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Nicholas McGegan, Capella Savaria - George Frideric Handel: Agrippina (1992)

Posted By: ArlegZ
Nicholas McGegan, Capella Savaria - George Frideric Handel: Agrippina (1992)

Nicholas McGegan, Capella Savaria - George Frideric Handel: Agrippina (1992)
EAC | FLAC | Image (Cue & Log) ~ 933 Mb | Total time: 72:22+70:53+62:38 | Scans included
Classical | Label: Harmonia Mundi | # HMU 907063.65 | Recorded: 1991

Agrippina (HWV 6) is an opera seria in three acts by George Frideric Handel with a libretto by Cardinal Vincenzo Grimani. Composed for the 1709–10 Venice Carnevale season, the opera tells the story of Agrippina, the mother of Nero, as she plots the downfall of the Roman Emperor Claudius and the installation of her son as emperor. Grimani's libretto, considered one of the best that Handel set, is an "anti-heroic satirical comedy", full of topical political allusions. Some analysts believe that it reflects Grimani's political and diplomatic rivalry with Pope Clement XI.

Nicholas McGegan, Freiburger Barockorchester - George Frideric Handel: Ottone (1993)

Posted By: ArlegZ
Nicholas McGegan, Freiburger Barockorchester - George Frideric Handel: Ottone (1993)

Nicholas McGegan, Freiburger Barockorchester - George Frideric Handel: Ottone (1993)
EAC | FLAC | Image (Cue & Log) ~ 950 Mb | Total time: 70:44+64:07+54:56 | Scans included
Classical | Label: Harmonia Mundi | # HMU 907073.75 | Recorded: 1992

With over 30 of Handel’s operas awaiting a first CD recording, it seems indecent luxury to find two splendid new recordings of Ottone, a work in the vanguard of the German Handel opera revival in the 1920s, but long since relegated to obscurity. Both benefit immensely by being based on stage performances, Nicholas McGegan’s from the Göttingen Handel Festival, of which he is artistic director, Robert King’s from a production that successfully toured the UK and Japan. Broadly speaking, McGegan’s reading is distinguished by a compelling sense of drama and a wonderful feeling for Handelian style, sometimes at the expense of tonal beauty; King’s is smoother, occasionally letting the dramatic impetus flag, but offering playing of consistent strength and fine shading.

Martin Haselböck, Wiener Akademie - Johann Joseph Fux: Missa Corporis Christi, Motets (1997)

Posted By: ArlegZ
Martin Haselböck, Wiener Akademie - Johann Joseph Fux: Missa Corporis Christi, Motets (1997)

Martin Haselböck, Wiener Akademie - Johann Joseph Fux: Missa Corporis Christi, Motets (1997)
EAC | FLAC | Image (Cue & Log) ~ 306 Mb | Total time: 65:06 | Scans included
Classical | Label: CPO | # 999 528-2 | Recorded: 1997

Johann Joseph Fux (1660-1740) was an influential teacher, having written 'Gradus ad Parnassum' which codified compositional principles for musical training throughout the classical era. His compositions include abundant church music, operas, and numerous suites and trio sonatas. Counterpoint in his compositions was a hallmark of his style but did not keep him from incorporating modern tendencies in his music. The 'Missa Corporis Christi' was written in February, 1713, probably written for the next Feast of Corporis Christi, which fell on June 15 in that year.

Peter Sellars, Craig Smith, Sächsische Staatskapelle Dresden - Handel: Giulio Cesare (2006/1990)

Posted By: Vilboa
Peter Sellars, Craig Smith, Sächsische Staatskapelle Dresden - Handel: Giulio Cesare (2006/1990)

Peter Sellars, Craig Smith, Sächsische Staatskapelle Dresden - Handel: Giulio Cesare (2006/1990)
NTSC 4:3 (720x480) | Italiano | LinearPCM, 2 ch | DTS, 6 ch | 6.51+6.89 Gb (2xDVD9) | 239 min
Classical | Decca | Sub.: English, Francais, Deutsch, Espanol, Chinese

Director Peter Sellars helms this provocative adaptation of George Frideric Handel’s opera “Giulio Cesare,” sung in the original Italian by soprano Susan Larson (who plays Cleopatra) and countertenor Jeffrey Gall (in the role of Julius Caesar) but set in a very different locale: a futuristic Middle East. Sellars personally wrote the English subtitles included in this version to match the tone he intended for his vision.

Johannes Somary, AmorArtis Orchestra - Handel: Sosarme (1994)

Posted By: ArlegZ
Johannes Somary, AmorArtis Orchestra - Handel: Sosarme (1994)

Johannes Somary, AmorArtis Orchestra - Handel: Sosarme (1994)
EAC | FLAC | Image (Cue & Log) ~ 590 Mb | Total time: 60:57+68:08 | Scans included
Classical | Label: Newport Classic | NPD 85575 | Recorded: 1993

Baroque conductor Johannes Somary directs a distinguished cast led by John Aler, Julianne Baird, countertenor Drew Minter, D’Anna Fortunata, Jennifer Lane, Nathaniel Watson, Raymond Pellerin and the Armor Artis Orchestra. A tale of violent court intrigue civil strife, frustrated love, ambition and suicide.

