious saint". Robert King, The King's Consort. Galatea: Claron McFadden, soprano; Acis: John Mark Ainsley, tenor; Damon & Coridon: Rogers Covey-Crump, tenor; Polyphemus: Michael George, bass; chorus: Robert Harre-Jones, countertenor. Presumably follows the Chrysander edition, which lumped Damon and Coridon, despite their opposing viewpoints, and replaced the fifth tenor with an alto. US | UK | DE | FR | CA | JP
Handel. Acis & Galatea. (HWV 49a, London 1718). ATMA ACD 22302 (2 CDs 2003). Eric Milnes, Les Boréades. Galatea: Suzie LeBlanc, soprano; Acis: Mark Bleeke, tenor; Damon & Corydon: Marc Molomot, tenor; Polyphemus: Nathaniel Watson, bass; chorus: Josée Lalonde, mezzo-soprano. US | UK | DE | FR | CA | JP
Handel. Brockes Passion. (HWV 48, Hamburg 1719 - J.S. Bach manuscript with different text, music unchanged). Carus 83.428 (2 CDs, January 2010). Peter Neumann, Collegium Cartusianum, Kölner Kammerchor. Tochter Zion: Nele Gramß, soprano; Gläubige Seele: Johanna Winkel, soprano; Evangelist: Markus Brutscher, tenor; Jesus: Markus Flaig, bass; Petrus: James Oxley, tenor; Maria: Elvira Bill, mezzo-soprano; Judas: Jan Thomer, countertenor; Michael Dahmen, bass. This is easily the best recording to date of Handel's Brockes Passion. The two sopranos are easy to distinguish, yet both sing with excellent early music technique. US | UK | FR | DE | CA | JP
Handel. Esther. (Second version, HWV 50b, London 1732). Somm 238/9 (2 CDs, November 2007). 2002 London Handel Festival Production. Laurence Cummings, London Handel Orchestra. Esther: Rosemary Joshua, soprano; Mordecai: Susan Bickley, mezzo-soprano; Hamon: Christopher Purves, bass; Ahasuerus: James Bowman, countertenor; Israelite woman: Rebecca Outram, soprano. US | UK | FR | DE | CA | JP
Handel. Acis & Galatea (Expanded English/Italian version, HWV 49b, London 1732). In the planning stages. Acis (originally Senesino): Lawrence Zazzo, countertenor.
Handel. Acis & Galatea. (Expanded English/Italian version, HWV 49b, London 1732). No commercial recordings. The revised Italian version of "O Ruddier than the Cherry" with new introductory recitative is on Arias for Montagnana. David Thomas, Nicholas McGegan. Harmonia Mundi HMU 907016 (1 CD 1990). US | UK | DE | FR | CA | JP
Handel. Deborah. (HWV 51, London 1733). Hyperion CDA 66841/2 (2 CDs 1993), reissued on MHS 5264717. Robert King, The King's Consort. Deborah: Yvonne Kenny, soprano; Jael & Israelite Woman: Susan Gritton, soprano; Sisera: Catherine Denley, contralto; Barak: James Bowman, countertenor; Abinoam: Michael George, bass. US | UK | DE | FR | CA | JP
Handel. Athalia. (HWV 52, London 1733). MDG 332 1276-2 (2 CDs, October 2004). Peter Neumann, Collegium Cartusianum, Kölner Kammerchor. Athalia: Simone Kermes, soprano; Josabeth: Olga Pasichnyk, soprano; Joas: Trine Wilsberg Lund, soprano; Joad: Martín Oro, countertenor; Mathan: Thomas Cooley, tenor; Abner: Wolf Matthias Friedrich, bass. This is a fine performance and recording which overall edges out the Hogwood recording as my favorite Athalia. US | UK | DE | FR | CA | JP
Handel. Athalia. (HWV 52, London 1733). L'Oiseau-Lyre 417 126-1 (2 LPs) & 417 126-2 (2 CDs 1986). Christopher Hogwood, The Academy of Ancient Music. Athalia: Joan Sutherland, soprano; Josabeth: Emma Kirkby, soprano; Joas: Aled Jones, treble; Joad: James Bowman, countertenor; Mathan: Anthony Rolfe Johnson, tenor; Abner: David Thomas, bass. Superb performance by Emma Kirkby and other fine singing, especially by David Thomas. US | UK | DE | FR | CA | JP

Reissued as Decca 475 207-2 (2003) in the Gramophone Awards Collection. US | UK | DE | FR | CA | JP

Reissued in an 8-CD box set (Decca 475 6731, 2005) along with Hogwood's recordings of Messiah, La Resurrezione and Esther. US | UK | DE | FR | CA | JP

