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Handel: Chandos Anthems (Complete)


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Audio CD, July 26, 1994
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Product Details

  • Performer: George Frideric Handel, Harry Christophers, Lynne Dawson, James Bowman, Ian Partridge, et al.
  • Audio CD (July 26, 1994)
  • SPARS Code: DDD
  • Number of Discs: 4
  • Label: Chandos
  • ASIN: B000000A5J
  • Average Customer Review: 5.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (9 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #169,041 in Music (See Top 100 in Music)

Disc: 1
1. Chandos Anthems: Anthem 1: O Be Joyful In The Lord - Sonata
2. Chandos Anthems: Anthem 1: O Be Joyful In The Lord
3. Chandos Anthems: Anthem 1: Serve The Lord With Gladness
4. Chandos Anthems: Anthem 1: Be Ye Sure That The Lord He Is God
5. Chandos Anthems: Anthem 1: O Go Your Way Into His Gates
See all 24 tracks on this disc
Disc: 2
1. Chandos Anthems: Anthem 4: Sonata
2. Chandos Anthems: Anthem 4: O Sing Unto The Lord A New Song!
3. Chandos Anthems: Anthem 4: Declare His Honour Unto The Heathen
4. Chandos Anthems: Anthem 4: The Waves Of The Sea Rage Horribly
5. Chandos Anthems: Anthem 4: O Worship The Lord In The Beauty Of Holiness
See all 22 tracks on this disc
Disc: 3
1. Chandos Anthems: Anthem 7: 1: Sonata
2. Chandos Anthems: Anthem 7: 2: My Song Shall Be Alway
3. Chandos Anthems: Anthem 7: 3: For Who Is He Among The Clouds
4. Chandos Anthems: Anthem 7: 4: God Is Very Greatly To Be Feared
5. Chandos Anthems: Anthem 7: 5: The Heav'ns Are Thine
See all 25 tracks on this disc
Disc: 4
1. Chandos Anthems: Anthem 10: The Lord Is My Light - Sinfonia
2. Chandos Anthems: The Lord Is My Light And My Salvation
3. Chandos Anthems: Though A Host Of Men Were Laid Against Me
4. Chandos Anthems: One Thing Have I Desired Of The Lord
5. Chandos Anthems: I Will Offer In His Dwelling An Oblation
See all 15 tracks on this disc

Editorial Reviews

Product Description

Amazon.com

This series of 11 church anthems is a sterling example of doing more with less. Though their format is multiple movements for soloists, chorus, and orchestra, inviting grand treatment, Handel had available only a couple of oboes and a small string band and choir (with no violas or altos for numbers 1 to 6). Yet each one of these anthems is a gem. Handel's music captures well the changing moods of the Psalm texts--from somber penitence to serene bliss to infectious joy to the raging of storms and seas. Though James Bowman's arias lie uncomfortably low for him, he and Michael George do fine work; Lynne Dawson, Patrizia Kwella, and Ian Partridge are delightful. Harry Christophers leads his choir and orchestra in subtly inflected and beautifully paced performances. --Matthew Westphal

Customer Reviews

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See all 9 customer reviews
These Anthems were written to be lively and entertaining as well as full of honest devotion.
Markian Gooley
The Sixteen do very well indeed, of course, in conveying depth and strength of tone even in 3-part writing - but whose is the true credit for that?
DAVID BRYSON
Not just for a Handel and/or Baroque music fan, but for anyone who loves a good classical choral music.
classical newb

