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Handel: Between Heaven & Earth

Sandrine Piau Audio CD
5.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (4 customer reviews)
Price: £11.62 & FREE Delivery in the UK. Details
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Product details

  • Performer: Sandrine Piau
  • Orchestra: Accademia Bizantina
  • Conductor: Stefano Montanari
  • Composer: George Frideric Handel
  • Audio CD (7 Sep 2009)
  • SPARS Code: DDD
  • Number of Discs: 1
  • Label: Opus 111 / Naive
  • ASIN: B002FX7DMS
  • Average Customer Review: 5.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (4 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 164,979 in Music (See Top 100 in Music)

1. La Resurrezione Aria `Disserratevi, o porte d'Averno'
2. Theodora Recitative `O Thou bright Sun!'
3. Theodora Aria `With darkness deep as is my woe'
4. A song for St Cecilia's day Aria `What passion cannot music raise and quell'
5. Messiah Aria `Rejoice greatly'
6. Theodora Largo
7. Alexander Balus Aria `O take me from this hateful light'
8. Alexander Balus Recitative `Forgive, O queen'
9. Alexander Balus Accompagnato `Calm thou my soul'
10. Alexander Balus Aria `Convey me to some peaceful shore'
11. Joseph and his brethren Recitative `Art thou not Zaphnath? Is not Egypt sav'd?'
12. Joseph and his brethren Aria `Prophetic raptures swell my breast'
13. L'allegro, Il penseroso, ed Il moderato Duet `As steals the morn upon the night'
14. Solomon Symphony (`The Arrival of the Queen of Sheba')
15. L'allegro, il penseroso, ed il moderato Accompagnato `First and chief on golden wing'
16. L'allegro, il penseroso, ed il moderato Accompagnato Aria `Sweet bird'
17. Concerto Grosso in B Flat Major, op.3 no.2 Largo
18. Samson Aria `Let the bright seraphims'
19. Il Trionfo del Tempo e del Disinganno Accompagnato `Pure del cielo'
20. Il Trionfo del Tempo e del Disinganno Aria `Tu del Ciel ministro eletto'

Product Description

Product Description

The world renowned and multi award-winning French soprano, Sandrine Piau, presents an intimate recital exploring the religious and philosophical aspects of Handel's oeuvre. Sandrine Piau takes great pleasure in the art of recital. On her new recording for the Handel anniversary, 'Between Heaven and Earth' she is accompanied by one of the finest period instrument ensembles, Accademia Bizantina under the direction of Stefano Montanari. For Handel the soprano voice may assume many different guises: as angelic messenger, as the herald of hope and reason, or glorifying music itself. It can also express the deepest sufferings and transcend them in an ecstasy worthy of the greatest mystics. A highlight is the stunning duet, 'As steals the morn upon the night' from L'allegro, Il penseroso, ed Il moderato and also features the internationally acclaimed Finnish tenor, Topi Lehtipuu. Sandrine Piau records exclusively for Naïve. Her disc of Mozart Arias, with the Freiburger Barockorchester, met with critical acclaim and was awarded the Prix Charles Cros. Her second album, Debussy Mélodies, accompanied by Jos van Imserseel, won the 'Prix Ravel' at the Orphée Awards in Paris. Handel's Arias Seria with Christophe Rousset was a Gramophone Editor's Choice in January 2005 and won the Stanley Sadie Handel Recording Prize 2005. Personnel: Sandrine Piau (soprano), Accademia Bizantina, Stefano Montanari (first violin, conductor and musical director), Topi Lehtipuu (tenor, track 13)

Product Description

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Customer Reviews

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Most Helpful Customer Reviews
13 of 14 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars 'What passion cannot music raise and quell' 7 Nov 2009
Format:Audio CD|Verified Purchase
I have many CDs of Handel arias including 'As Steals the Morn...' by Mark Padmore & Lucy Crowe (Harmonia Mundi HMU 907422)- great!- and Lorraine Hunt Lieberson -magical!- and this Sandrine Piau CD is a worthy addition to the collection.