Handel. Athalia. (HWV 52, London 1733). Naxos 8.5543645 (2 CDs 1998). Joachim Carlos Martini. Frankfurt Baroque Orchestra. Elisabeth Scholl, Barbara Schlick, Friederike Hozhausen, Annette Reinhold, Markus Brutscher, Stephan MacLeod. The good news: Joan Sutherland isn't on this recording. The bad news: it's dull and disappointing, although it may represent Martini's high water mark to date. US | UK | DE | FR | CA | JP
Handel. Athalia. (HWV 52, 1735 version). dhm 88697723172 (2 CDs, June 2010). Details. Paul Goodwin, Kammerorchester Basel, Vocalconsort Berlin. Josabeth: Núria Rial, soprano; Athalia: Geraldine McGreevy, soprano; Joad: Lawrence Zazzo, countertenor; Mathan: Charles Daniels, tenor; Abner: David Wilson-Johnson, bass. From the abstract (pdf) of Lawrence Zazzo's article Handel's 1735 Athalia: a re-appraisal: "With five Italian arias inserted for Carestini and consequent cuts to other roles, but also additions of a new, longer Overture, a concluding organ concerto, and even newly-composed English arias and choruses which cannot be explained by cast changes alone, the 1735 polyglot Athalia should be considered a different work entirely. With the relatively recent discovery by Donald Burrows of a libretto from these 1735 London performances, enabling the HHA publication of a reconstructed score in 2006 and its first modern performance in November 2009, it is time for a re-appraisal of this work in light of the changes Handel made to it. This paper will argue that, while preserving the basic plotline, the 1735 version of Athalia represents a significant shift in emphasis and character development, and that, rather than softening or disguising the strong Jacobite allegory inherent in Humphrey's original, Handel's re-working opens the oratorio up to even stronger Jacobite and patriot opposition readings, placing it comfortably within the 1730s theatrical vogue in London for evil/corrupt minister plays critical of Walpole, in which theatre owner John Rich played a not insignificant role." US | UK | FR | DE | CA | JP
Handel. Parnasso in Festa. (Serenata, HWV 73, London 1734). Hyperion CDA 67701/2. (2 CDs, October 2008.) Details. Matthew Halls, The King's Consort. Clio: Carolyn Sampson, soprano; Orfeo: Lucy Crowe, soprano; Calliope: Rebecca Outram, soprano; Apollo: Diana Moore, mezzo-soprano; Clori: Ruth Clegg, contralto; Marte: Peter Harvey, bass. Recommended! US | UK | FR | DE | CA | JP
Handel. Alexander's Feast (HWV 75, London 1736). Delphian DCD 34094 (2 CDs, February 2011). Details. Richard Neville-Towle, Ludus Baroque. Sophie Bevan, soprano; Ed Lyon, tenor; William Berger, bass. Alexander's Feast was the first Handel oratorio performed in Italy, in a concert in 1768 organized by the 3rd Earl Cowper, who lived in Florence. See Rice (1990). US | UK | FR | DE | CA | JP
Handel. Alexander's Feast (HWV 75, London 1736). ORF 2012631 (2 CDs, April 2010). Heinz Ferlesch, Ensemble Barucco, Wiener Singakademie. Andrea Lauren Brown, soprano; Markus Brutscher, tenor; Günter Haumer, bass. UK | FR | DE
Handel. Alexander's Feast HWV 75 & Ode for St. Cecilia's Day HWV 76. Naxos (1 CD, February 2010). Joachim Carlos Martini, Barockorchester Frankfurt, Junge Kantorei. Gerlinde Sämann, soprano; Knut Schoch, tenor; Klaus Mertens, bass. US | UK | FR | DE | CA | JP
Handel. Alexander's Feast HWV 75 & Ode for St. Cecilia's Day HWV 76. Carus 83.424 (1 CD, April 2009). Peter Neumann, Collegium Cartusianum, Kölner Kammerchor. Simone Kermes, soprano; Virgil Hartinger, tenor; Konstantin Wolff, bass. US | UK | FR | DE | CA | JP
Handel. Alexander's Feast. (HWV 75, London 1736). Collins Classics 70162 (2 CDs 1991), reissued on MHS 525259X. Harry Christophers, The Sixteen. Nancy Argenta, Ian Partridge, Michael George. Unreadable, tiny print in the Collins brochure. US | UK | DE | CA

Reissued on Coro 16028 (2005): US | UK | DE | FR | CA | JP

Handel. Alexander's Feast. (HWV 75, London 1736). Dorian DSL-20604 (2 CDs, October 2007). Also J.S. Bach, Alles mit Gott und nichts ohn' ihn (BWV 1127). Daniel Abraham, Bach Sinfonia & Handel Choir of Baltimore. Amanda Balestrieri, soprano; Scot Cameron, tenor; David Newman, bass. US | UK | FR | DE | CA | JP
Handel. Funeral Anthem for Queen Caroline: The Ways of Zion do Mourn. (HWV 264, London 1737) & Queen Caroline Te Deum (HWV 280, London 1714). cpo 999 244-2 (1 CD 1995). Wolfgang Helbich. Bremen Baroque Orchestra. Mieke van der Sluis, Graham Pushee, Harry van Berne, Harry van der Kamp. US | UK | DE | FR | CA | JP
Handel. Il Trionfo del Tempo e della Verità. (HWV 46b, London 1737). Naxos 8.554440-42 (3 CDs 2000). Joachim Carlos Martini, Barockorchester Frankfurt. Bellezza: Claron McFadden, soprano; Piacere: Elizabeth Scholl, soprano; Tempo: Nicholas Hariades, countertenor; Disinganno: Peer Abilgaard, countertenor. Lackluster performance of a mishmash edition. "Quality doesn't have to be expensive - a philosophy that Naxos have long promoted but seldom proved." -- David Vickers. US | UK | DE | FR | CA | JP
Handel. Saul. (HWV 53, London 1739). Coro COR 16103 (3 CDs, September 2012). Details. Harry Christophers, The Sixteen. Michal: Joélle Harvey, soprano; Merab: Elizabeth Atherton, soprano; Jonathan: Robert Murray, tenor; David: Sarah Connolly, mezzo-soprano; Saul: Christopher Purves, bass; High Priest: Mark Dobell, tenor; Witch of Endor: Jeremy Budd, tenor; Ghost of Samuel: Stuart Young, bass; Abner: Eammonn Dougan, baritone; Doeg: Ben Davies, bass; Amalekite: Tom Raskin, tenor. US | UK | FR | DE | CA | JP
Handel. Saul. (HWV 53, London 1739). DG-Archiv 474 510-2 (3 CDs, February 2004). Reviewed by Les Robarts. Paul McCreesh, The Gabrieli Consort and Players. Michal: Nancy Argenta, soprano; Merab: Susan Gritton, soprano; Jonathan: Mark Padmore, tenor; David: Andreas Scholl, countertenor; Saul: Neal Davies, bass; High Priest and Witch of Endor: Paul Agnew, tenor. Video of Andreas Scholl singing "O fatal day". Video of interview with Paul McCreesh. Outstanding performance and recording. After listening, my only regret was that McCreesh failed to engage Andreas Scholl for Theodora. US | UK | DE | FR | CA | JP
Handel. Saul. (HWV 53, London 1739). Philips 426 265-2 (3 CDs 1991). John Elliot Gardiner, English Baroque Soloists. Michal: Lynne Dawson, soprano; Merab: Donna Brown, soprano; David: Derek Lee Ragin, countertenor; Jonathan: John Mark Ainsley, tenor; High Priest: Neil Mackie, tenor; Saul: Alastair Miles, bass; Witch of Endor: Philip Salmon; Abner & Amalekite: Philip Slane; Samuel: Richard Savage; Doeg: Simon Oberst. Another recommended recording of Saul. Fine choral performances, but I generally prefer McCreesh's soloists. US | UK | DE | FR | CA | JP

Reissued on Archiv "The Originals" 4758356 (February 2007): US | UK | FR | DE | CA | JP

Reissued without texts as part of a 9-CD set with Gardiner's fine recordings of Jephtha, Solomon & Israel in Egypt. Philips 4756897 (September 2005). UK | DE | FR | JP

