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Handel: Dettingen Te Deum CD


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Product details

  • Orchestra: George Frideric Handel
  • Audio CD (1 Oct. 2001)
  • SPARS Code: DDD
  • Number of Discs: 1
  • Format: CD
  • Label: Naxos
  • ASIN: B00005QISJ
  • Other Editions: MP3 Download
  • Average Customer Review: 4.7 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (3 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 241,590 in Music (See Top 100 in Music)

1. Te Deum in D major "Dettingen", HWV 283 - Sols/Alsfelder vocal Ens/Conc Polacco/Helbich.
2. Te Deum in A major, HWV 282 - Sols/Alsfelder vocal Ens/Conc Polacco/Helbich.

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5 of 5 people found the following review helpful By DAVID BRYSON TOP 500 REVIEWERVINE VOICE on 3 Oct. 2009
Format: Audio CD Verified Purchase
During Handel's long eclipse probably no composition of his suffered so much from misediting of the score, misdirected performances and misconceived scholarly comment as the Dettingen Te Deum did. However from around 1980 matters started to be mended, first through a French recording by the musicians of the Sorbonne and then a year or two later by Simon Preston with the Westminster Abbey forces, each of these in turn marking a huge advance on what had gone before. They educated me for one in what this great composition really amounts to, and now when I look for modern replacements I find the situation transformed. I have just got myself a Swiss account directed by Diego Fasolis plus the Hyperion set from Stephen Layton plus this Naxos production, and if I say that this is my least favourite among the three I need to add that even it qualifies for a rating of 5 stars.

This blazing masterpiece needs top-class recorded quality - better than Preston got -- as surely as Berlioz does, or Wagner or Strauss. The work is punctuated by great choral climaxes, and not only is Handel incomparably the greatest master of that kind of sound who ever was, there is astonishing variety in the type of sound he creates, and the recording has to be able to convey this. Here the recording does its job, so we can exercise our critical judgment on how the performers do their bit, and my own view is that they do it very well here, but not quite as well as my two new alternatives do. First impressions obviously count, and the way this conductor goes about the opening sequence is to keep the military tattoo of trumpets and timpani within bounds, thus enhancing the contrast with the mighty choral entrance, which I must say comes over superbly. Is this how you like it best?
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By rev prof jm on 6 May 2013
Format: Audio CD Verified Purchase
These are really well managed performances and decent recordings of music that is far too little known. This is mature Handel working imaginatively with a powerful text
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0 of 4 people found the following review helpful By Dr. Norman White on 29 Jan. 2011
Format: Audio CD Verified Purchase
This version of the Dettingen Te Deum is the only one I have heard. With the forces recorded it is very good. Religious music of this type is not my favourite but my wife's choir is rehearsing it so we thought we'd better hear it first!
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews on Amazon.com (beta)

Amazon.com: 7 reviews
18 of 18 people found the following review helpful
Scholars Be Darned, This Is Great Handel! 27 Jun. 2002
By A Customer - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Audio CD
Some reviewers have not been kind to this recording, but then they also begin by saying the Detttingen Te Deum is not top-drawer Handel. I've loved this work since I heard it on one of the notoriously worst recordings ever made, an old Nonesuch disc from the early 60s. The over-prominent and disastrously out-of-tune oboes and nasal mumblings of the alto soloist alone made this a party album par excellence. Since then there has been an excellent DG Archiv recording by Stephen Preston, I believe-- never transferred to CD--that would make a good candidate for reissue.

The current recording isn't quite in that league, but it is very decent, doing maybe less well by the martial strains that begin this celebratory music than by the somber "Make them to be numbered with Thy Saints." Here, Handel mourns the dead of the Battle of Dettingen, an overwhelming British victory in the War of the Austrian Succession. When the soloists intone "We believe that Thou shalt come to be our judge," Handel uses the two trumpets alone, brillant voiced, to suggest the Day of Judgment, but it is not an exciting End of Times as in Verdi, Berlioz, et al. but a very solemn affair indeed and as moving as anything the master penned, I think. And the martial music Handel writes is wonderfully thrilling throughout.

This disc offers the added bonus of a premiere recording of the Te Deum in A, written almost twenty years before the Dettingen Te Deum. It seems like a study for the later work, especially in its now tender, now bubbly writing for the woodwinds that recalls the Handel of the operas. A highpoint of this piece is the moving "To Thee all angels cry aloud," sung compellingly by the tenor on this recording.

Concerto Polacco play well for Wolfgang Helbich, and the German choir dispatch the English text with very few bits of questionable diction. The soloists are all competent, and the bass Chris Dixon, who has some of the best music in the Dettingen Te Deum, is more than that. The main criticism that can be lodged against these performances is that the somber music is more convincing than the exciting stuff; surely it is a little subdued compared to my benchmark, the Preston recording. The sound, while good, is a bit variable, as if the engineers had placed the microphones a bit differently over the course of the long recording session.

