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John Eliot Gardiner, English Baroque Soloists - Handel: L'Allegro, il Penseroso ed il Moderato; Tamerlano; Ballet music (2007)

Posted By: ArlegZ
John Eliot Gardiner, English Baroque Soloists - Handel: L'Allegro, il Penseroso ed il Moderato; Tamerlano; Ballet music (2007)

John Eliot Gardiner, English Baroque Soloists - Handel: L'Allegro, il Penseroso ed il Moderato; Tamerlano; Ballet music from Alcina, Il pastor fido and Terpsichore [6CDs] (2007)
EAC | FLAC | Image (Cue & Log) ~ 1.50 Gb | Total time: 05:43:20 | Scans included
Classical | Label: Erato | # 2564 69838-3 | Recorded: 1981, 1985, 1986

As well as recording for, and eventually publicly falling out with, Deutsche Grammophon, John Eliot Gardiner made a series of recordings for Erato, which Warner Classics are now bundling together at bargain price. Pairing the opera Tamerlano with the joyously exuberant choral setting of Milton (with a disc of ballet music from the operas too) makes no obvious sense, except that both rank among Gardiner's finest Handel performances; and his versions of each (L'Allegro from 1981, Tamerlano from five years later) arguably remain the most recommendable in the current catalogue. The cast in Tamerlano is led by a pair of outstanding counter tenors, Derek Ragin and Michael Chance, then both at the start of their careers, with tenor Nigel Robson as Bajazet, while the soloists in L'Allegro include Marie McLaughlin, Jennifer Smith and Martyn Hill; dramatic energy and vitality course through both performances.

William Christie, Cappella Coloniensis - Johann Adolf Hasse: Cleofide (2011)

Posted By: ArlegZ
William Christie, Cappella Coloniensis - Johann Adolf Hasse: Cleofide (2011)

William Christie, Cappella Coloniensis - Johann Adolf Hasse: Cleofide (2011)
EAC | FLAC | Image (Cue & Log) ~ 0,99 Gb | Total time: 72:33+60:15+64:22+50:58 | Scans included
Classical | Label: Capriccio | # 7080 | Recorded: 1986

One can easily appreciate this early William Christie recording with Capella Coloniensis, a group originally formed in 1954 (!) to perform baroque works in historically informed performances. Christie masters this orchestra well, and the playing is impeccable. The casting is excellent, including some of the great singers of the time: Emma Kirkby, in her prime, Agnes Mellon, Dominique Visse and David Cordier, among others. There is even a male soprano, Randall K. Wong, a rare type of singer indeed.

John Eliot Gardiner, English Baroque Soloists, Derek Lee Ragin, Sylvia McNair - Gluck: Orfeo ed Euridice (2012)

Posted By: ArlegZ
John Eliot Gardiner, English Baroque Soloists, Derek Lee Ragin, Sylvia McNair - Gluck: Orfeo ed Euridice (2012)

John Eliot Gardiner, English Baroque Soloists, Derek Lee Ragin, Sylvia McNair - Gluck: Orfeo ed Euridice (2012)
EAC | FLAC | Image (Cue & Log) ~ 401 Mb | Total time: 88:53 | Scans included
Classical | Label: Decca | # 478 3425 | Recorded: 1991

…Gardiner's account of the Vienna Orfeo ed Euridice is peerless. One soon loses all sense of its being a period-instrument performance at all, so profound, at times overwhelming is its impact - so utterly right. In detail after detail - hauntingly poetic offstage instrumental complement, perfectly positioned in the drama (and perfectly captured by the excellent Philips recording); superbly stirring brass playing, which makes every entry a dramatic event; choral singing extraordinarily light in weight yet rich in emotional substance; exquisitely refined dance movements - and in sustainment of a delicately tenebrous, uniquely Gluckian atmosphere throughout, Gardiner's command of an opera championed since his first London concert performance, 21 years ago, is revealed as simply larger and fuller than almost anyone else's.

