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Sigiswald Kuijken, La Petite Bande, Ex Tempore - Carl Heinrich Graun: Der Tod Jesu (2004)

Posted By: ArlegZ
Sigiswald Kuijken, La Petite Bande, Ex Tempore - Carl Heinrich Graun: Der Tod Jesu (2004)

Sigiswald Kuijken, La Petite Bande, Ex Tempore - Carl Heinrich Graun: Der Tod Jesu (2004)
EAC | FLAC | Image (Cue & Log) ~ 472 Mb | Total time: 45:09+56:08 | Scans included
Classical | Label: Hyperion | # CDA67466 | Recorded: 2003

'When all is said and done, Kuijken and Hyperion have given us perhaps the most fully satisfying recording yet of the work—one not likely to be challenged for some time'(American Record Guide)

Enrico Gatti, Ensemble Aurora - Alessandro Stradella: La Susanna (2004)

Posted By: ArlegZ
Enrico Gatti, Ensemble Aurora - Alessandro Stradella: La Susanna (2004)

Enrico Gatti, Ensemble Aurora - Alessandro Stradella: La Susanna (2004)
EAC | FLAC | Image (Cue & Log) ~ 522 Mb | Total time: 52:09+47:34 | Scans included
Classical | Label: Glossa | # GCD 921201 | Recorded: 2003

A few years after the assassination of Stradella, Pierre Bourdelot and Pierre Bonnet-Bourdelot included a story of the episode in their Histoire de la Musique in 1715, and consequently the ‘legend of Stradella’ was born. According to the legend, Stradella had disappeared with the lover of a Venetian noble, who in response hired a band of assassins to pursue the lovers from city to city. In the booklet of this CD – with its recording from Enrico Gatti, his Ensemble Aurora and Emanuela Galli in the title role – are contained the latest results of Carolyn Gianturco’s investigation into the life and works of Stradella, including some completely new information. La Susanna, an erotic oratorio, was written by Stradella in 1681 on commission from Francesco II, Duke of Modena, who was very fond of the genre.

Philippe Herreweghe, Collegium Vocale Gent - Johann Sebastian Bach: Oster-Oratorium, Himmelfahrts-Oratorium, Cantatas (2010)

Posted By: ArlegZ
Philippe Herreweghe, Collegium Vocale Gent - Johann Sebastian Bach: Oster-Oratorium, Himmelfahrts-Oratorium, Cantatas (2010)

Philippe Herreweghe, Collegium Vocale Gent - Johann Sebastian Bach: Oster-Oratorium, Himmelfahrts-Oratorium, Cantatas BWV 2, 20, 43, 44, 66, 176 (2010)
EAC | FLAC | Image (Cue & Log) ~ 824 Mb | Total time: 72:34+67:15+53:20 | Scans included
Classical | Label: Harmonia Mundi | # HML 5908354.56 | Recorded: 1993, 1994, 2002

Another entry in Harmonia Mundi's ongoing Bach Edition, this recording from 1993 exemplifies both the consistently high standard of performance we've come to expect from Philippe Herreweghe and his Collegium Vocale and the astonishing musical variety and emotional/spiritual depth of Bach's vocal works. As usual in this series, the program reflects a theme, in this case the feast of Ascension, for which Bach wrote what proved to be his final oratorio (improperly catalogued as a cantata in the original edition of Bach's works) and at least three cantatas. The oratorio contains both original music and, as has recently been shown, several movements taken from cantatas no longer extant. It's a compelling and inexplicably underperformed work, far shorter than Bach's other oratorios, complete with some terrific orchestral music, two wonderful festive choruses, a tenor Evangelist narrator, a charming little duet for tenor and bass, and arias for soprano and alto.

Helmuth Rilling, Bach-Collegium Stuttgart, Gächinger Kantorei - Johann Sebastian Bach: Great Sacred Choral Works [10CDs] (2010)

Posted By: ArlegZ
Helmuth Rilling, Bach-Collegium Stuttgart, Gächinger Kantorei - Johann Sebastian Bach: Great Sacred Choral Works [10CDs] (2010)

Helmuth Rilling, Bach-Collegium Stuttgart, Gächinger Kantorei - Johann Sebastian Bach: Great Sacred Choral Works [10CDs] (2010)
EAC | FLAC | Image (Cue & Log) ~ 2.71 Gb | Total time: 10:48:54 | Scans included
Classical | Label: Sony Classical | # 88697687172 | Recorded: 1969-1985