Handel. Saul. (HWV 53, London 1739). MDG 332 0801-2 (3 CDs 1997). Peter Neumann, Collegium Cartusianum. Saul: Gregory Reinhart, bass; David: Matthias Koch, countertenor; Jonathan: John Elwes, tenor; Michal: Vasiljka Jezovšek, soprano; Merab: Simone Kermes, soprano; High Priest / Witch of Endor / Abner / Amalekite: Johannes Kalpers; Samuel: Michail Schelomjanski; Doeg: Stefan Meier. US | UK | DE | FR | CA | JP
Handel. Saul. (HWV 53, London 1739). Carus 83.243 (3 CDs, January 2009). Details. Hans-Christoph Rademann, Dresdner Barockorchester, Dresdner Kammerchor. Michal: Ditte Andersen, soprano; Merab: Anna Prohaska, soprano; Jonathan: Maximilian Schmitt, tenor; David: Tim Mead, countertenor; Saul: York Felix Speer, bass; High Priest and Witch of Endor: Eric Stoklossa, tenor. US | UK | FR | DE | CA | JP
Handel. Saul. (HWV 53, London 1739). Harmonia Mundi (2 CDs, August 2005). Review by David Vickers. René Jacobs, Concerto Köln, RIAS Kammerchor. Saul: Gidon Saks, bass; Michal: Rosemary Joshua, soprano; David: Lawrence Zazzo, countertenor; Merab: Emma Bell, soprano; Jonathan: Jeremy Ovenden, tenor; Doeg / Samuel: Henry Waddington, baritone; High Priest / Witch of Endor: Finnur Bjarnason, tenor. Handel wrote unusually detailed instructions for the organ continuo in the score of Saul, presumably so that a substitute organist could fill in if Handel suffered a relapse. While most conductors would be delighted to have such precise historical information, Jacobs completely ignores Handel's continuo markings, adding the organ to movements where it is supposed to be silent and changing the registration in other movements. What Jacobs does to popular works such as Saul and Rinaldo hardly matters, as superior alternatives are available. Unfortunately, that's not true of his premiere recordings, such as Scarlatti's Griselda, which he cut mercilessly and overlaid with non-historic organ continuo in the majority of movements. CDs: US | UK | DE | FR | CA | JP || SACDs: UK | DE | FR
Handel. Israel in Egypt. (HWV 54, London 1739). EMI Reflexe 54018-2 (2 CDs 1990). Reissued as Virgin VMD 5 61350-2 (1996) and as Virgin 5 62155-2 (2003). Andrew Parrott, The Taverner Consort & Players. Nancy Argenta, Emily Van Evera, Timothy Wilson, Anthony Rolfe Johnson, David Thomas. Review by David Vickers. | US | UK | DE | FR | CA | JP
Handel. Israel in Egypt. (HWV 54, London 1739). Collins Classics 70352 (2 CDs 1993), reissued on MHS, on Regis RRC 2012, and with omissions on 1 CD as Coro 16011. The Coro reissue is based on Randall's 1771 scaled back edition. (Review by David Vickers.) Harry Christophers, The Sixteen. Nicola Jenkin, soprano; Caroline Trevor, alto; Neil MacKenzie, tenor; Robert Evans, bass; Simon Birchall, bass. My least favorite Handel oratorio, not counting the Dettingen Te Deum. US | UK | DE | FR | CA | JP
Handel. Israel in Egypt. (HWV 54, London 1739). KuK 17 (2 CDs, April 2010). Details. Jürgen Budday, Hannoversche Hofkapelle, Maulbronner Kammerchor. Miriam Allan, soprano; Sarah Wegener, soprano; David Allsopp, countertenor; Benjamin Hulett, tenor; Steffen Balbach, bass; Daniel Raschinsky, bass. DE
Handel. Israel in Egypt. (HWV 54, London 1739). BR Klassik (2 CDs, March 2010). Details. Peter Dijkstra, Concerto Köln. Rosemary Joshua, soprano; Atsuko Suzuki, soprano; Gerhild Romberger, contralto; Kobie van Rensburg, tenor; Simon Pauly, bass; Thomas Hamberger, bass. US | UK | FR | DE | CA | JP
Handel. Song (Ode) for St. Cecilia's Day (HWV 76) & Look Down, Harmonious Saint (HWV 124), Concerto Grosso Op. 6 No. 7. Delphian DCD 34110 (1 CD, July 2012). Details. Richard Neville-Towle, Ludus Baroque. Mary Bevan, soprano; Ed Lyon, tenor. US | UK | FR | DE | CA | JP
Homage à Sainte Cécile: Purcell, Hail Bright Cecilia. Handel, Ode for Saint Cecilia's Day. Haydn, Missa Cellensis. Naïve V5183 (2 CDs, October 2009). Marc Minkowski, Les Musiciens du Louvre. Lucy Crowe, soprano; Richard Croft, tenor; David Bates, countertenor; Anders Dahlin, tenor; Neil Baker, baritone; Luca Tittoto, bass. US | UK | FR | DE | CA | JP
Handel. Ode for St. Cecilia's Day HWV 76; Coronation Anthems HWV 258; Organ Concerto HWV 295. Arts Music 47739-8 (1 CD, October 2008). Diego Fasolis, I Barocchisti, Coro della Radio Svizzera. Julia Gooding, soprano; Jeremy Ovenden, tenor; Francesco Cera, organ; Duilio Galfetti, violin. US | UK | FR | DE | CA | JP
Handel. Ode for St. Cecilia's Day (HWV 76, London 1739) & "Cecilia, vogli un sguardo" (HWV 89). Hyperion CDA 67463 (1 CD), SACDA 67463 (1 SACD, August 2004). Favorable review by Carlo Vitale. Robert King, The King's Consort. Carolyn Sampson, soprano; James Gilchrist, tenor. CD: US | UK | DE | FR | CA | JP || SACD: UK | DE | FR | JP
Handel. Ode for St. Cecilia's Day. (HWV 76, London 1739). Naxos 8.554752 (1 CD 2004). Reviewed by David Vickers: "At such a cheap price, the recording is worth buying for Mields alone." Wolfgang Helibch, Concerto Polacco, Alsfelder Vokalensemble. Dorothee Mields, soprano; Mark Wilde, tenor. US | UK | DE | FR | CA | JP
Handel. Ode for St. Cecilia's Day. (HWV 76, London 1739). DG-Archiv 419 220-1 (1 LP) & 419 220-2 (1 CD 1986). Trevor Pinnock, The English Concert. Felicity Lott, soprano; Anthony Rolfe Johnson, tenor. US | UK | DE | FR | CA | JP