This CD offers yet another perspective on Handel's wonderful music. Worth buying this CD even if only for the wonderfully sensitive aria from 'A Song for St Cecilia's Day': What passion cannot music raise and quell. Need one say more?!
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9 of 10 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars the best...awesome 10 Oct 2009
Format:Audio CD
this is a wonderful cd i highly recomend - its a different selection from the usual - a mix of ones you will reconise and some you may not have heard of - the singing is superb..it blew me away with the wonder of sandrine's voice.
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8 of 9 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars ethereal 4 Mar 2010
By Ken
Format:Audio CD|Verified Purchase
This really is something special, music to listen to & not something to have in the background. Although it is the beauty of the arias that knock you out on first listening, there is an amazing range & contrast in the music, and the orchestral interludes add to the overall atmosphere & sense of peace.
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5.0 out of 5 stars Exquisite 6 Dec 2012
Format:Audio CD
I didn't really know the French soprano Sandrine Piau until I bought this disc, a collection of arias from some of Handel's greatest oratorios, both sacred and secular, but I cannot say just how much I am impressed by her artistry and vocal lustre. Handel manages to convey in his music great spirituality without ever neglecting the sensual pleasure that goes with great melodic writing and Piau is equally at home conveying the agony of human suffering and the serenity of redemption or consolation. Her singing is quite wonderful, whether she is spinning a silvery vocal line or tossing off some quite sensational vocal pyrotechnics. Some of the arias are sung in English and her mastery of the language is more than acceptable.

She is accompanied by the Academia Bizantina, led from the violin by Stefano Montanari and is joined in the lovely duet from "L'allegro, il penseroso, ed il moderato", "As steals the morn", by the Finnish tenor Topi Lehtipuu; this is one of my favourite pieces and the pairing here is good enough to rival classic versions by Mark Padmore and Lucy Crowe and Ian Bostridge and Lynne Dawson.
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews on Amazon.com (beta)
Amazon.com: 4.5 out of 5 stars  2 reviews
5 of 6 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Oratorio arias, for a change 7 Jan 2010
By Craig M. Zeichner - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Audio CD
Fans of Baroque vocal music are no doubt familiar with the French soprano Sandrine Piau. Piau has been a go-to singer on a number of outstanding recordings on the Naïve label, really standing out in their Vivaldi opera series. Between Heaven and Hell is Piau's third CD dedicated to music by G. F. Handel and it's an outstanding recording. Piau is well-suited to this music. She has a light tone that will remind many of Emma Kirkby, but is blessed with a vocal athleticism that serves Handel's more energetic passages quite well.

Arias from Handel's are typically fodder for recital records so it's a pleasant surprise that this recording focuses on arias from Handel's oratorios. Music from Handel's early Italian oratorios: la Resurrezione and il Trionfo del tempo e del disinganno receive thrilling performances. Piau is a bit pressed by the energetic coloratura of Resurrezione's "Disserratevi, o porte d'Aveno," but her brightly ringing top notes make up for it. She also acquits herself nicely in the English arias, despite the fact that her pronunciation is anything but idiomatic. "With darkness deep is my woe" from Theodora is beautifully sung and the tender "Sweet bird" from l'Allegro, il penseroso, ed il moderato, where solo flute joins her in delicious imitation of birdsong, is charming.

High marks must be awarded to the superb instrumental support of the Accademia Bizantina under the direction of Stefan Montanari. While the ensemble does have some opportunities to shine in purely instrumental works, most notably the "Arrival of the Queen of Sheba" from Solomon, it's the consistently excellent accompaniment they provide for Piau that wins the day.
12 of 16 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Handel - Between Heaven and Earth, by Sandrine Piau 26 Oct 2009
By Zadok_the_Priest - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Audio CD
The Queen has arrived from Sheba and she is Sandrine Piau.

The album is called "Between Heaven and Earth" and is an all-oratorio recital. There are only 3 instrumental tracks, but they rock - the Queen of Sheba never arrived with such zest, and the other 2 are perfectly timed and placed to let you recover from the emotions stirred by the arias.

(Another oratorio recital, by Karina Gauvin, has great singing but soporific playing)

From the first trumpet call of "Disseratevi, o porte d'Averno", you sit up and take notice. Piau's voice is not the strongest, but she knows how to play this aria. Expressively, she beats the competition and makes me wish Accademia Bizantina would record (yet another) 'La Resurrezione'. Or any other oratorio, for that matter.

Every song's tempo is perfectly judged, the singing exalted or pathetic as required, and the playing is top notch. I dare you not to be moved to tears by the 'Alexander Balus' excerpts starting with "O take me from this hateful light" to "Convey me to some peaceful shore".

Though I prefer King's very slow tempo for "As steals the morn", this version's singing is the best I've heard. That song is one of the most beautiful ever written (by anyone), and it shows.

You might want to check out her album Opera seria Sandrine Piau - Handel Opera Seria or the cheaper re-issue Haendel, Opera Seria with Christophe Rousset, a Must for Baroque Opera lovers

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