Helmuth Rilling is an excellent conductor and interpreter of Bach's sacred music. Recorded from 1969 to 1985, over a longer period of time than most other sets, there is a lot of change throughout the series. Rilling's recordings are more dense and lush than others, and his tempi are often slower than HIP recordings - no "original instruments" for Rilling. But he creates such a detailed sound-world that any fan of these works should want to hear Rilling's versions to compare with others. This said, Rilling often uses a technique that I find a bit disturbing. He'll have one instrument or group of instruments sequestered to one track, and others on the other track, giving a sound similar to that of early Beatles' stereo mixes, where vocals were on one track and instruments on the other.

Rene Jacobs, Akademie fur Alte Musik Berlin, RIAS Kammerchor - Georg Philipp Telemann: Brockes-Passion (2009)

Posted By: ArlegZ
Rene Jacobs, Akademie fur Alte Musik Berlin, RIAS Kammerchor - Georg Philipp Telemann: Brockes-Passion (2009)

René Jacobs, Akademie für Alte Musik Berlin, RIAS Kammerchor - Georg Philipp Telemann: Brockes-Passion (2009)
EAC | FLAC | Image (Cue & Log) ~ 766 Mb | Total time: 139:51 | Scans included
Classical | Label: Harmonia Mundi | # HMC 902013.14 | Recorded: 2008

The narrative of Christ’s Passion as retold by Barthold Brockes (a dominant figure in early 18th-century German literature) is of such dramatic power that it was set to music by 13 different composers (including Handel, Keiser, and Mattheson)! Telemann’s version, premiered on 2 April 1716, became so famous that J. S. Bach, no immature youngster at the time, copied it out in full 23 years later . . . René Jacobs has striven to restore this quite extraordinary score to life in all its rich complexity.

Karl Richter, Munchener Bach-Orchester, Munchener Bach-Chor - Johann Sebastian Bach: Matthaus-Passion (1994)

Posted By: ArlegZ
Karl Richter, Munchener Bach-Orchester, Munchener Bach-Chor - Johann Sebastian Bach: Matthaus-Passion (1994)

Karl Richter, Münchener Bach-Orchester, Münchener Bach-Chor - Johann Sebastian Bach: Matthäus-Passion (1994)
EAC | FLAC | Image (Cue & Log) ~ 900 Mb | Total time: 65:42+63:48+68:17 | Scans included
Classical | Label: Archiv Produktion | # 439 338-2 | Recorded: 1958

The evolving musical climate of the 1950s occasioned a profound shift of culture and attitude in the performance of Bach’s great choral works. By the close of the decade, it was one of Bach’s own successors in the post of Kantor at Leipzig’s Thomaskirche, Karl Richter (who’d become organist there at age 23 in 1947), who’d become torch-bearer for a new generation of Bach interpreters. Richter’s recordings with the Munich Bach Choir and Orchestra (ensembles he founded in 1951 and with which his name has become synonymous) heeded an unbroken Leipzig tradition that could be traced back to the time of Bach himself.

Michael Schneider, La Stagione Frankfurt - Alessandro Stradella: San Giovanni Battista (1989)

Posted By: ArlegZ
Michael Schneider, La Stagione Frankfurt - Alessandro Stradella: San Giovanni Battista (1989)

Michael Schneider, La Stagione Frankfurt - Alessandro Stradella: San Giovanni Battista (1989)
EAC | FLAC | Image (Cue & Log) ~ 334 Mb | Total time: 74:56 | Scans included
Classical | Label: Deutsche Harmonia Mundi | # RD 77034 | Recorded: 1989

Alessandro Stradella was a remarkable composer and his oratorio San Giovanni Battista is a remarkable work. Both have never fallen into oblivion. As far as the composer is concerned, that is mainly due to his adventurous life, which ended with his being murdered as a result of one of his many love affairs. The oratorio was still known in the 19th century, and it was Stradella's first work performed in the 20th century: in 1949 Maria Callas took the role of Eriodiade la figlia, better known as Salome.