Christopher Hogwood, Orchestra Giovanile di Venezia - Handel: Agrippina (2000)

Posted By: ArlegZ
Christopher Hogwood, Orchestra Giovanile di Venezia - Handel: Agrippina (2000)

Christopher Hogwood, Orchestra Giovanile di Venezia - Handel: Agrippina (2000)
EAC | FLAC | Image (Cue & Log) ~ 665 Mb | Total time: 73:57+63:33+72:00 | Scans included
Classical | Label: Mondo Musica | # MFOF 10810 | Recorded: 1983

Handel composed Agrippina at the end of a three-year sojourn in Italy. It premiered in Venice at the Teatro San Giovanni Grisostomo on 26 December 1709. It proved an immediate success and an unprecedented series of 27 consecutive performances followed. Observers praised the quality of the music—much of which, in keeping with the contemporary custom, had been borrowed and adapted from other works, including the works of other composers. Despite the evident public enthusiasm for the work, Handel did not promote further stagings.

Derek Lee Ragin, Ensemble Divitia Cologne - Handel: Cantatas, Sonatas (1990)

Posted By: ArlegZ
Derek Lee Ragin, Ensemble Divitia Cologne - Handel: Cantatas, Sonatas (1990)

Derek Lee Ragin, Ensemble Divitia Cologne - Handel: Cantatas, Sonatas (1990)
EAC | FLAC | Image (Cue & Log) ~ 306 Mb | Total time: 61:09 | Scans included
Classical | Label: Channel Classics | # CCS 0890 | Recorded: 1990

Countertenor Derek Lee Ragin is somewhat better known for his portrayals on the operatic stage than for the many concerts he has appeared in. His repertory is amazingly broad, encompassing works by Baroque composers – Handel, in particular – as well as twentieth century ones, like Benjamin Britten and György Ligeti.
His career as a singer flourished quickly, with an official operatic debut in 1983 at the Innsbruck Festwoche der Alten Musik in Cesti's Il Tito. After vocal study in Amsterdam he won first prize in the ARD International Music Competition (1986). Two years later he debuted at the Met singing Nirenus in Handel's Giulio Cesare.

Rene Jacobs, Concerto Koln - Handel: Giulio Cesare (1991)

Posted By: ArlegZ
Rene Jacobs, Concerto Koln - Handel: Giulio Cesare (1991)

René Jacobs, Concerto Köln - Handel: Giulio Cesare (1991)
EAC | FLAC | Image (Cue & Log) ~ 1,12 Gb | Total time: 72:57+78:04+75:56+18:28 | Scans included
Classical | Label: Harmonia Mundi | # HMC901385.87 | Recorded: 1991

When this set appeared it pushed all the other recorded versions of Giulio Cesare aside, and now, examining it again and even finding some things to argue with, it maintains that supreme position. The opera is given complete and all the roles are sung in their original octaves (no bass-baritone Caesar, for instance). René Jacobs' tempos are ideal for each dramatic situation, and if the recitatives have a formality that slows them down somewhat, well, we are dealing with Caesar, Cleopatra, and very grand historic deeds. Both orchestra and singers embellish their written lines, and from this vantage point, those embellishments seem very tame–but they're still welcome, highly musical, and apt.

John Eliot Gardiner, Monteverdi Choir, English Baroque Soloists - Handel: Saul (1991)

Posted By: ArlegZ
John Eliot Gardiner, Monteverdi Choir, English Baroque Soloists - Handel: Saul (1991)

John Eliot Gardiner, Monteverdi Choir, English Baroque Soloists - Handel: Saul (1991)
EAC | FLAC | Image (Cue & Log) ~ 793 Gb | Total time: 158:44 | Scans included
Classical | Label: Philips | # 426 265-2 | Recorded: 1989

Saul is the fourth of Handel’s English oratorios, written in 1738–39 as his career as a composer of Italian opera was drawing to a close. His librettist was Charles Jennens, who would eventually provide texts for L’allegro, Messiah , and Belshazzar. It is clear that, in the wake of a failed subscription to an Italian opera season, Handel intended Saul to take London by storm. The score calls for a huge orchestra, including trombones, carillon, a large organ, and double-bass kettledrums. This splendid recording, first issued in 1991, is of a live performance originally presented at the Göttingen Handel Festival in June 1989.

