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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.

Charles Medlam, London Baroque - John Blow: Venus & Adonis (1988)

Posted By: ArlegZ
Charles Medlam, London Baroque - John Blow: Venus & Adonis (1988)

Charles Medlam, London Baroque - John Blow: Venus & Adonis (1988)
EAC | FLAC | Image (Cue & Log) ~ 208 Mb | Total time: 49:44 | Scans included
Classical | Label: Harmonia Mundi | # HMC 901276 | Recorded: 1987

John Blow’s opera, Venus and Adonis , explores and exploits the themes of power play, manipulation, and yearning. Venus’s reluctance to surrender coupled with Adonis’s innocence leads to both a tragic accident and poignant transcendence. The work was the first to have been written by a female librettist, Anne Finch.

Trevor Pinnock, The English Concert - Gloria: Vivaldi, Corelli, A. Scarlatti (1993)

Posted By: ArlegZ
Trevor Pinnock, The English Concert - Gloria: Vivaldi, Corelli, A. Scarlatti (1993)

Trevor Pinnock, The English Concert - Gloria: Vivaldi, Corelli, A. Scarlatti (1993)
EAC | FLAC | Image (Cue & Log) ~ 291 Mb | Total time: 60:55 | Scans included
Classical | Label: Archiv Produktion | # 437 834-2 | Recorded: 1992

This DG Archiv compilation, subtitled “Christmas in Rome” was recorded by English forces directed by Trevor Pinnock a quarter of a century ago in the resonant acoustic of the magnificent church of Santa Maria Maggiore and has worn very well. It comprises three festive works from contemporaneous, Italian baroque composers, although the Scarlatti item is certainly less familiar or celebrated than the other two. Nonetheless, it is worthy to stand alongside them, sweetly and elegantly sung by Nancy Argenta’s silvery (sic) soprano. The forces employed throughout are not large but the performers are robust and energetic, without being frantic, and the astringent original instruments are well tuned.

The Purcell Quartet - Johann Sebastian Bach: Lutheran Masses, Vol. 2 (2000)

Posted By: ArlegZ
The Purcell Quartet - Johann Sebastian Bach: Lutheran Masses, Vol. 2 (2000)

The Purcell Quartet - Johann Sebastian Bach: Lutheran Masses, Vol. 2 (2000)
EAC | FLAC | Image (Cue & Log) ~ 322 Mb | Total time: 64:59 | Scans included
Classical | Label: Chandos | # CHAN 0653 | Recorded: 1999

The absurd prejudice that long deprived us of adequate recordings of Bach's four Lutheran Masses (or short Masses, as they're also known because, in accordance with Lutheran usage, they set only the Kyrie and Gloria) seems finally to have died a death. The Masses' crime has been to be made up almost entirely of paraphrases of cantata movements from the 1720s, yet Bach is Bach, whatever the circumstances, and this is wonderful music which, like the B minor Mass, offers sober old-style polyphonic choral movements of impressive cumulative power alongside choruses of almost physical excitement and clamour and some first-rate arias with instrumental obbligato.

Diego Fasolis, I Barocchisti - Alessandro Scarlatti: Il Martirio di Santa Cecilia (2008)

Posted By: ArlegZ
Diego Fasolis, I Barocchisti - Alessandro Scarlatti: Il Martirio di Santa Cecilia (2008)

Diego Fasolis, I Barocchisti - Alessandro Scarlatti: Il Martirio di Santa Cecilia (2008)
EAC | FLAC | Image (Cue & Log) ~ 512 Mb | Total time: 108:49 | Scans included
Classical | Label: CPO | # 777 258-2 | Recorded: 2000

Until recently all traces of Alessandro Scarlatti’s oratorio Il martirio di Santa Cecilia had been lost. Discovered in the manuscript collection of the Fondation Martin Bodmer in Cologny, near Geneva, this oratorio which had been undiscovered for decades was immediately performed in Zurich. Karl Böhmer (the booklet author) and Oliver Mattern produced the first modern edition of the work. The interpreters on that occasion are again featured on the present recording. This sacred tragedy could rightly be termed one of the most dramatic and mature oratorios of the Roman baroque.

