Jazz buffs are very familiar with Wynton Marsalis and his trumpet. Opera lovers know the quality voice of lyrical soprano Kathleen Battle. A perfect blending of these two performers, in the Baroque music, has been acheived in this CD. The match of human voice and trumpet seems to us, at the end of the Twenth Century, a mismatch. But to quote Ellen T. Harris, who wrote the liner notes, "The real and sympolic power of the trumpet makes its combination with the quieter instruments and voice seems, at first, imbrobable, but a softer sweeter style of playing in the high ("clarino") register was typical in art music for the trumpet…". Sounds simple enough, but Wynton is one of the few players who can do it well. So well in fact, that at several points Kathleen's voice and Wynton's trumpet blend into one voice, a balanced singularity, even duplicating each others vibrato exactly. A truely amazing accomplishment, which can only be fully appreciated by listening; but once you hear this glorious sound, you'll want to upgrade your stero system to capture its fullness…By A Customer
Judas Maccabaeus (HWV 63) is an oratorio in three acts composed in 1746 by George Frideric Handel based on a libretto written by Thomas Morell. The oratorio was devised as a compliment to the victorious Prince William Augustus, Duke of Cumberland upon his return from the Battle of Culloden (16 April 1746).
Handel’s 1736 opera 'Atalanta' concluded with a spectacular display of fireworks in its first year of performance; it has only recently been revived for the first time since the 18th century. The fireworks on this live Philharmonia Baroque recording from 2005 are of the vocal variety. The San Francisco Chronicle raved: “Magnificent… the most vibrant, exhilarating stretch of musical showmanship this organization has offered in many a long season.
This is an excellent and varied selection of composers from the very well known like Palestrina, Monteverdi, Bach and Vivaldi, through the less famous but familiar like Frescobaldi, Sainte-Colombe and Zelenka, to the downright obscure. It is all delightful: the musicians are uniformly excellent, and include such great names as Gustav Leonhardt, Cantus Colln, Christopher Hogwood and so on. They give fine performances both of the familiar works and of the less familiar ones. Obviously there will be discs you like more than others and you may already have favourite versions of some works, but these discs are never less than very good and are often outstanding.
Baroque Masterpieces - collection of Baroque music in the best performance in the company Sony BMG DHM Artenova. One of the best collections of Baroque music! The greatest works - the legendary performance! Baroque music is a style of European classical music in the period from about 1600 to 1750. The Baroque era follows the Renaissance and the Classical period precedes. The main in this music was an expression of emotions. Baroque music - this violence and ecstasy, in contrast to the confidence and independence of the Renaissance.
When this staging was presented in 1992, in various theatres, Gardiner decided to be his own director because he didn't trust any available alternative to be faithful to Da Ponte's and Mozart's original. In the circumstances his was a sensible decision because his deeply discerning stage interpretation perfectly seconds his own musically perceptive reading. His keen understanding of what this endlessly fascinating work is about is made plain in his absorbing essay in the booklet.
Every child who ever learnt the recorder or played in a school orchestra will probably know the famous ‘Minuet’ included in the Overture, but they can be forgiven for knowing little else from the work since it is so rarely performed. That its premiere in London in 1737 was a failure had little to do with Handel’s score but more with a growing public indifference to Italian opera. The music, as seasoned Handelians will not need to be told, is of high quality (though not perhaps at once among his most alluring scores), and Antonio Salvis’s libretto, concerned with politics and romance, provides the composer with opportunity for lively duets and evocative ‘simile’ arias. The cast is strong, though not uniformly so, with soprano Julianne Baird in the title role. Her passionate and unusually constructed ‘Chi t’intende?’ (Act III), with its notably elaborate oboe obbligato, and her duet with soprano Jennifer Lane (Demetrio) at the end of Act I are two of the highlights of opera and performance alike, while mezzo D’Anna Fortunato’s ‘Tortorella’ aria (Selene, Act III) is another. Rudolph Palmer sets effective tempi and the Brewer Chamber Orchestra of period instruments (woodwind and strings), though responsive to his direction, is on occasion lacking in tonal warmth. (Nicholas Anderson)
Handel's epic oratorio, Israel in Egypt, here in a gripping performance by John Eliot Gardiner and the Monteverdi Choir and Orchestra, was a failure during Handel's lifetime. This was perhaps because of its immense variety of compositional techniques and forms. It is a virtual catalog of choral compositional methods, and thus stands outside the genre of 18th-century oratorio as such. Now, of course, it is recognized as what it is, a unique, dazzling work.(Joshua Cody)