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Handel: Athalia Complete Import

5.0 out of 5 stars 2 customer reviews

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Audio CD, Import, December 5, 2003
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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".

Track Listings

Disc: 1

  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)
  21. Act I, "Faithful Cares In Vain Extended", Air (Josabeth)
  22. Act I, "O Cease, Fait Princess, To Indulge Your Woe", Recitative (Abner, Joad)
  23. Act I, "Gloomy Tyrants! We Disdain", Air (Joad)
  24. Act I, "Alleluia", Chorus
  25. Act Ii, "The Mighty Pow'r, In Whom We Trust", Chorus
  26. Act Ii, "Through The Land, So Lovely Blooming", Air (Josabeth)
  27. Act Ii, "Ah! Were This Land From Proud Oppression Freed", Recitative (Abner, Joa
  28. Act Ii, "Ah, Canst Thou But Prove Me!", Air (Abner)
  29. Act Ii, "Thou Dost The Ardour That I Wish Display", Recitative (Joad)
  30. Act Ii, "Confusion To My Thoughts!", Recitative (Athalia, Josabeth, Joad)
  31. Act Ii, "What Can The Faithful Fear", Recitative (Joas)
  32. Act Ii, "Will God, Whose Mercies Ever Flow", Air (Joas)
  33. Act Ii, "'Tis My Intention, Lovely Youth", Recitative (Athalia, Joas)
  34. Act Ii, "My Vengeance Awakes Me", Air (Athalia)
  35. Act Ii, "Hence, I Hasten, Then Fear For Thy Danger!", Air (Athalia)
  36. Act Ii, "O Queen, Now Let Your Pow'r Be Known", Recitative (Mathan)
  37. Act Ii, "My Vengeance Awakes Me", Air (Mathan)
  38. Act Ii, "My Spirits Fail, I Faint", Duet (Josabeth, Jonas)
  39. Act Ii, "Dear Josabeth, I Trembled Whilst Thy Woe", Recitative (Joad)
  40. Act Ii, "Cease Anguish, Smile Once More", Duet (Joad)
  41. Act Ii, "Joad, Ere Day Has Ended", Recitative (Abner)
  42. Act Ii, "The Clouded Sene Begins To Clear", Chorus
  43. Act Iii, "What Sacred Horrors Shake My Breast!", Recitative (Joad)
  44. Act Iii, "Unfold, Great Seer, What Heav'n Imparts", Chorus
  45. Act Iii, "Let Harmony Breathe Soft Around", Recitative (Joad)
  46. Act Iii, "Cor Fedele, Spera Sempre", Air (Joad)
  47. Act Iii, "Jerusalem, Thou Shalt No More", (Joad)
  48. Act Iii, "Eliakim! My Father!", Recitative (Joas, Josabeth)
  49. Act Iii, "With Firm United Hearts", Chorus
  50. Act Iii, "Oh Princess, I Approach Thee To Declare", Recitative (Mathan, Josabeth
  51. Act Iii, "Soothing Tyrant, Falsely Smiling", Air (Josabeth)
  52. Act Iii, "Happy Judah, In Every Blessing", Air (Josabeth)
  53. Act Iii, "Apostate Priest!", Recitative (Joad, Mathan)
  54. Act Iii, "Oh Bold Seducer, Art Thou There?", Recitative (Athalia, Joad)
  55. Act Iii, "Around Let Acclamations Ring", Solo (Joad)
  56. Act Iii, "Oh Treason! Impious Scene!", Recitative (Athalia, Joad)
  57. Act Iii, "Oppression, No Longer I Dread Thee", Air (Abner)
  58. Act Iii, "Where Am I?", Recitative (Athalia, Mathan)
  59. Act Iii, "Hark! His Thunders Round Me Roll", Arioso (Mathan)
  60. Act Iii, "Yes, Proud Apostate, Thou Shalt Fall", Recitative (Joad, Athalia)
  61. Act Iii, "To Darkness Eternal And Horrors Infernal", Air (Athalia)
  62. Act Iii, "Now, Josabeth, Thy Fears Are O'er", Recitative (Joad, Josabeth)
  63. Act Iii, "Joys, In Gentle Trains Appearing", Duet (Joad, Josabeth)
  64. Act Iii, "Angelico Spendor", Air (Josabeth)
  65. Act Iii, "Rejoice, Oh Judah, This Triumphant Day!", Recitative (Abner)
  66. Act Iii, "Give Glory To His Awful Name", Chorus
  67. "When Storms The Proud To Terrors Doom", Supplemental Duet (Joad)

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 (2 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #466,479 in Music (See Top 100 in Music)

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Top Customer Reviews

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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Great oratorio.
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