Prime Music
Qty:1
& FREE Shipping on orders over $35. Details
Only 3 left in stock (more on the way).
Ships from and sold by Amazon.com.
Gift-wrap available.
+ $3.99 shipping
Used: Very Good | Details
Sold by momox com
Condition: Used: Very Good
Comment: Please allow 1-2 weeks for delivery. For DVDs please check region code before ordering.
Sell yours for a Gift Card
We'll buy it for up to $0.65
Learn More
Trade in now
Have one to sell? Sell on Amazon

Image Unavailable

Image not available for
Color:
  • Handel: The Choice of Hercules
  • Sorry, this item is not available in
  • Image not available
  • To view this video download Flash Player
      

Handel: The Choice of Hercules Import


See all formats and editions Hide other formats and editions
Amazon Price New from Used from
Audio CD, Import, May 14, 2002
"Please retry"
$19.36
$11.75 $6.98


Frequently Bought Together

Handel: The Choice of Hercules + Handel: An Ode for St. Cecilia's Day + Handel - Alexander's Feast / Argenta, Partridge, George, The Sixteen, Christophers
Price for all three: $63.28

Buy the selected items together

Product Details

  • Performer: Susan Gritton, Robin Blaze, The Choir of the King's Consort
  • Conductor: Robert King
  • Composer: Handel
  • Audio CD (May 14, 2002)
  • SPARS Code: DDD
  • Number of Discs: 1
  • Format: Import
  • Label: Hyperion UK
  • ASIN: B000063TSJ
  • Average Customer Review: 4.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (4 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #436,909 in Music (See Top 100 in Music)

1. The Choice of Hercules, oratorio, HWV 69: Sinfonia
2. The Choice of Hercules, oratorio, HWV 69: Accompagnato: See Hercules! how smiles yon myrtle plain
3. The Choice of Hercules, oratorio, HWV 69: Air: Come, blooming boy
4. The Choice of Hercules, oratorio, HWV 69: Air: There the brisk sparkling nectar drain
5. The Choice of Hercules, oratorio, HWV 69: Solo and Chorus: While for thy arms that beauty glows
6. The Choice of Hercules, oratorio, HWV 69: Recitative: Away, mistaken wretch, away!
7. The Choice of Hercules, oratorio, HWV 69: Air: Thi s manly youth's exalted mind
8. The Choice of Hercules, oratorio, HWV 69: Recitative: Rise, youth! exalt thyself and me!
9. The Choice of Hercules, oratorio, HWV 69: Air: Go, assert thy heav'nly race
10. The Choice of Hercules, oratorio, HWV 69: Recitative: In peace, in war
11. The Choice of Hercules, oratorio, HWV 69: Solo and Chorus: So shalt thou gain immortal praise
12. The Choice of Hercules, oratorio, HWV 69: Recitative: Hearst thou, what dangers the thou must engage?
13. The Choice of Hercules, oratorio, HWV 69: Solo and Chorus: Trun thee, youth, to joy and love
14. The Choice of Hercules, oratorio, HWV 69: Recitative: Short is my way, fair, easy, smooth and plain
15. The Choice of Hercules, oratorio, HWV 69: Air: yet, can I hear that dulcet lay
16. The Choice of Hercules, oratorio, HWV 69: Air: Enjoy the sweet Elysian grove
17. The Choice of Hercules, oratorio, HWV 69: Recitative: Oh! whither, reaso, dost thou fly?
18. The Choice of Hercules, oratorio, HWV 69: Trio: While shall I go?
19. The Choice of Hercules, oratorio, HWV 69: Recitative: Mount mount the steep ascent
20. The Choice of Hercules, oratorio, HWV 69: Air: Mount, mount the steep acsent
See all 32 tracks on this disc

Editorial Reviews

Product Description

Amazon.com

Throughout his life Handel was an inveterate recycler both of other people's music and his own; The Choice of Hercules (1751) consists for the most part of music he wrote the year before for Tobias Smollett's Alceste, a play intended for Covent Garden's 1750 season but never performed. Unwilling to see his efforts go to waste, Handel contrived an hour-long "interlude" based on a poem by Joseph Spence and probably adapted by his regular librettist Thomas Morell. The story is a slight slice of classical mythology: Hercules must choose between the temptations of Pleasure or the righteousness of Virtue. The outcome is hardly a surprise, and only in 18th-century theater could Hercules plausibly be portrayed as a castrato, but the story is merely a flimsy excuse for a succession of splendid solo arias and choruses.

With the exception of a small tenor part (here sung by Charles Daniels), the soloists are all in the high register (soprano, mezzo, and countertenor), yet their music is of such variety of color that there's no sense of sameness. The very compactness of the score ensures that there are no dull moments, but especially outstanding are Virtue's stately "Go, assert thy heav'nly race," a dotted-rhythm Purcellian chorus, "So shalt thou gain immortal praise," and Hercules's limpid "Yet can I hear that dulcet lay."