Reissued on 474 549-2 (2003): US | UK | DE | FR | CA | JP

Handel. L'Allegro, il Penseroso, ed il Moderato. (HWV 55, London 1740). Carus 83.395 (2 CDs, June 2013). Details. Peter Neumann, Collegium Cartusianum, Kölner Kammerchor. Il Penseroso: Maria Keohane, soprano; L'Allegro: Julia Doyle, soprano;  Benjamin Hulett, tenor; Andreas Wolf, bass. US | UK | FR | DE | CA | JP
Handel. L'Allegro, il Penseroso, ed il Moderato. (HWV 55, London 1740). Hyperion CDA 67283/4 (2 CDs 1999), reissued on MHS 5257261. Robert King, The King's Consort. Lorna Anderson, Susan Gritton, Claron McFadden, Paul Agnew, Neal Davies. US | UK | DE | FR | CA | JP
Handel. L'Allegro, il Penseroso, ed il Moderato. (HWV 55, London 1740). Naxos 8.557057/58 (2 CDs 2005). Reissue of the 2002 recording on RMM 23002, the Junge Kantorei's private label. Review by Les Robards: "However cheap it may be when . . . Naxos reissues it . . ., this recording is not recommended under any circumstances. Oh, the shame of it." Joachim Carlos Martini, Barockorchester Frankfurt, Junge Kantorei. Linda Perillo & Barbara Hannigan, sopranos; Knut Schoch, tenor; Stephan MacLeod, bass. US | UK | DE | FR | CA | JP
Handel. L'Allegro, il Penseroso, ed il Moderato. (HWV 55, London 1740). Erato STU 71325 (2 LPs 1981), reissued on 2 CDs as 2292-45377-2. John Elliot Gardiner, English Baroque Soloists. Michael Ginn (treble), Patrizia Kwella, Marie McLaughlin, Jennifer Smith, Maldwyn Davies, Martyn Hill, Stephen Varcoe. US | UK | DE | FR | CA | JP
Handel. Messiah. (HWV 56, original Dublin version, 1742). Linn CKD 285 (2 CDs, November 2006). Sleeve notes & downloadable studio master. John Butt, Dunedin Consort & Players. Susan Hamilton, soprano; Annie Gill, mezzo-soprano; Clare Wilkinson, contralto; Heather Cairncross, contralto; Nicholas Mulroy, tenor; Matthew Brook, bass; Edward Caswell, bass. The best Handel recording to date. It excels in every respect: research, performance practice, performers and recording. According to Butt, the recitative version of "But who may abide", included in an appendix on the recording, comes from later sources and may be of doubtful authenticity. However, the aria version of "Thou shalt break them" is in the appendix, since the recitative version is in Smith's hand in the conducting score. Handel had his own organ transported to Ireland -- presumably the one in Groupy's Harmonious Boar caricature with two manuals and two ranks of pipes. US | UK | FR | DE | CA | JP
Handel. Messiah. (HWV 56, 1743 version). CBS 79336 (3 LPs 1980), reissued on 2 CDs: Sony SB2K63001. Jean-Claude Malgoire, La Grande Écurie et La Chambre du Roy, Worcester Cathedral Choir. Jennifer Smith, soprano; Andrew King, treble; Charles Brett, countertenor; Martyn Hill, tenor; Ulrik Cold, bass. Includes the long version of "Why do the nations so furiously rage together" with da capo, which may never have been performed. UK | FR | DE | JP
Handel. Messiah. (HWV 56, 1753 version). EMI CDS 7 49801 2 (2 CDs 1989), reissued as Virgin VMD 561 330-2 & VBD 562 042-2. Andrew Parrott, The Taverner Consort. Emma Kirkby, Emily Van Evera, Margaret Cable, James Bowman, Joseph Cornwell, David Thomas. Emma Kirkby sings different arias than on the Hogwood recording, ie, the mainstream soprano arias. Crispian Steele-Perkins plays an historic 18th Century trumpet with original mouthpiece loaned by the Bates Collection. US | UK | DE | FR | CA | JP
Handel. Messiah. (HWV 56, Foundling Hospital version, 1754). L'Oiseau-Lyre D189D3 (3 LPs 1980), reissued on 2 CDs: 430 488-2. Christopher Hogwood, The Academy of Ancient Music. Judith Nelson, Emma Kirkby, Carolyn Watkinson, Paul Elliott, David Thomas. The recording that propelled Emma Kirkby to superstar status in the U.S., singing the previously unrecorded Passerini transpositions of the Guadagni versions of "But who may abide" and "Thou art gone up on high". Later recorded on video with the same cast. US | UK | DE | FR | CA | JP
Handel. Samson. (HWV 57, London 1743). Carus 83.425 (3 CDs, March 2009). Details. Nicholas McGegan, FestspielOrchester Göttingen, NDR Chor. Sophie Daneman, soprano; Franziska Gottwald, contralto; Samson: Thomas Cooley, tenor; Michael Slattery, tenor; William Berger, bass; Wolf Matthias Friedrich, bass. Live recording. The engineer set the record level too high at the outset, overloading the horns in the first movement of the overture. Fortunately, he corrected it for the second track et seq. US | UK | FR | DE | CA | JP
Handel. Samson. (HWV 57, London 1743). Collins Classics 70382 (3 CDs 1997). Harry Christophers. The Sixteen. Dalila: Lynda Russell, Israelite Woman / Philistine woman, Virgin: Lynne Dawson, Micah: Catherine Wyn-Rogers, Samson: Thomas Randle, Israelite man / Philistine man: Mark Padmore, Messenger: Matthew Vine, Manoa: Michael George, Harapha: Jonathan Best. US | UK | DE | FR | CA | JP