Nicholas McGegan, Capella Savaria, Stadtsingechor Halle - Handel: Brockes Passion (1986)

Posted By: ArlegZ
Nicholas McGegan, Capella Savaria, Stadtsingechor Halle - Handel: Brockes Passion (1986)

Nicholas McGegan, Capella Savaria, Stadtsingechor Halle - Handel: Brockes Passion (1986)
EAC | FLAC | Image (Cue & Log) ~ 720 Mb | Total time: 52:34+51:50+45:58 | Scans included
Classical | Label: Hungaroton | # HCD 12734-36-2 | Recorded: 1985

Handel's 'Brockes Passion' has had rather a bad press, suffering rather in comparison with Bach's passions. In fact, Handel's 'Brockes Passion' was written written at about the same time as 'Esther', some eight years before Bach wrote the St. John Passion. One of the subsidiary impulses which led to the creation of 'Esther' may have been a desire, on Handel's part, to hear some of the music from the passion performed as 'Esther' re-uses some nine numbers and others were re-used in 'Deborah'.

Nicholas McGegan, Capella Savaria - Handel: Floridante (1991)

Posted By: ArlegZ
Nicholas McGegan, Capella Savaria - Handel: Floridante (1991)

Nicholas McGegan, Capella Savaria - Handel: Floridante (1991)
EAC | FLAC | Image (Cue & Log) ~ 774 Mb | Total time: 55:04+47:31+57:10 | Scans included
Classical | Label: Hungaroton | # HCD31304-06 | Recorded: 1990

Composing Floridante was not a happy experience for Handel. He had recently acquired a popular rival, Giovanni Bononcini, and was forced to work with a new librettist that was more interested in the poetry of his material than its stageworthiness. However, the most serious problem occurred halfway through writing the opera, in October 1721, when the soprano whom Handel had cast as Elmira fell ill. The directors of the opera house (the Royal Academy of Music, patronized by King George I) decided to replace her with a contralto, Anastasia Robinson, whose voice was more limited in range and agility, but who possessed strong political credentials: she was both Roman Catholic, and the mistress of the Earl of Peterborough. These were important assets to the aristocratic Roman Catholic faction that held sway in the Academy at that time. In turn, her former scheduled part, that of Rossane, was to be given to a soprano, Maddalena Salvai.

Nicholas McGegan, Philharmonia Baroque Orchestra, Berkeley Chamber Chorus - Handel: Theodora (1992)

Posted By: ArlegZ
Nicholas McGegan, Philharmonia Baroque Orchestra, Berkeley Chamber Chorus - Handel: Theodora (1992)

Nicholas McGegan, Philharmonia Baroque Orchestra, Berkeley Chamber Chorus - Handel: Theodora (1992)
EAC | FLAC | Image (Cue & Log) ~ 757 Mb | Total time: 73:42+53:28+42:25 | Scans included
Classical | Label: Harmonia Mundi | # HMU 907060.62 | Recorded: 1992

The recent Glyndbourne staging of this oratorio demonstrated how well it worked as an opera, and this recording by Nicholas McGegan creates a similar dramatic intensity out of the tragic story of oppression and resistance. He finds excellent tempi for the arias, and keeps the recitatives cracking along at a good pace. And though he has a very good ensemble team of soloists, the star of the show is definitely soprano Lorraine Hunt (who, interestingly enough, sang the mezzo role of Irene for Glyndebourne) as Theodora. She uses the rich, throaty quality of her voice to bring out all the terrible pathos of Theodora's plight, while still suggesting that she is a character lit by an inner fire of joy. Unfortunately the acoustic lacks a certain bloom, and this makes the sound world sometimes seem a little flat and dry. And McGegan, while excellent on the accuracy of musical detail does not bring the same drama that Nikolaus Harnoncourt does to a "fury" number such as "Racks, Gibbets, Sword and Fire". Nevertheless, the singers make this a rendition definitely worth having.
–Warwick Thompson

Rudolph Palmer, Brewer Chamber Orchestra - Handel: Faramondo (1996)

Posted By: ArlegZ
Rudolph Palmer, Brewer Chamber Orchestra - Handel: Faramondo (1996)

Rudolph Palmer, Brewer Chamber Orchestra - Handel: Faramondo (1996)
EAC | FLAC | Image (Cue & Log) ~ 787 Mb | Total time: 63:48+49:29+56:57 | Scans included
Classical | Label: Vox Classics | # 7536 | Recorded: 1996

‘Faramondo’ was produced in 1738 at the King’s Theatre in the Haymarket after the collapse of the rival Opera of the Nobility. This means that, unlike some of his Covent Garden operas which were produced whilst his rivals performed at the King’s Theatre, ‘Faramondo’ was written for a superb cast which included the bass Antonio Montagnana sang the role of King Gustavo and the castrato Carestini (making his London debut) in the title role. Writing for such fine singers means that Handel takes for granted the ability to sing virtuoso passages. In fact, singers would have expected to be able to display their talents in the requisite number of arias. These arias were crafted (or fine tuned) once the cast was known, so that they take advantage of the best points of a singer’s voice. King Gustavo’s arias takes good advantage of Montagnana’s amazing range and all the singers would have expected the divisions to lie in the best part of their voices.