Harmonia Mundi - Opéra Baroque - England: Blow, Purcell, Handel [7cd] (2013)

Posted By: ArlegZ
Harmonia Mundi - Opéra Baroque - England: Blow, Purcell, Handel [7cd] (2013)

Harmonia Mundi - Opéra Baroque - England: Blow, Purcell, Handel [7cd] (2013)
EAC | FLAC | Image (Cue & Log) ~ 1,85 Gb | Total time: 675:10 | Digital booklet (PDF)
Classical | Label: Harmonia Mundi | # HMX2908658.99 | Recorded: 1989, 1998, 2002

This luxurious set containing 39 CDs, 3 DVDs, 1 CD-Rom and four detailed booklets will tell you the full story of Baroque opera in Italy, France, England, and Germany. No fewer than 17 complete operas (including two on DVD) and two supplementary CDs (the dawn of opera, Overtures for the Hamburg Opera) provide the most comprehensive overview of the genre ever attempted! The finest performers are assembled here under the direction of René Jacobs and William Christie to offer you 47 hours of music. An opportunity to discover or to hear again the masterpieces of Baroque opera, some of which have been unavailable on CD for many years.

La musique au temps des Castrats: Allegri, Broschi, Charpentier, Gluck, Vivaldi (1995)

Posted By: ArlegZ
La musique au temps des Castrats: Allegri, Broschi, Charpentier, Gluck, Vivaldi (1995)

La musique au temps des Castrats: Allegri, Broschi, Charpentier, Gluck, Vivaldi (1995)
EAC | FLAC | Image (Cue & Log) ~ 207 Mb | Total time: 47:31 | Scans included
Classical | Label: Astrée | # E 8552 | Recorded:1989, 1992, 1994

It is extremely difficult nowadays to reproduce the sound castrato singers where capable of doing at their time and, too often, one finds voices that are too nasal or merely good falsettos. But in many of the performances in this CD one can let the imagination wander and almost imagine you are in the 18th century. In particular, the performance of James Bowmann is outstanding. Also very special the performace of Charpentier 'Salve Regina' by Gerard Lesne and the others; this of course enhanced by the exquisite sensibility of the director Jordi Saval. Also, the duo of Derek Lee Ragin and Ewa Mallas-Godlewska in 'Son qual nave ch'agitata' is so exquisite it brings tears to your eyes. (Carmen E. Alvarez)

Nicholas McGegan, Pal Nemeth, Capella Savaria - Handel: Terpsicore, Alcina (orchestral parts), Ariodante (ballet music) (1993)

Posted By: ArlegZ
Nicholas McGegan, Pal Nemeth, Capella Savaria - Handel: Terpsicore, Alcina (orchestral parts), Ariodante (ballet music) (1993)

Nicholas McGegan, Pál Németh, Capella Savaria - Handel: Terpsicore, Alcina (orchestral parts), Ariodante (ballet music) (1993)
EAC | FLAC | Image (Cue & Log) ~ 292 Mb | Total time: 61:20 | Scans included
Classical | Label: Hungaroton | # HCD31193 | Recorded: 1993

Terpsicore (HWV)(8b) is a prologue in the form of an opéra-ballet by George Frideric Handel. Handel composed it in 1734 for a revision of his opera Il pastor fido which had first been presented in 1712. The revision of Il pastor fido with Terpsicore as the prologue was first performed on 9 November 1734 at Covent Garden theatre in London, opening Handel's first season in that newly built theatre. Terpsicore mixes dance along with solo and choral singing and was patterned after models in French operas, a particular source being Les festes grecques et romaines by Louis Fuzelier and Colin de Blamont, first presented in Paris in 1723. The work featured the celebrated French dancer Marie Sallé as well as stars of Handel's Italian operas and was a success with audiences of the day.