Reissued on Coro 16008 (2003): US | UK | DE | FR | CA | JP

Handel. Dettingen Te Deum (HWV 283, London 1743) & Organ Concerto  HWV 296a & Zadok the Priest. Hyperion CDA 67679 (1 CD, June 2008). Details. Stephen Layton, Academy of Ancient Music, Choir of Trinity College Cambridge. Christopher Lowrey, countertenor; Robin Firth, tenor; Neal Davies, bass. Richard Marlow, organ. A radio broadcast of a performance by Musica Antiqua Köln of Francesco Antonio Urio's Te Deum, from which Handel borrowed for the Dettingen Te Deum and other works (Saul in the opening bars), can be downloaded here. US | UK | FR | DE | CA | JP
Handel. Dettingen Te Deum & Dettingen Anthem. (HWV 283 & HWV 265, London 1743). DG-Archiv 410 647-1 (1 LP) & 410 647-2 (1 CD 1984). Simon Preston, Trevor Pinnock, The English Concert, Choir of Westminster Abbey. Stephen Varcoe, Christopher Tipping, Harry Christophers, Michael Pearce. US | UK | DE | FR | CA | JP
Handel. Dettingen Te Deum & Dixit Dominus. (HWV 283, London 1743 & HWV 232, Rome 1707). Arts Music 475602 (1 CD 1999). Diego Fasolis, Ensemble Vanitas. Roberta Invernizzi, Elena Cecchi-Fedi, Lena Lootens, Fabian Schofrin, Gloria Banditelli, Marco Beasley, Antonio Abete, Furio Zanasi. I haven't heard this one. US | UK | DE | FR | CA | JP
Handel. Semele. (HWV 58, London 1744). Chandos Chaconne CHAN 0745 (3 CDs, October 2007). CD booklet (pdf). Christian Curnyn, Early Opera Company. Semele: Rosemary Joshua, soprano; Jupiter: Richard Croft, tenor; Ino / Juno: Hilary Summers, mezzo-soprano; Iris: Gail Pearson, soprano; Athamas: Stephen Wallace, countertenor; Cadmus / Somnus: Brindley Sherratt, bass. What a strange and annoying recording! My Lute I Shall Adore -- it sounds like I'm sitting next to the lute (guitar in one aria) in an alcove away from the rest of the performers. The close-miked lute drowns out the harpsichord and even the organ and is on par with the chorus. Joshua sings with heavy vibrato unsuited to baroque music, but Pearson is a more extreme wobbler whose aria sounds like a musical interlude from a 1930s movie. There are a handful of superb movements, including "Iris Hence Away". (The lute was near the end of its road in opera by 1744, and the guitar never was used as a continuo instrument, despite it's presence in many recordings falsely promoted as "authentic".) Update: Anthony Hicks in EMR 124: 35 (April 2008) spotted a claim in the CD booklet that the orchestral stringing is especially historically informed in using equal tension strings with only a minority of the players using metal wound strings. If only these smallish HIP details weren't overwhelmed by the HUP theorbo and guitar! This epitomizes my response to critics who argue that it is unfair to expect historical accuracy from early music groups. When they market their performances with claims to be "original", "authentic", or "historically informed", they are inviting a high standard of scrutiny. US | UK | FR | DE | CA | JP
Handel. Semele. (HWV 58, London 1744). Naxos 8.570431/33 (3 CDs, July 2008). Details | Libretto with German translation (pdf). Joachim Carlos Martini, Junge Kantorei, Barockorchester Frankfurt. Semele: Elisabeth Scholl, soprano; Iris & Cupid: Julla Schmidt, soprano; Athamas: Ralf Popken, countertenor; Ino: Britta Schwarz, contralto; Juno: Annette Markert, contralto; Jupiter / Apollo: Knut Schoch, tenor; Cadmus / Somnus / High Priest: Klaus Mertens, baritone. Disappointing -- a so-so live recording of a mediocre performance featuring massive and muddy choral sound, German accents ranging from mild (Schoch) to very harsh (Schmidt), and legato singing by Scholl, who was overmatched by the role. A non-historical lute accompanies most movements, but fortunately it wasn't closely miked. Includes three fine arias not in the HG edition that usually aren't performed: "See, she blushing turns her eyes" (Ino) in place of the recitative on the same text and the aria "Hymen, haste, thy touch prepare" (Athamas) (I/1); "Come, Zephyrs, come" (Cupid), a long, da capo version of an arioso from Hercules (II/2); and "Behold in this mirror" (Juno) (III/2) in place of the recitative on the same text. US | UK | FR | DE | CA | JP

Review of the Decca DVD of Semele.
Handel. Joseph and His Brethren. (HWV 59, London 1744). Hyperion CDA 671713 (3 CDs 1996), reissued on MHS 534922H. Robert King, The King's Consort. Asenath: Yvonne Kenny, soprano; Joseph: James Bowman, countertenor; Potiphera / Phanor: Catherine Denley, mezzo-soprano; Pharaoh / Reuben: Michael George, bass; Benjamin: Connor Burrowes, treble; Simeon / Judah: John Mark Ainsley, tenor. Excellent recording of an underrated oratorio. US | UK | DE | FR | CA | JP
Handel. Hercules. (HWV 60, London 1745). DG-Archiv 469 532-2 (3 CDs 2002). Marc Minkowski, Les Musiciens du Louvre. Dejanira: Anne Sofie von Otter, mezzo-soprano; Hercules: Gidon Saks, bass; Hyllus: Richard Croft, tenor; Iole: Lynne Dawson, soprano; Lichas: David Daniels, countertenor; Priest of Jupiter: Marcos Pujol. Cut and reorganized, despite ample space on 3 CDs for a complete performance. Highly recommended -- one of Handel's greatest works in a fine performance and recording. US | UK | DE | FR | CA | JP
Handel. Hercules. (HWV 60, London 1745). Naxos 8.557960/62 (3 CDs, May 2008), reissue of 2006 release by Junge Kantorei. Joachim Carlos Martini, Frankfurt Baroque Orchestra, Junge Kantorei. Libretto with German translation (pdf). Dejanira: Nicola Wemyss, soprano; Iole: Gerlinde Sämann, soprano; Lichas: Franz Vitzthum, countertenor; Hyllus: Kurt Schoch, tenor; Hercules: Peter Kooij, bass. US | UK | DE | FR | CA | JP
Handel. Belshazzar. (HWV 61, London 1745). Les Arts Florissants William Christie Editions (3 CDs, October 2013). Video. William Christie, Les Arts Florissants. Belshazzar: Allan Clayton, tenor; Nitocris: Rosemary Joshua, soprano; Daniel: Iestyn Davies, countertenor; Cyrus: Caitlin Hulcup, mezzo-soprano; Gobrias: Jonathan Lemalu, bass. Jean-François Madeuf & Gilles Rapin, holeless natural trumpets. US | UK | FR | DE | CA | JP
Handel. Belshazzar. (HWV 61, London 1745). DG-Archiv 431 793-2 (3 CDs 1991). Review by David Vickers. Trevor Pinnock, The English Concert. Belshazzar: Anthony Rolfe Johnson, tenor; Nitocris: Arlene Auger, soprano; Daniel: James Bowman, countertenor; Cyrus: Catherine Robbin, mezzo-soprano; Gobrias: David Wilson-Johnson, tenor; Arloch: Nicolas Robinson, tenor; Messenger: Richard Wistreich. One of my favorites. US | UK | FR | DE | CA