Christopher Hogwood, The Academy of Ancient Music - Handel: Messiah, Athalia, Esther, La Resurrezione [8CDs] (2005)

Posted By: ArlegZ
Christopher Hogwood, The Academy of Ancient Music - Handel: Messiah, Athalia, Esther, La Resurrezione [8CDs] (2005)

Christopher Hogwood, The Academy of Ancient Music - Handel: Messiah, Athalia, Esther, La Resurrezione (2005)
EAC | FLAC | Image (Cue & Log) ~ 2,05 Gb | Total time: 136:34+121:39+96:44+109:38 | Scans included
Classical | Label: Decca | # 475 6731 | Recorded: 1979-1985

Led by Christopher Hogwood, the Academy of Ancient Music has made many renowned recordings of Handel's music-particularly the oratorios. The beloved Messiah heads up this 8-CD set, followed by Esther; La Resurezzione , and, making its return to the international catalog after an absence of several years, the 1985 recording of Athalia -with none other than Joan Sutherland in the title role! Recorded in London, 1979-85.

John Eliot Gardiner, English Baroque Soloists, Monteverdi Choir - George Frideric Handel: Jephtha (2008)

Posted By: ArlegZ
John Eliot Gardiner, English Baroque Soloists, Monteverdi Choir - George Frideric Handel: Jephtha (2008)

John Eliot Gardiner, English Baroque Soloists, Monteverdi Choir - George Frideric Handel: Jephtha (2008)
EAC | FLAC | Image (Cue & Log) ~ 736 Mb | Total time: 158:14 | Scans included
Classical | Label: DECCA | # 478 0398 | Recorded: 1988

John Eliot Gardiner’s recording was made live at the Göttingen Festival in 1988 … the exhilaration and intensity of the performance come over vividly, with superb singing from both chorus and an almost ideal line-up of soloists … as for the Monteverdi Choir, their clarity, incisiveness and beauty are a constant delight.

John Eliot Gardiner, English Baroque Soloists, Monteverdi Choir - George Frideric Handel: Israel in Egypt (2008)

Posted By: ArlegZ
John Eliot Gardiner, English Baroque Soloists, Monteverdi Choir - George Frideric Handel: Israel in Egypt (2008)

John Eliot Gardiner, English Baroque Soloists, Monteverdi Choir - George Frideric Handel: Israel in Egypt, Zadok the Priest, The King shall rejoice (2008)
EAC | FLAC | Image (Cue & Log) ~ 460 Mb | Total time: 103:07 | Scans included
Classical | Label: Decca | # 478 0398 | Recorded: 1990, 1993

Gardiner secures subtler playing from his period instruments…conveying more clearly the emotional and dramatic thrust…first rate soloists have been chosen from the chorus, and the digital recording of full and well balanced…

Wolfgang Gönnenwein, Consortium musicum, Süddeutscher Madrigalchor - Bach: Matthäus-Passion (1989)

Posted By: ArlegZ
Wolfgang Gönnenwein, Consortium musicum, Süddeutscher Madrigalchor - Bach: Matthäus-Passion (1989)

Wolfgang Gönnenwein, Consortium musicum, Süddeutscher Madrigalchor - Bach: Matthäus-Passion (1989)
EAC | FLAC | Image (Cue & Log) ~ 919 Mb | Total time: 74:10+73:47+48:36 | Scans included
Classical | Label: EMI | # CZS 7 62588 2 | Recorded: 1968

Among traditional modern-instrument versions of Bach’s St. Matthew Passion, Wolfgang Gönnenwein’s 1968 recording has a lot to offer. Not least is the excellent choral singing from top to bottom. The texts are always clear, and the pacing for the chorales is governed by the story’s dramatic unfolding. You can’t help but be hooked by Evangelist Theo Altmeyer’s warm tone and vivid portrayal, complemented by Franz Crass’ sonorous, touching Jesus. What a joy it is to hear Teresa Zylis-Gara, Julia Hamari, and Hermann Prey at the peak of their respective powers. Tenor Nicolai Gedda is heard to better advantage with Gönnenwein than in Otto Klemperer’s recording, where he struggled with that conductor’s craggy tempos. The orchestra plays beautifully, and the engineering does full justice to Bach’s antiphonal interplay.