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

27 of 29 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on October 27, 1998
Format: Audio CD
Handel's Chandos anthems are apparently being rediscovered, as the release of several new recordings bears witness. This set is surely the best available, and is certainly the only complete collection. Especially beautiful are the duets ("O Worship the Lord in the Beauty of Holiness" and "Wash Me Th'roughly") and the tenor's recitatives. Performance is brisk and tight, though never rushed. Those who favor Simon Preston's even snappier style may prefer his rendition of Anthem 10 (now distributed with his very fine, and affordable, "Israel in Egypt"), but overall no one can be disappointed with this collection of too-rarely heard works.
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17 of 18 people found the following review helpful By DAVID BRYSON VINE VOICE on October 4, 2008
Format: Audio CD
Newman Flower's great biography of Handel mentions `the twelve Chandos anthems'. There are 11 here, that number is explicitly confirmed in the liner note, so I suppose it must be 11, whatever Flower had in mind. The anthem was a specifically English musical form, tracing its descent apparently to the unaccompanied motets of an earlier era. It gave a role to the church choir in the latter half of certain services, and anthems came to be accompanied by either organ or small orchestra. Handel's association with the Earl of Caernarfon, later Duke of Chandos, seems to have come about through the Duke's social pretentiousness. He amassed great wealth dishonestly, and used it to build his palace Cannons at Edgware. He acquired paintings for ostentation, and he seems to have acquired Handel in much the same spirit. Their association appears to have been cordial but brief, just over 12 months in 1718-19. Flower says nothing about the occasions for which the anthems were composed, and the liner note suggests that little is actually known. They are mostly 20 minutes in length, although two stretch to nearly half an hour. The orchestra consists of strings without violas plus an oboe, a bassoon and a couple of recorders. The first 6 anthems are for 3-part chorus lacking altos, the others having 4 or 5 parts, not always including altos. The texts are from the Psalms in the Book of Common Prayer version, except in two anthems where the rhyming versions of Nahum Tate and Nicholas Brady are used.

The Sixteen were already known to me in Handel from their fine Samson. However I have just been admiring them on their own in Palestrina, and I had to hear them in Handel again, because for me Handel is simply the greatest stylist of the voice who ever set words to music.
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16 of 19 people found the following review helpful By Markian Gooley on April 13, 2006
Format: Audio CD Verified Purchase
It boggles my mind that this seems still to be the only complete set of the Anthems available on CD. The first of the discs came out in 1989 or so and volumes 1 and 2 were among the first CDs I ever bought (late adopter, I admit); I eagerly awaited and bought the others as they came out. Not that there's much to criticize about these performances. Oh, you may not like the tenor's very heavy dependence on mixed voice to hit high notes -- I don't mind it and for all I know it's faithful to the style of Handel's day -- or like the sound of the countertenor soloists or even the particular vocal qualities of one or the other of the sopranos (I find nothing wrong with any of them), but the chorus and instrumentalists sing and play crisply and very well. These Anthems were written to be lively and entertaining as well as full of honest devotion. Handel's grasp of English was still shaky at the time, and the choice of metrical versions of the Psalms for many of the texts is, well, questionable. More that one phrase will raise a smile: "That God is great we often have/ By glad experience found/ And seen how he with wond'rous pow'r/ Above all other gods is crown'd" is a prime example -- but listen to the bass (under-used by Handel in these Anthems, sadly: perhaps he lacked a reliable one at the time) sing Handel's setting, which reminds me of a beautiful, affectionate puppy of a large breed: slightly ridiculous, a bit bumbling, but attractive and strong and lovable. Or the chorus about "snares, fire, and brimstone" pouring in a "dreadful mixture" on the wicked: clearly the choristers are having great fun, just as I would, given the chance to sing this absurd version of the Psalmist's words. Buy this set, get your local choral society to sing one or more of these Anthems (I got to sing #11 once), spread the word.
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20 of 25 people found the following review helpful By Robea on November 28, 2001
Format: Audio CD
This baroque era "Praise Music" is light years beyond the vacuous pablum that passes for praise music in churches today. I have had these four CD's for almost a decade (previous release) and they are still among my favorites. Almost all the songs (all the spoken music that is - a few songs are instrumental preludes) are Bible scripture verses set to music - similar to what Handel did in the Messiah. The musical quality of the CD is excellent. You would never guess that only 16 people are doing the choral parts. If you only have 10 CD sets of traditional Christian music this CD set should be one of them.
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5 of 6 people found the following review helpful By classical newb on October 15, 2007
Format: Audio CD Verified Purchase
I have to say that this collection is worth every single penny! The recording has a crystal clear sound, the performances are stellar, top notch, and the music itself is very inspired; I would say that it is among the very best by Handel. Not just for a Handel and/or Baroque music fan, but for anyone who loves a good classical choral music.
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