Reissued on DG-Archiv Trio 477 037-2 (2004) without the libretto to save DG a few cents per copy. Who can blame consumers for making bootleg copies when the big record companies' reissues are so often unsatisfactory? (Stanford has posted a Belshazzar libretto.) US | UK | FR | CA | DE | JP

Handel. Belshazzar. (HWV 61, London 1745). MDG 332-1079 (3 CDs 2001). Review by Philippe Gelinaud. Peter Neumann, Collegium Cartusianum. Belshazzar: Markus Brutscher, tenor; Nitocris: Simone Kermes, soprano; Daniel: Patrick van Goethem, countertenor; Cyrus: Christopher Robson, countertenor; Gobrias: Franz-Josef Seelig, tenor; Messenger: Frank Höndge. US | UK | DE | FR | CA | JP
Handel. Comus. (HWV 44, London 1745). L'Oiseau-Lyre DSLO 598 - Handel, Theatre Music Vol. II (1 LP 1982), reissued in 1994 on CD 443 183-2 with Alceste. Christopher Hogwood, The Academy of Ancient Music. Patrizia Kwella, Margaret Cable, David Thomas. US | UK | DE | FR | CA | JP
Handel. The Occasional Oratorio. (HWV 62, London 1746). Hyperion CDA 669612 (2 CDs 1995), reissued on MHS 525075W. Robert King, The King's Consort. Susan Gritton, Lisa Milne, James Bowman, John Mark Ainsley, Michael George. Fine recording of an underrated oratorio. US | UK | DE | FR | CA | JP
Handel. Judas Maccabaeus. (HWV 63, London 1747). Ambronay AMY 024 (2 CDs, March 2010). Details / Review by Johan Van Veen - "None of them is a native English speaker, and that shows." Leonardo García Alarcón, Ensemble Les Agrémens, Choeur de Chambre de Namur. Judas Maccabaeus: Makoto Sakurada, tenor; Israelite Woman: María Soledad de la Rosa, soprano; Israelite Man: Mariana Rewerski, mezzo-soprano; Priest / Messenger: Fabián Schofrin, countertenor; Simon: Alejandro Meerapfel, baritone. US | UK | FR | DE | CA | JP
Handel. Judas Maccabaeus. (HWV 63, London 1747). dhm 88697720242 (2 CDs, July 2010). Details. Rolf Beck, Elbipolis Barockorchester. Israelite Woman: Núria Rial, soprano; Judas Maccabeus: Lothar Odinius, tenor; Israelite Man: Lucia Duchonova, mezzo-soprano; Simon: Sergio Foresti, bass. From the online excerpts, it sounds like a fine performance, but unfortunately the men sing with noticeable acccents. US | UK | FR | DE | CA | JP
Handel. Judas Maccabaeus. (HWV 63, London 1747). Hyperion CDA 66641/2 (2 CDs 1992), reissued on MHS 5243392. Robert King, The King's Consort. Judas Maccabaeus: Jamie McDougall, tenor; Israelite Woman: Emma Kirkby, soprano; Israelite Man: Catherine Denley, contralto; Simon: Michael George, bass; Priest / Messenger: James Bowman, countertenor; Eupolemus / Messenger: Simon Birchall, bass. US | UK | DE | FR | CA | JP
Handel. Judas Maccabaeus. (HWV 63, London 1747). Harmonia Mundi HMU 907077/78 (2 CDs 1993). Nicholas McGegan, Philharmonia Baroque Orchestra. Judas Maccabaeus: Guy de Mey, tenor; Israelite Woman: Lisa Saffer, soprano; Israelite Man: Patricia Spence, contralto; Simon: David Thomas, bass; Priest / Messenger: Brian Asawa, countertenor; Eupolemus / Messenger: Leroy Kromm, bass. US | UK | DE | FR | CA | JP

Reissued in June 2006 on Harmonia Mundi 1+1 HMX 2907374/75: US | UK | DE | FR | CA | JP

