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Saul Original recording reissued


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Audio CD, Original recording reissued, August 14, 2007
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$36.25
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$36.25 & FREE Shipping. Details Temporarily out of stock. Order now and we'll deliver when available. We'll e-mail you with an estimated delivery date as soon as we have more information. Your account will only be charged when we ship the item. Ships from and sold by Amazon.com. Gift-wrap available.


Editorial Reviews


Disc: 1
1. Saul, oratorio, HWV 53: Symphony. Allegro
2. Saul, oratorio, HWV 53: Symphony. Larghetto
3. Saul, oratorio, HWV 53: Symphony. Allegro
4. Saul, oratorio, HWV 53: Symphony. Andante larghetto
5. Saul, oratorio, HWV 53: Act 1. No. 1. Chorus. How excellent Thy name, o Lord
6. Saul, oratorio, HWV 53: Act 1. No. 2. Air. An infant raised / No. 3. Trio. Along the monster atheist strode
See all 30 tracks on this disc
Disc: 2
1. Saul, oratorio, HWV 53: Act 2. No. 42. Chorus. Envy! eldest born of hell!
2. Saul, oratorio, HWV 53: Act 2. No. 43. Recitative. Ah, dearest friend
3. Saul, oratorio, HWV 53: Act 2. No. 44. Air. But sooner Jordan's stream
4. Saul, oratorio, HWV 53: Act 2. No. 45. Recitative. Oh strange vicissitude!
5. Saul, oratorio, HWV 53: Act 2. No. 46. Air. Such haughty beauties
6. Saul, oratorio, HWV 53: Act 2. No. 47. Recitative. My father comes / No. 48. Recitative. Hast thou obeyed my orders
See all 22 tracks on this disc
Disc: 3
1. Saul, oratorio, HWV 53: Act 3. No. 69. Accompagnato. Wretch that I am / No. 70. Accompagnato. 'Tis said, here lives a woman
2. Saul, oratorio, HWV 53: Act 3. No. 72. Air. Infernal spirits
3. Saul, oratorio, HWV 53: Act 3. No. 73. Accompagnato. Why hast thou forced me
4. Saul, oratorio, HWV 53: Act 3. No. 74. Symphony
5. Saul, oratorio, HWV 53: Act 3. No. 75. Recitative. Whence comest thou / No. 76. Air. Impious wretch
6. Saul, oratorio, HWV 53: Act 3. No. 77. Dead March
See all 15 tracks on this disc

Product Details

  • Performer: Alastair Miles, Lynne Dawson, Donna Brown, Derek Lee Ragin, John Mark Ainsley, et al.
  • Orchestra: English Baroque Soloists, Monteverdi Choir
  • Conductor: John Eliot Gardiner
  • Composer: George Frideric Handel
  • Audio CD (August 14, 2007)
  • SPARS Code: DDD
  • Number of Discs: 3
  • Format: Original recording reissued
  • Label: Philips
  • ASIN: B000KQGOCW
  • Average Customer Review: 5.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (3 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #222,674 in Music (See Top 100 in Music)

Customer Reviews

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Most Helpful Customer Reviews

18 of 18 people found the following review helpful By Michael Birman TOP 500 REVIEWERVINE VOICE on February 3, 2008
Format: Audio CD
Saul was Handel's fourth English Oratorio, composed in 1738 when the composer was at the pinnacle of his operatic career with consecutive productions of Ariodante and Alcina at the new Covent Garden. Handel was increasingly aware of how the limited forms of italian opera could not provide free rein to the unfettered expression of his genius: especially after the wildly popular production of John Gay's The Beggar's Opera, performed entirely in english, caused the stock of opera sung in the italian language to plummet in England. Saul premiered 16 January 1739 at the King's Theatre in the Haymarket following extensive revisions of Handel's first draft. There were just six performances during that first run and it appears to have been well received, although the original cast was not strong. Handel wrote the part of David for the famous mezzo-soprano Marchesini (though she never sang it). Instead, a man named Russell sang it, an ordinary tenor who sang the part transposed an octave lower than written. Likewise, the Witch of Endor was sung by a tenor voice, Handel following the convention of his time. The undistinguished cast hampered Saul, which closed after six performances, before being revived a further five times in London between 1740 and 1754. It was also performed in Dublin in 1742.

John Eliot Gardiner returns the part of David to a counter-tenor: Derek Lee Ragin, with tenor John Mark Ainsley singing Jonathan and soprano Lynne Dawson performing Michal. Bass Alastair Miles sings Saul. The entire cast is excellent. This is a recording made from a live performance at the Stadthalle in Gottingen Germany in June 1989. Gardiner's superb recording of Handel's Solomon was made around the same time.
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8 of 8 people found the following review helpful By Ray TOP 500 REVIEWER on August 20, 2009
Format: Audio CD Verified Purchase
Today's listener is probably most familiar with Handel's works through such pieces as The Messiah, the Water Music, and the Royal Fireworks Music, but Handel actually focused the greatest part of his life composing oratorios, the Messiah being perhaps the most famous example. Much less known to today's listeners is Handel's magnificent orchestral work, including the immense Concerto Grossi opus 3 and 6 and the dimunutive Concerti a due cori, but these are true gems of composition worthy of exploration by anyone interested in Baroque music.

But back to the oratorios. Handel wrote a multitude of these while living in England ("Jeptha," "Solomon," "Judas Macabbaeus," "Israel in Egypt," etc.), and their acceptance by the British public during that time made Handel a national hero, certainly one of the most popular and well loved persons in Britain at the time. A sampling of these oratorios, though written in a manner to which our modern music tuned ears are not accustomed, quickly explains why Handel achieved such notoriety: these works exhibit immense beauty, powerfully emotive sound, and often sublime pathos. It's not hard to understand why Beethoven himself regarded Handel as the greatest composer with whom he was acquainted, lavishing him with the ultimate compliment that Handel could take a small handful of instruments and turn them into something that appeared much larger and complex.

Handel's "Saul" is perhaps far less explored than the most popular of his oratorios, but it is a worthy exploration. For anyone not familiar with the story, the libretto covers King Saul's interactions with David as David emerges as a well loved figure in the kingdom, and when the story is understood, we can sit back and watch Handel take the theme and weave it into a musical masterpiece.
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Format: Audio CD Verified Purchase
Saul is an excellent Handel oratorio with high drama and excellent music. It's easy to listen to again and again. This is a fine recording, and at its low price worthy of any and all's attention. It did not disappoint. Text and fine notes included.
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