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on 25 August 2011
A seriously good recording of Handel's agonised masterpiece about love of country and love of of friends. This is the trauma of the Glorious Revolution set to music and gloriously realised in a vibrant performance with fine, fine singing. Paul Esswood's rendition of David's lament is beautifully realised. And the final chorus is staggering....
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on 11 November 2015
None of the other reviews mention that this recording with largely Viennese forces has a mixture of English and Germanic soloists. Particular mention needs to be made of Dietrich Fischer-Dieskau and Julia Varady as Saul and Merab as these are significant roles. Their English is occasionally a little muffled but this is not unduly distracting and I am sure Haendl himself would have approved. Paul Esswood is wonderful as David. I do prefer a counter tenor. Anthony Rolfe Johnson and Elizabeth Gale are as good as any competitor. The choir are expertly coached and their words are very audible.
Concensus Musicus make a lovely sound and play in a very attractive acoustic and the audience are most unobtrusive.
Harnoncourt directs incisively and idiomatically.
The competition is heating up for Saul and I doubt if many would consider this first choice. But it is darned good and you miss it at your peril.
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TOP 500 REVIEWERon 31 August 2014
A impressive edition of Handel's seldom heard oratorio whose fine cast and orchestra provide admirable performances.
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on 18 December 2015
Arrived on time. Item as described.
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on 21 February 2013
Not quite the catchy tunes of the Messiah but a lot to appreciate with some some original touches that make it worth spending the time lon it all. Excellent.
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