Handel. Judas Maccabaeus. (HWV 63, London 1747). ORF Altemusik 478 (2 CDs, January 2007). Heinz Ferlesch, Barockensemble Barucco, Wiener Singakademie. Judas Maccabaeus: Daniel Johannsen, tenor; Israelite Woman: Cornelia Horak, soprano; Israelite Man: Hermine Haselböck, mezzo-soprano; Simon: Klemens Sander, bass; Priest / Messenger: Thomas Künne, countertenor; Eupolemus: Günther Friedrich, bass. UK | FR | JP
Handel. Joshua. (HWV 64, London 1748). ORF CD 3184 (2 CDs, September 2014). Details. Otto Kargl, L'Orfeo Barockorchester, Domkantorei St. Pölten, Cappella Nova Graz. Achsah: Gerlinde Sämann, soprano; Angel: Martina Daxböck, soprano; Othniel: Wiebke Lehmkuhl, mezzo-soprano; Joshua: Daniel Johannsen, tenor; Caleb: Josef Wagner, bass.
Handel. Joshua. (HWV 64, London 1748). SOMM 240-2 (2 CDs, March 2009). Details. Lawrence Cummings, London Handel Orchestra & Singers. Achsah: Catherine Manley, soprano; Othniel: Alexandra Gibson, mezzo-soprano; Joshua: Allan Clayton, tenor; Caleb: George Humphreys, bass; Angel: Richard Rowntree, tenor. Original version of "Hark! 'tis the linnet and the thrush" (not in the HG edition). Excellent live recording. US | UK | FR | DE | CA | JP
Handel. Joshua. (HWV 64, London 1748). MDG (2 CDs, August 2008). Peter Neumann, Collegium Cartusianum, Kölner Kammerchor. Achsah: Myung-Hee Hyun, soprano; Othniel: Alex Potter, countertenor; Joshua: James Gilchrist, tenor; Angel: Georg Poplutz, tenor; Caleb: Konstantin Wolff, bass. US | UK | FR | DE | CA | JP
Handel. Joshua. (HWV 64, London 1748). KuK 07 (2 CDs, November 2007). Details. Jürgen Budday, Maulbronner Kammerchor; Hannoversche Hofkapelle. Achsah / Angel: Miriam Allan, soprano; Othniel: David Allsopp, countertenor; Joshua: Mark LeBrocq, tenor; Caleb: James Rutherford, bass. US | UK | FR | DE | CA | JP
Handel. Joshua. (HWV 64, London 1748). Hyperion CDA 66461/2 (2 CDs 1991), reissued on MHS 5252524. Robert King, The King's Consort. Achsah: Emma Kirkby, soprano; Othniel: James Bowman, countertenor; Joshua: John Mark Ainsley, tenor; Caleb: Michael George, bass; The Angel: Aidan Oliver, treble. US | UK | DE | FR | CA | JP
Handel. Alexander Balus. (HWV 65, London 1748). Hyperion CDA 672412 (2 CDs 1997), reissued on MHS 525270Y. Robert King, The King's Consort. Alexander Balus: Catherine Denley, Ptolomee: Michael George, Jonathan: Charles Daniels, Cleopatra: Lynne Dawson, Aspasia: Claron McFadden. US | UK | DE | FR | CA | JP
Handel. Susanna. (HWV 66, London 1749). Harmonia Mundi HMU 907030/32 (3 CDs 1990). Nicholas McGegan, Philharmonia Baroque Orchestra. Susanna: Lorraine Hunt, An Attendant / Daniel: Jill Feldman, Chelsias / Judge: William Parker, Joachim: Drew Minter, 1st Elder: Jeffrey Thomas, 2nd Elder: David Thomas. US | UK | DE | FR | CA | JP
Handel. Susanna. (HWV 66, London 1749). MDG 332 0945-2 (3 CDs 2000). Review by Jonathan Keates. Peter Neumann, Collegium Cartusianum. Susanna: Elisabeth von Magnus, Joachim: Sytse Buwalda, Attendant / Daniel: Ruth Holton, 1st Elder: John Elwes, 2nd Elder / Chelsias: Tom Sol. Not recommended due to extreme overuse of organ continuo. US | UK | DE | FR | CA | JP
Handel. Solomon. (HWV 67, London 1749). DG-Archiv 459 688-2 (3 CDs 1999). Paul McCreesh, Gabrieli Consort. Solomon: Andreas Scholl, countertenor; Solomon's Queen: Inger Dam-Jensen, soprano; First Harlot: Alison Hagley, soprano; Second Harlot: Susan Bickley, mezzo-soprano; Queen of Sheba: Susan Gritton, soprano; Zadok, the High Priest: Paul Agnew, tenor; A Levite: Peter Harvey, bass. IMHO, the best recording of a Handel oratorio. It would have been even better without the wobbly Solomon's Queen. US | UK | DE | FR | CA | JP
Handel. Solomon. (HWV 67, London 1749). Harmonia Mundi HMC 90149/50 (2 CDs, October 2007). Daniel Reuss, Akademie für Alte Musik Berlin, RIAS Kammerchor. Solomon: Sarah Connolly, contralto; Solomon's Queen: Carolyn Sampson, soprano; Queen of Sheba: Susan Gritton, soprano; Zadok, the High Priest: Mark Padmore, tenor; A Levite: David Wilson-Johnson, bass. Clearly inferior to McCreesh's fine recording. Some of the fast movements are taken at lightening speed, and overuse of organ continuo mars many arias. US | UK | FR | DE | CA | JP
Handel. Solomon. (HWV 67, London 1749). Carus 83.242 (3 CDs, September 2007). Nicolas McGegan, Göttingen Festpiel Orchester. Winchester Cathedral Choir, Andrew Lumsden, director. Solomon: Tim Mead, countertenor; Solomon's Queen / First Harlot: Dominique Labelle, soprano; Queen of Sheba / Second Harlot: Claron McFadden, soprano; Zadok, the High Priest: Michael Slattery, tenor; A Levite: Roderick Williams, bass; Servant: William Kendall, tenor. Time = 157'. US | UK | FR | DE | CA | JP
Handel. Foundling Hospital Anthem (HWV 268, London 1749) and Coronation Anthems. Argo 4409462 (1 CD 1994). David Hill, Brandenburg Consort, Winchester Cathedral Choir. Gillian Fisher, Libby Crabtree, Charles Brett, John Elwes. UK | DE | FR | JP
Handel. Alceste. (HWV 45, London 1750). Chandos CHAN 0788 (1 CD, May 2012). Booklet (pdf). Christian Curnyn, Early Opera Company. Lucy Crowe, soprano; Benjamin Hulett, tenor; Andrew Foster Williams, bass. US | UK | FR | DE | CA | JP
Handel. Alceste. (HWV 45, London 1750). L'Oiseau-Lyre DSLO 581 (1 LP 1980), resissued in 1994 on CD 443 183-2 with Comus. Christopher Hogwood, The Academy of Ancient Music. Emma Kirkby, Judith Nelson, Margaret Cable, Paul Elliott, David Thomas. US | UK | DE | FR | CA | JP
Handel. Theodora (HWV 68, 1750). Glyndebourne GFOCD 014-96 (3 CDs, May 2012, live recording from 1996). William Christie, OAE. Theodora: Dawn Upshaw, soprano; Irene: Lorraine Hunt, mezzo-soprano; Didymus: David Daniels, countertenor; Septimius: Richard Croft, tenor; Valens: Frode Osen, bass. US | UK | FR | DE | CA | JP
Handel. Theodora (HWV 68, London 1750). Naxos 8.572700-02 (3 CDs, March 2012). Details / Libretto (pdf). Joachim Carlos Martini, Frankfurt Baroque Orchestra, Junge Kantorei. Theodora: Christina Wieland, soprano; Irene: Diana Schmid, mezzo-soprano; Didymus: Franz Vitzthum, countertenor; Septimius: Knut Schoch, tenor; Valens: Klaus Mertens, baritone. US | UK | FR | DE | CA | JP
Handel. Theodora. (HWV 68, London 1750). DG-Archiv 469 061-2 (3 CDs 2000). Paul McCreesh, Gabrieli Consort. Theodora: Susan Gritton, soprano; Irene: Susan Bickley, contralto; Didymus: Robin Blaze, countertenor; Septimius: Paul Agnew, tenor; Valens: Neal Davies, bass; Messenger: Angus Smith. My comparison with Christie's recording on Erato. Another superior production by Paul McCreesh et al. Probably the second best recording of a Handel oratorio, after his recording of Solomon. US | UK | DE | FR | CA | JP
Handel. Theodora. (HWV 68, London 1750). Erato 0927431812 (3 CDs). Recorded in May 2000, release date July 2003. Favorable review by Les Robards. William Christie, Les Arts Florissants. Theodora: Sophie Daneman, soprano; Irene: Juliette Galstian, contralto; Dydimus: Daniel Taylor, countertenor; Septimius: Richard Croft, tenor; Valens: Nathan Berg, bass. Also a very fine recording, but with more intimate sound than McCreesh. US | UK | DE | FR | CA | JP
Handel. The Choice of Hercules. (HWV 69, London 1751). Plus Hearken Unto Me, Ye Holy Children by Maurice Greene. Hyperion CDA 67298 (1 CD 2002), reissued on MHS 5168536 (2003). Details. Robert King, The King's Consort. Pleasure: Susan Gritton; Virtue: Alice Coote; Hercules: Robin Blaze; An Attendant on Pleasure: Charles Daniels. Additional soloist in the Greene anthem: Peter Harvey, bass. Sleeve notes by Anthony Hicks. US | UK | DE | FR | CA | JP
Handel. Jephtha. (HWV 70, London 1752). Coro 16121 (3 CDs, forthcoming September 2014). Harry Christophers, The Sixteen. Iphis: Sophie Bevan, soprano; Angel: Grace Davison, soprano; Storgè: Susan Bickley, mezzo-soprano; Hamor: Robin Blaze, countertenor; Jephtha: James Gilchrist, tenor; Zebul: Matthew Brook, bass. US | UK | FR | DE | CA | JP
Handel. Jephtha. (HWV 70, London 1752). KuK 111 (2 CDs, October 2013). Details. Jürgen Budday, Ensemble Il Capriccio, Maulbronner Kammerchor. Iphis & Angel: Kirsten Blaise, soprano;  Storgè: Annelie Sophie Müller, mezzo-soprano; Hamor: David Allsopp, countertenor; Jephtha: Benjamin Hullet, tenor; Zebul: Simon Bailey, bass. US | UK | FR | DE | CA | JP
Handel. Jephtha. (HWV 70, London 1752). 2003 Göttingen Handel Festival production. Nicholas McGegan, The English Concert, Winchester Cathedral Choir. John Mark Ainsley, Dominique Labelle, Wilke te Brummelstroete, Franz Vitzthum, William Berger, Netta Or. Available from the German Handel Society.
Handel. Jephtha. (HWV 70, London 1752). KuK LC 11277 (2 CDs 1998). Jürgen Budday, Barockorchester der Kosterkonzerte, Maulbronner Kammerchor. Jephtha: Julian Podger, tenor; Zebul: Stephen Varcoe, bass; Storgè & Angel: Melinda Paulen, mezzo-soprano; Iphis: Emma Kirkby, soprano; Hamor: Charles Humphries, countertenor. US | UK | DE | FR | CA | JP
Handel. Jephtha. (HWV 70, London 1752). Berlin Classics BC 1057-2 (3 CDs 1994). Marcus Creed, Akademie für Alte Musik Berlin. Jephtha: John Mark Ainsley, tenor; Zebul: Michael George, bass; Storge: Catherine Denley, mezzo-soprano; Iphis: Christiane Oelze, soprano; Hamor: Axel Köhler, countertenor; Angel: Julia Gooding, soprano. Unreadable, tiny print in the Berlin Classics brochure. US | CA | JP