Robert King, The King’s Consort - George Frideric Handel: The Occasional Oratorio (1995)

Posted By: ArlegZ
Robert King, The King’s Consort - George Frideric Handel: The Occasional Oratorio (1995)

Robert King, The King’s Consort - George Frideric Handel: The Occasional Oratorio (1995)
EAC | FLAC | Image (Cue & Log) ~ 717 Mb | Total time: 144:24 | Scans included
Classical | Label: Hyperion | # CDA66961/2 | Recorded: 1994

You'll find no stereotypical Biblical characters in The Occasional Oratorio; there are no characters at all. This work is nothing but a blood- and-glory martial celebration Handel hastily threw together to raise London's spirits in a crisis. (The "occasion" was the English counterattack against Bonnie Prince Charlie's rebellion.) Handel composed almost no original music for this work, instead lifting choice bits from Judas Maccabeus, Comus, Athalia, Israel in Egypt–he even closes the work with Zadok the Priest! Handel aficionados will have great fun picking out which numbers originated where. In fact, pretty much everyone will have fun listening to this music (gloriously performed by Robert King and his regulars); it is–as it were–a blast.

Robert King, The King’s Consort, New College Choir, Oxford - George Frideric Handel: Judas Maccabaeus (1992)

Posted By: ArlegZ
Robert King, The King’s Consort, New College Choir, Oxford - George Frideric Handel: Judas Maccabaeus (1992)

Robert King, The King’s Consort, New College Choir, Oxford - George Frideric Handel: Judas Maccabaeus (1992)
EAC | FLAC | Image (Cue & Log) ~ 656 Mb | Total time: 149:34 | Scans included
Classical | Label: Hyperion | # CDA66641/2 | Recorded: 1992

The King’s Consort, with many of our new, second-generation period instrumentalists, exhibits all the benefits of authentic timbre and texture – there is no need nowadays to make allowances for uneven tone or bad intonation. The New College Choir are spot-on, poignant in mourning, exultant in victory. The whole ensemble is recorded over a wide stereo spectrum which leaves every detail clearly audible. Emma Kirkby’s ‘Israelitish Woman’ enlivens even the most pedestrian numbers. Catherine Denley contrasts but blends in their five duets, and has great facility over an impressive range. Bowman is superb in ‘Father of Heav’n’. Jamie MacDougall rises to the virtuoso challenge of the warlike hero, and Michael George focuses with no less clarity as Simon. Any weaknesses in this, the first ever complete recording, are Handel’s.

Robert King, The King's Consort, The Choir of New College, Oxford - George Frideric Handel: Joseph and his Brethren (1996)

Posted By: ArlegZ
Robert King, The King's Consort, The Choir of New College, Oxford - George Frideric Handel: Joseph and his Brethren (1996)

Robert King, The King's Consort, The Choir of New College, Oxford - George Frideric Handel: Joseph and his Brethren (1996)
EAC | FLAC | Image (Cue & Log) ~ 835 Mb | Total time: 164:02 | Scans included
Classical | Label: Hyperion | # CDA67171/3 | Recorded: 1996

Joseph and his Brethren, the latest in The King's Consort's mammoth series of recordings of the grand oratorios of Handel, tells the story of Joseph, sold into slavery by his perfidious brothers, winning acceptance at the court of Pharaoh in Egypt by his interpretation of the dreams foretelling seven years of plenty, and seven of famine. His brothers come from drought-ridden Israel to beg for food, and are eventually reunited with Joseph. The work is characteristically full of melodic invention and drama, culminating in the scene between Joseph and his youngest—and innocent—brother Benjamin (here sung by the stunning treble Connor Burrowes) in which Joseph is emotionally overcome and admits his true identity. No wonder the work was so warmly received at its first performance.

Robert King, The King’s Consort - George Frideric Handel: L' Allegro, il Penseroso ed il Moderato (1999)

Posted By: ArlegZ
Robert King, The King’s Consort - George Frideric Handel: L' Allegro, il Penseroso ed il Moderato (1999)

Robert King, The King’s Consort - George Frideric Handel: L' Allegro, il Penseroso ed il Moderato (1999)
EAC | FLAC | Image (Cue & Log) ~ 598 Mb | Total time: 137:51 | Scans included
Classical | Label: Hyperion | # CDA67283/4 | Recorded: 1999

After the success of Alexander's Feast, a setting of the much admired ode by John Dryden, it was wondered: would the result be greater still if Handel could be persuaded to set the words of a poet even greater than Dryden? Such were the thoughts of an important group of Handel's friends centred around the philosopher James Harris and including Charles Jennens (later the librettist of Messiah) and the Fourth Earl of Shaftesbury. It was under their influence that Handel came to set the poetry of John Milton, first in L'Allegro, il Penseroso ed il Moderato, and later in the oratorio Samson.