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Alexander's Feast

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Audio CD, October 25, 1990
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Brand new Audio CD set (as shown) "Alexander's Feast" FAST shipping (B-2)


Disc: 1
1. Alexander's Feast, ode for St. Cecilia's Day, HWV 75: Part 1. Overture. (Larghetto e staccato) - Allegro - Adagio - Andante
2. Alexander's Feast, ode for St. Cecilia's Day, HWV 75: Part 1. Recitative. 'Twas at the royal feast
3. Alexander's Feast, ode for St. Cecilia's Day, HWV 75: Part 1. Air and Chorus. Happy, happy, happy pair!
4. Alexander's Feast, ode for St. Cecilia's Day, HWV 75: Part 1. Recitative. Timotheus placed on high
5. Alexander's Feast, ode for St. Cecilia's Day, HWV 75: Part 1. Accompanied recitative. The song began from Jove
6. Alexander's Feast, ode for St. Cecilia's Day, HWV 75: Part 1. Chorus. The listening crowd admired the lofty sound!
7. Alexander's Feast, ode for St. Cecilia's Day, HWV 75: Part 1. Air. With ravish'd ears
8. Alexander's Feast, ode for St. Cecilia's Day, HWV 75: Part 1. Recitative. The praise of Bacchus then
9. Alexander's Feast, ode for St. Cecilia's Day, HWV 75: Part 1. Air and Chorus. Bacchus, ever fair and young
10. Alexander's Feast, ode for St. Cecilia's Day, HWV 75: Part 1. Recitative. Soothed with the sound, the king grew vain
See all 20 tracks on this disc
Disc: 2
1. Concerto Grosso in C major 'Alexander's Feast' HWV 318: Allegro
2. Concerto Grosso in C major 'Alexander's Feast' HWV 318: Largo - Adagio
3. Concerto Grosso in C major 'Alexander's Feast' HWV 318: Allegro - Adagio
4. Concerto Grosso in C major 'Alexander's Feast' HWV 318: Andante non presto
5. Alexander's Feast, ode for St. Cecilia's Day, HWV 75: Part 2. Accompanied recitative with Chorus. Now strike the golden lyre again /
6. Alexander's Feast, ode for St. Cecilia's Day, HWV 75: Part 2. Revenge, revenge, Timotheus cries / Accompanied recitative. Behold, a g
7. Alexander's Feast, ode for St. Cecilia's Day, HWV 75: Part 2. Accompanied recitative. Give the vengeance due
8. Alexander's Feast, ode for St. Cecilia's Day, HWV 75: Part 2. Air. The princes applaud with a furious joy
9. Alexander's Feast, ode for St. Cecilia's Day, HWV 75: Part 2. Accompanied recitative. Thus, long ago
10. Alexander's Feast, ode for St. Cecilia's Day, HWV 75: Part 2. Chorus. At last divine Cecilia came
See all 14 tracks on this disc

Product Details

  • Audio CD (October 25, 1990)
  • Number of Discs: 2
  • Label: Polygram Records
  • ASIN: B00000E3T3
  • Average Customer Review: 5.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (2 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #304,315 in Music (See Top 100 in Music)

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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By George Peabody VINE VOICE on March 6, 2009
Format: Audio CD
ALEXANDER REJECTED- ST. CECELIA RESPECTED.
'Alexander's Feast' or 'The Power of Music' is based on an ode by John Dryden to celecbrate St. Cecelia, the patron of music, in 1697. Direct connections between the Saint and Dryden's text are few; the text makes reference to her only in its concluding pages. It was arranged for Handel into a sequence of recitations, arias and choruses cast in two parts, by a minor man of letters, Newburgh Hamilton.

The 'entertainment' as it was described, is set at the famous feast of Alexander, held to celebrate the conquest of Persepolis. The musical allegory is enhanced by the inclusion at the feast of the legendary Timotheus, and the comparison between him and Cecelia form the climax of the work.

There is little dramatic development, but Dryden's picturesque imagery allowed Handel to produce a superbly varied score that includes such famous numbers as the two bass solos:"Bacchus, ever fair"(with chorus) and "Revenge, Timotheus cries". The work is scored for five soloists (SAATB), chorus and a large orchestra employing recorder, oboes, bassoons, horns, trumpets, tympani and strings.

The performance of this work by Gardiner and his Monteverdi Choir is nothing short of superb!!!The Choir presents its usual unabated enthusiasm throughout all of their Choruses, and they are present much of the time, which makes for a very 'up' rendition. As per usual, the words are understandable, the balance of the voice parts is excellent and Gardiner keeps everything moving forward in is inimitable way, the drama never ceasing.

The soloists, for the most part, are well-chosen, especially Nigel Robson, lead tenor, who sang gloriously and Stephen Varcoe, bass, one of my favorite bassos; he sings with resonance without 'rumbling'.
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13 of 19 people found the following review helpful By Bill King on April 18, 2003
Format: Audio CD
If Messiah is the greatest Christian oratorio, then I nominate this a candidate for the pagan crown. The poem is high art most worthy of a Handel to set it to music all the while being scrupulous with the text. But no more of my amateurish opinions, here are some random shorts from Winton Dean's liner notes:
"Alexander's Feast" was an immediate and lasting success. Of Handel's major works only "Acis and Galatia" and Messiah were performed more frequently performed during his life."
"There are seven accompanied recitatives, the most dramatic of all gestures-- and exceptional number even in a three act work-- all of outstanding quality. Most of them occur in the fourth and sixth stanzas where Handel makes the most of his new technique. When the music has excited the King into fighting his battles over and over again and bread a mad over confidence, Timotheous reduces him to humility and tears by recounting the fate of [Persian Emperor} Darius."
"A present deity," they shout around:
"A present deity," the vaulted roofs rebound.
With ravish'd ears
The monarch hears,
Assumes the god,
Affects to nod,
And seems to shake the spheres.
Bacchus' blessings are a treasure,
Drinking is the soldier's pleasure;
Rich the treasure,
Sweet the pleasure,
Sweet is pleasure after pain.
Sooth'd with the sound, the king grew vain;
Fought all his battles o'er again;
And thrice he routed all his foes; and thrice
he slew the slain.
The master saw the madness rise,
His glowing cheeks, his ardent eyes;
And, while he heav'n and earth defied,
Chang'd his hand, and check'd his pride.
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