Reissued on Brilliant Classics 99956: US | UK | DE | FR | CA | JP

Handel. Jephtha. (HWV 70, London 1752). Philips 422 351-2 (3 CDs 1989). John Elliot Gardiner. English Baroque Soloists. Lynne Dawson, Ruth Holton, Anne Sofie von Otter, Michael Chance, Nigel Robson, Stephen Varcoe. US | UK | DE | FR | CA | JP

Reissued in 2008. US | UK | DE | FR | CA | JP

Handel. Jephtha. (HWV 70, London 1752). Carus 83.422 (3 CDs, December 2008). Details. Matthias Grünert, Dresdner Barockorchester, Kammerchor der Frauenkirche. Iphis: Birte Kulawik, soprano; Angel: Miriam Meyer, soprano; Storge: Britta Schwarz, mezzo-soprano; Hamor: Patrick van Goethem, countertenor; Jephtha: Markus Schäfer, tenor; Zebul: Gotthold Schwarz, bass. US | UK | FR | DE | CA | JP
Handel. The Triumph of Time & Truth (HWV 71, London 1757). Delphian DCD 34135 (2 CDs, July 2014). Details. TT: 154:43. Richard Neville-Towle, Ludus Baroque. Beauty: Sophie Bevan, soprano; Deceit: Mary Bevan, soprano; Counsel / Truth: Tim Mead, countertenor; Pleasure: Ed Lyon, tenor; Time: William Berger, bass. This an extremely high quality recording, with fine performances throughout. I was most impressed by Tim Mead, who delivered one of the best recorded examples of falsetto singing. Both Bevan sisters sing beautifully.To squeeze the 1982 Darlow recording (Hyperion, TT: 123:29) on 2 LPs, many movements were partially (or almost completely) cut, and two choruses lifted from Chandos Anthems as well as arias added in 1758 were eliminated. Most are restored here, including: Sorrow darkens every feature (Beauty); Happy Beauty (Deceit); No more complaining (Deceit); Pleasure's gentle Zephyrs playing (Deceit); Tempt me no more (Beauty); Comfort them, O Lord (Chorus). Watkins Shaw liner note to Hyperion recording. US | UK | FR | DE | CA | JP
Handel. The Triumph of Time and Truth. (HWV 71, London 1757). Hyperion A 66071/2 (2 LPs 1983), reissued on MHS 824891M (2 LPs). Reissued on CD as Hyperion CDA 66071/2. Denys Darlow, London Handel Orchestra. Beauty: Gillian Fisher, Deceit: Emma Kirkby, Counsel, or Truth: Charles Brett, Pleasure: Ian Partridge, Time: Stephen Varcoe. US | UK | DE | FR | CA | JP

Reissued in 2005 on Hyperion CDD22050. US | UK | DE | FR | CA | JP


Copyright © 2002-2014 John Wall