Maurice Greene's 1728 anthem Hearken unto Me, Ye Holy Children is a welcome makeweight, though inevitably perhaps it seems rather foursquare when placed next to Handel's exuberant invention. Robert King and his King's Consort are Handelians par excellence, of course. Susan Gritton, Alice Coote, and Robin Blaze are a secure trio of soloists in the Handel, and bass Peter Harvey joins for the Greene. The result is an important addition to Hyperion's marvelous Handel series. --Mark Walker

Customer Reviews

4.5 out of 5 stars
5 star
2
4 star
2
3 star
0
2 star
0
1 star
0
See all 4 customer reviews
Share your thoughts with other customers

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

8 of 8 people found the following review helpful By George Peabody VINE VOICE on January 21, 2006
IMMORTALITY (VIRTUE) OR IMMORALITY (PLEASURE)? THAT'S MY CHOICE!!???

"The Choice of Hercules"is in effect a one-act dramatic cantata in English, and as such it is unique in Handel's output. When Handel introduced English oratorios to London, he did not confine himself to sacred subjects, exploring also Classical myths, with texts based on Roman and Greek literature. 'The Choice of Hercules' marks Handel's last realization of a Classical tale.

It is the story of a young man on the threshold of manhood (Hercules-Robin Blaze-countertenor) contemplating his future. Two women appear to him. One, eager and seductive, shows him a path that offers indolent pleasure (Pleasure-Susan Gritton-soprano). The second woman, tall and beautiful, is identified as Virtue(Alice Coote-mezzo soprano); she warns Hercules that what is really good can only be obtained through hard work. There is also an attendant on Pleasure who is a cheerleader for her. Charles Daniels sings this role.

I especially liked Mezzo Alice Coote's interpretation of Virtue. She was very strong dramatically and vocally. Susan Gritton as Pleasure was formidable in her role. However, all of the singers sang well in their respective roles. I always find it difficult to accept Blaze's characterizations. In this cantata he is choosing his future path. Will it be Pleasure or Virtue? He sings it as if he were choosing the flavor of an ice cream cone instead of temporary life or immortality.

Robert King must be commended for his judicious choice of tempos, attractive melodic phrasing, and careful attention to aspects beyond the solo singing(such as the sympathetic management of Handel's orchestral and choral writing).
Read more ›
Comment Was this review helpful to you? Yes No Sending feedback...
Thank you for your feedback. If this review is inappropriate, please let us know.
Sorry, we failed to record your vote. Please try again
6 of 6 people found the following review helpful By M. C. Passarella on February 12, 2009
The other reviews on this page cover the genesis and character of Handel's little choral entertainment, so I won't revisit those issues here. I'll simply state that if the work isn't top-drawer Handel, it certainly comes from high on the pile in Handel's full-to-bursting second drawer. The music is unfailingly bright (some of that has to do with the range of the voices involved--mostly high voices), attractive, and written with Handel's usual care to convey the personalities and emotional equipage of his dramatis personae. So Pleasure's music often fairly dances, while Virtue's plies a steadier, more high-minded musical course. The chorus, in Greek chorus fashion, provides perfect commentary on the slight action of the piece.

As the notes to the recording point out, Hercules' final aria and the final chorus are both in the minor key. There seems to be some commentary here on Handel's part: the road of virtue may be an elevated one, but it's not without potholes. That road, of course, led our hero to his irksome Twelve Labors and to a terrible death right out of, well, Greek mythology. But that's beyond the scope of Handel's little work, even if the master glances toward the later life of Hercules in those somber final pages of "The Choice."

The anthem "Heaken unto Me, Ye Holy Children" (1728), with verses from the Apocrypha and Psalms, is at first glance a curious choice as a makeweight. The composition's theme, certainly, is virtue (or its religious analog, holiness), but this is clearly a sacred work that recalls, in its finest pages--a duet for tenor and countertenor and a solo for bass--the sacred music of--who else? Handel.
Read more ›
Comment Was this review helpful to you? Yes No Sending feedback...
Thank you for your feedback. If this review is inappropriate, please let us know.
Sorry, we failed to record your vote. Please try again
0 of 1 people found the following review helpful By Savonarola on July 3, 2013
This is a fine recording of Handel's work done by the King's Singers. The work is an oratorio (similar to The Messiah) rather than an opera. The songs center on Hercules choice between a life of pleasure and virtue. Soloists represent Pleasure, Virtue and Hercules and a chorus provides some narration.

Unlike some of Handel's other works there aren't a lot of show-stoppers and there are a lot of recitatives. It is still well done; fans of the Baroque and of Handel's vocal works will like this.
Comment Was this review helpful to you? Yes No Sending feedback...
Thank you for your feedback. If this review is inappropriate, please let us know.
Sorry, we failed to record your vote. Please try again
1 of 4 people found the following review helpful By Bjorn Viberg on February 9, 2011
Handel: The Choice of Hercules is a recording under the direction of Robert King who leads the The Kings Consort on this Hyperion Records Limited recording from 2002. We also have the pleasure to listen to the Choir of the Kings Consort. Anthony Hicks has written the liner-notes and the booklet also contains photographs of the performers along with a very nice painting of Handel. Highly recommended. 5/5.
Comment Was this review helpful to you? Yes No Sending feedback...
Thank you for your feedback. If this review is inappropriate, please let us know.
Sorry, we failed to record your vote. Please try again

Forums

There are no discussions about this product yet.
Be the first to discuss this product with the community.
Start a new discussion
Topic:
First post:
Prompts for sign-in
 


Look for Similar Items by Category