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Handel: Athalia (2 CDs)
 
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Song Title Artist
Time
Popularity  
30
1
5:22
30
2
4:47
30
3
3:13
30
4
3:18
30
5
3:41
30
6
6:39
30
7
2:20
30
8
2:29
30
9
3:09
30
10
3:38
30
11
4:30
30
12
1:56
30
13
5:50
30
14
4:48
Disc 2
30
1
5:56
30
2
8:21
30
3
5:29
30
4
3:18
30
5
4:52
30
6
4:11
30
7
6:33
30
8
3:54
30
9
1:28
30
10
0:51
30
11
4:15
30
12
0:56
30
13
2:21
30
14
2:39
30
15
1:52
30
16
2:43
30
17
1:05
30
18
2:35
30
19
2:10
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Product details

  • Original Release Date: 1 Jan. 1986
  • Release Date: 14 Sept. 2003
  • Number of Discs: 2
  • Label: Decca (UMO)
  • Copyright: (C) 2003 Universal Classics & Jazz
  • Record Company Required Metadata: Music file metadata contains unique purchase identifier. Learn more.
  • Total Length: 2:01:09
  • Genres:
  • ASIN: B003TZVVQA
  • Average Customer Review: 4.7 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (6 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 13,383 in Albums (See Top 100 in Albums)

Customer Reviews

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Most Helpful Customer Reviews

2 of 2 people found the following review helpful By Marcia TOP 100 REVIEWERVINE VOICE on 12 Feb. 2011
Format: Audio CD Verified Purchase
The Acadamy of Ancient Music with Christopher Hogwood have created an outstanding recording here with this release of Athalia. They are joined by Dame Joan Sutherland. I have never enjoyed a performance by her as much as I do here. Even though she was out of her usual environment of repetoir. Here she works with a period authentic instrument type of recording. She gives a shining performance for this faboulous piece of composition. She usually has a high use of vibrato which I am not so keen on normally. However here it is not over laboured and in fact helps to elivate her role above the other Israelites. Something which is needed.
Also the Acadamy of Ancient Music are joined by the choir of New Collage Oxford. They also give an full bodied and excellent performance that really adds weight to the dynamic range.
Emma Kirkby is in her usual environment in this sort of music. She is consistantly good in her performance and this recording is no exception. In fact she makes an outstanding contribution.
Rolfe Johnson, David Thomas and James Bowman are equally at home in this composition style and once again they are all on top form.
Everyone seems to realy pull the stops out for this epic recording and the choices of performers has been spot on for every character. This is also true of the inclusion of Aled Jones who gives a beautiful vocal interpretation to his character as the boy Joas.
The sound engineering is superb and the whole release is outstanding. Everything about it is perfection. I love this whole package.
The composition is with out doubt one of the greatest oratorios by Handel. It is full of drama and musical texture. It is one of the best major classical works to come out of England over the centuries.
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10 of 11 people found the following review helpful By Marcolorenzo TOP 1000 REVIEWER on 11 May 2007
Format: Audio CD Verified Purchase
It won the Gramophone choral award in 1987 but the star of this recording is the sublime and truly heavenly singing of Emma Kirby. The recording is a well balanced whole of exquiste moments. Sutherland's slightly deep toned color (a touch of mezzo-soprano color) and her slight vibrato technique make a wonderful counterpart of the evil queen contrasted to the group of the righteous. The choral singing is sublime, clear, direct and vibrant. This is a must have for everyone, not only for Handelians.
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14 of 16 people found the following review helpful By DAVID BRYSON TOP 500 REVIEWERVINE VOICE on 24 April 2004
Format: Audio CD
This welcome reissue comes under the auspices of The Gramophone magazine,which had given it their choral award in 1987. The Gramophone was foundedoriginally by Sir Compton Mackenzie (author of Whisky Galore) and hasthrived throughout my lifetime as a reliable source of informed comment onand evaluation of classical music on record. I can’t now remember,supposing I even knew, what other runners there may have been in thatparticular stakes, but there will not have been many better choral setsthan this in most years.
Athalia was written in 1733 and received its first performance in Oxford’sSheldonian theatre, where commemorative performances still take place. Itis based on Racine’s Athalie, the English adaptation having been given,regrettably, to Samuel Humphreys. Humphreys was by no means the equal ofMorell or Jennens who collaborated with Handel on Theodora and on Saul andSamson respectively. He was a fourth-rate hack, representative of thelowest common denominator of 18th century English poetry, and hisvocabulary and diction are as trite as can be. Nevertheless the strengthand simplicity of Racine’s basic plot is still sufficient to provideHandel with a good enough foundation for his oratorio. Athalia was atyrannical queen, a worshipper of Baal who had established domination overthe Jews, the daughter of Jezebel who visited her in a dream and gave herthe premonition of her impending overthrow and death. There are only sixcharacters in total, plus of course the chorus, and the most significantof these other than Athalia is the boy Joas, the true king of Judah.
The casting of these two characters, who dominate the story although theydo not have the largest share of the music, is what makes all thedifference to a performance of Athalia.
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