Richard Hickox, Collegium Musicum 90 - Vivaldi: Ottone in villa (1998)

Posted By: ArlegZ
Richard Hickox, Collegium Musicum 90 - Vivaldi: Ottone in villa (1998)

Richard Hickox, Collegium Musicum 90 - Vivaldi: Ottone in villa (1998)
EAC | FLAC | Image (Cue & Log) ~ 663 Mb | Total time: 75:54+68:47 | Digital booklet
Classical | Label: Chandos | # CHAN 0614(2) | Recorded: 1997

This, Vivaldi's very first opera, was premièred in Vicenza in 1713 and was an instant hit. The story is a relatively uncomplicated one by the standards of Baroque opera, of amatory pretences and misunderstandings: it has been admirably summarised by Eric Cross (who has edited the work) as a 'light-weight, amoral entertainment in which the flirtatious Cleonilla consistently has the upper hand, and gullible Emperor Ottone (a far from heroic figure) never discovers the truth about the way he has been deceived'. The score proceeds in a succession of secco recitatives (with just a very occasional accompagnato) and da capo arias – which the present cast ornament very stylishly.

Simon Standage, Collegium Musicum 90, Nancy Argenta, Michael George - Handel: Apollo e Daphne (1995)

Posted By: ArlegZ
Simon Standage, Collegium Musicum 90, Nancy Argenta, Michael George - Handel: Apollo e Daphne (1995)

Simon Standage, Collegium Musicum 90, Nancy Argenta, Michael George - Handel: Apollo e Daphne; Crudel tiranno Amor (1995)
EAC | FLAC | Image (Cue & Log) ~ 255 Mb | Total time: 58:07 | Scans included
Classical | Label: Chandos | # CHAN 0583 | Recorded: 1994

Handel's Apollo e Dafne is a difficult work to put in context. Completed in Hanover in 1710 but possibly begun in Italy, its purpose isn't clear, while, as secular cantatas go, it's long (40 minutes) and ambitiously scored for two soloists and an orchestra of strings, oboes, flute, bassoon and continuo. But this isn't just a chunk of operatic experimentation: it sets its own, faster pace than the leisurely unfolding of a full-length Baroque stage-work, yet its simple Ovidian episode, in which Apollo's pursuit of the nymph Dafne results in her transformation into a tree, is drawn with all the subtlety and skill of the instinctive dramatic genius that Handel was.

Richard Hickox, Collegium Musicum 90 - Haydn: The Complete Mass Edition (2006)

Posted By: ArlegZ
Richard Hickox, Collegium Musicum 90 - Haydn: The Complete Mass Edition (2006)

Richard Hickox, Collegium Musicum 90 - Haydn: The Complete Mass Edition (2006)
EAC | FLAC | Image (Cue & Log) ~ 2.24 Gb | Total time: 08:30:06 | Digital booklet
Classical | Label: Chandos | # CHAN 0734 | Recorded: 1995-2001

Hickox has a wonderful feel for this music…In short I would put Hickox at the top of the list… Seasoned collectors may well have the major Haydn masses well covered, but if you want the less-known early works, along with interesting fillers, all superbly done and neatly put in a single box, you’ll want this as well. There is splendid music here, full of vitality as only Haydn could express it.
–American Record Guide

Harry Christophers, The Sixteen - The Handel Collection [12 CDs] (2010)

Posted By: ArlegZ
Harry Christophers, The Sixteen - The Handel Collection [12 CDs] (2010)

Harry Christophers, The Sixteen - The Handel Collection [12 CDs] (2010)
EAC | FLAC | Image (Cue & Log) ~ 3,32 Gb | Total time: 11 h 43 min | Scans included
Classical | Label: CORO | # COR16080 | Recorded: 2002-2006, 2009

Harry Christophers and The Sixteen have long been celebrated for their recordings and performances of Handel. Over the past three decades Harry Christophers and his award-winning ensemble have expanded their Handel repertoire to take in his greatest works. They have also made numerous recordings of Handel’s masterpieces and this twelve CD boxed set features a selection of some of their finest discs along with three remarkable solo albums featuring The Sixteen’s celebrated orchestra and acclaimed sopranos Sarah Connolly, Ann Murray and Elin Manahan Thomas.