Acclaimed countertenor Iestyn Davies and The King's Consort perform an outstanding programme of Handel arias from some of the composer's finest oratorios.Eleven varied solo arias include O sacred oracles of truth,the delicate Tune your harps,Eternal source of light(with supreme trumpet playing from Crispian Steele-Perkins),the melodious Your tuneful voice and the virtuoso Mighty love now calls to arm,as well as rarities including On the valleys,dark and cheerless and an especial jewel,Mortals think that Time is sleeping.Iestyn is joined in two glorious duets by soprano Carolyn Sampson,including the ecstatic Welcome as the dawn of day and the ghostly Who calls my parting soul from death.Recorded in the well-nigh perfect acoustic of Menuhin Hall with a large and colourful orchestra,who also contribute two splendid overtures.36 page booklet with authoritative liner note(in three languages)by renowned Handel scholar Prof.Donald Burrows,together with full texts,and 16 photos from the recordings.High-quality video including live performances and interviews with major artists recorded at the sessions to be released on major internet channels in January 2014.
Davies's definition of the varying moods in these arias is of an absorbing order, matched as it also is by the King's Consort's judicious range of colour in the orchestral accompaniments on a disc that highlights a countertenor voice in its prime. --The Telegraph
A lovely selection of great numbers,well sequenced,effortlessly encompassed. --Andrew McGregor CD Review, BBC R3.
Iestyn Davies brings a grace and calm entirely appropriate to these Handel arias.**** --Andy Gill, The Independent, 8 February 2014