But I think the music will win you over. The Dettingen Te Deum often reminds me of the Handel of the Messiah, written around the same time, and if Handel never reaches the magnificent levels of invention he does in the Messiah, he often comes close enough to make this a vintage work of the master.
6 of 6 people found the following review helpful
SECOND COMING 3 Oct. 2009
By DAVID BRYSON - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Audio CD
During Handel's long eclipse probably no composition of his suffered so much from misediting of the score, misdirected performances and misconceived scholarly comment as the Dettingen Te Deum did. However from around 1980 matters started to be mended, first through a French recording by the musicians of the Sorbonne and then a year or two later by Simon Preston with the Westminster Abbey forces, each of these in turn marking a huge advance on what had gone before. They educated me for one in what this great composition really amounts to, and now when I look for modern replacements I find the situation transformed. I have just got myself a Swiss account directed by Diego Fasolis plus the Hyperion set from Stephen Layton plus this Naxos production, and if I say that this is my least favourite among the three I need to add that even it qualifies for a rating of 5 stars.

This blazing masterpiece needs top-class recorded quality -- better than Preston got -- as surely as Berlioz does, or Wagner or Strauss. The work is punctuated by great choral climaxes, and not only is Handel incomparably the greatest master of that kind of sound who ever was, there is astonishing variety in the type of sound he creates, and the recording has to be able to convey this. Here the recording does its job, so we can exercise our critical judgment on how the performers do their bit, and my own view is that they do it very well here, but not quite as well as my two new alternatives do. First impressions obviously count, and the way this conductor goes about the opening sequence is to keep the military tattoo of trumpets and timpani within bounds, thus enhancing the contrast with the mighty choral entrance, which I must say comes over superbly. Is this how you like it best? I confess to a hankering for complete lack of inhibition as Fasolis goes about it, but I don't expect this taste to be everyone's. Then there is the very tricky issue of how to handle `To Thee Cherubim' and what follows that. I have never heard this done to my idea of complete perfection, but it is a close call here. The feeling of grandeur builds up from the innocent start in just the way it should when the heavenly choir itself is depicted, but still leaving something in reserve for `Heaven and earth are full of the majesty of Thy glory', and all I miss is just the final touch of awe as the angels intone `Holy holy holy' continually, continually... `The Father of an infinite majesty' is well done, but the others probably get a bit more infinity into it, and the last chorus of all raises an interesting question of interpretation. One way is to build up as much choral force and volume as in anything earlier, and that is how both Layton and Fasolis do it. However this is not a triumphal or majestic text, and Helbich does not choose to lose the inward and pleading tone of `in Thee have I trusted' even when the voices are raised at `let me never be confounded', and this may actually be the better way of doing it, although I can't make up my own mind.

This Te Deum is not all heavenly choirs and infinite majesty. Between the grandest passages the tones of supplication, resignation to the divine will, anxiety and hope are to be heard, and I think they come across very well here. The strong military dimension to the music is not all a matter of tattoos either, and the superbly placed `last post' from a solo trumpet makes its full effect. Excellent also are the heraldic trumpet solos introducing `Thou art the king of glory' and `Day by day'. I was not comfortable with the fast speed at `All the earth doth worship Thee', but once the voices had entered it stopped bothering me. In general if I felt slightly less at home with some choices of tempo or the handling of certain rhythms on this set than on the other two it was matter of fine shades and I don't propose to labour any such cases.

There is a very interesting filler in the form of an earlier Te Deum, based apparently on one of Handel's compositions for the rascally Duke of Chandos in his previous persona as the Earl of Caernarfon. I found this very attractive, and I noticed at least two foreshadowings of the great work of 1743, one of them no less than the Father of an infinite majesty. Astonishing how so minor an adaptation can make such a difference in the appropriate context. Again the performance ought to give no cause for complaint.

The liner starts well, but as so often declines into a blow-by-blow account of what follows what in the music. We can hear that without help, and I rather wish that Keith Anderson had devoted such space as he has at his disposal to an evaluation of the work itself. Our cultural realignment in respect of Handel has come on in 7-league strides in my own lifetime, but there is a long way to go still, and he is not yet entirely assimilated into our musical mainstream, much comment on his music is still very superficial, and this composition in particular has been an exceptional casualty of that, especially if it is the towering masterpiece that I think it is. Meantime, this is still a Naxos production and whatever very minor reservations I may have, just look at the value.
3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
Hooked on this disc 14 Mar. 2006
By Mike - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Audio CD
I have listened to this disc non-stop since I checked it out from the library two weeks ago! I have since ordered my own copy (a super bargain at $7 -- shop around).

Handel is one of my favorite composers, but I had never heard these works before. If you love Messiah or the Coronation Anthems, you need this disc!
1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
WONDERFUL CD 16 Jun. 2008
By Matthew A. Pawlikowski - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Audio CD
Even though I prefer the "Te Deum" to be sung in Latin, this is an EXCELLENT RECORDING - great clarity & diction from the chorus. Another fine work of music by Handel which probably should be performed more often in concerts. Highly recommended.
Lovely Handel 19 Mar. 2014
By ernest drown - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Audio CD Verified Purchase
These are nice performances of splendid music. One of the Te Deums deserves to be much better known. Excellent cd for the money.
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