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Handel: Athalia Complete [Import]

Sutherland , Kirkby , Bowman , Jones , Johnson , Hogwood , Aca Audio CD
5.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (1 customer review)

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Product Details

  • Audio CD (December 5, 2003)
  • Number of Discs: 2
  • Format: Import
  • Label: Imports
  • ASIN: B0000B1677
  • Average Customer Review: 5.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (1 customer review)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #187,659 in Music (See Top 100 in Music)

1. Overture In G Major
2. Act I, "Blooming Virigns, Spotless Train", Air (Josabeth)
3. Act I, "The Rising World Jehovah Crown'd", Chorus
4. Act I, "When He Is In His Wrath Reveal'd", Recitative (Abner)
5. Act I, "When Storms The Proud To Terrors Doom", Solo (Abner)
6. Act I, "Your Sacred Songs Awhile Forbear", Recitative (Joad)
7. Act I, "Oh Judah! Chosen Seed!", Recitative (Joad)
8. Act I, "Oh, Lord, Whom We Adore", Solo (Joad)
9. Act I, "What Scenes Of Horror Round Me Rise!", Recitative (Athalia)
10. Act I, "Oh Mathan, Aid Me To Control", Recitative (Athalia, Mathan)
11. Act I, "Oh Athalia, Tremble At Thy Fate!", Recitative (Athalia)
12. Act I, "The Gods, Who Dhosen Blessings Shed", Chorus
13. Act I, "He Form At This Began To Fade", Recitative (Athalia)
14. Act I, "Cheer Her, O Baal, With A Soft Seren", Chorus
15. Act I, "Amidst These Horrors That My Soul Dismay'd", Recitative (Athalia, Mathan
16. Act I, "Gentle Airs, Melodious Strains!", Air (Mathan)
17. Act I, "Softest Sounds No More Can Ease Me", Air (Athalia)
18. Act I, "Swift To The Temple Let Us Fly To Know", Recitative (Mathan, Abner)
19. Act I, "The Traitor If You There Descry", Chorus
20. Act I, "My Josabeth! The Grateful Time Appears", Recitative (Joad, Josabeth)
See all 67 tracks on this disc

Editorial Reviews

Many Aled Jones fans have asked for recordings of him as a boy soprano. This recording of Handel's oratorio is one such and it included a cast of stars including Australia's very own Joan Sutherland, the Baroque soprano par excellence Emma Kirkby and a conductor very familiar to Australians, Christopher Hogwood. It went on to win many prestigious awards including the Gramophone Award for best choral recording and is here reissued by popular demand as a "twofer".

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Most Helpful Customer Reviews
16 of 16 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A Sutherland/Kirkby Treasure April 4, 2005
Format:Audio CD|Verified Purchase
This recording of Handel's first "hit" oratorio, conducted by the always-masterful Christopher Hogwood, features the unusual pairing of Dame Joan Sutherland and Emma Kirkby. When Joan recorded the title role, she was at the final stage of her singing career, past her prime. Yet, curiously enough, at this late stage she was able to cope with some of the problems that plagued her in the sixties and seventies. She finally became secure in her bottom register, and sharpened her cloudy diction. Her opening recitative, What Horrors Round Me Rise, will stun those who are accustomed to her mushy, garbled words.

On the whole, this is a brilliant, wonderful performance from La Stupenda. The only drawback is her slow-moving first aria. She temporarily reverts back to her mushy diction, and there is a distinct wobble in her voice, typical of recordings she did in the last five years of her recording career. However, in her confrontation in the Act II with Josabeth (Emma Kirkby), she is again in fine form, and disperses her rage aria, My Vengeance Awakes Me with stunning bravura. It's as if the years melted away. Sure, it is closely miked, but her coloratura is first-rate, every high note perfectly pitched, with a multitude of interpolations and roulades. It's beyond me why I've never seen this aria on any Joan Sutherland aria recital compelation.

As for Emma Kirkby, she is a godsend. She came along at the right time, as more and more conductors were turning their attention to baroque music. Since she always used a "light", vibrato-less voice, she sounds basically the same today as she did two decades ago. Really, just about everything this woman recorded is worth buying, and this is no exception. Her Act II aria is absolute perfection.
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