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Despite the cover blurb, it can hardly be certain that this exact programme of material was performed at the two Vespers for the Feast of Our Lady of Mount Carmel at the Church of Santa Maria di Montesanto in 1709. But despite such, this is fabulous music on show here in varied musical styles, choral and solo pieces mixed with plainchant, both from the youthful Handel, who despite his Lutheran associations was recognised as a great talent and invited to compose music for the Catholic liturgy, and from the older Venetian composer Antonio Caldara.

There is a superb set of soloists employed here - soprano Roberta Invernizzi, a perennial favourite of mine, along with soprano Robin Johannsen, gorgeously voiced countertenor Martin Oro, tenor Markus Brutscher and the thunderous voice of bass Antonio Abete. The choir would normally be a little too large in number of personnel for my liking, but their sound delivers a real integrity. The orchestration is brisk and vivacious, and the recording quality is excellent. This is an unmissable disc reviving the sheer grandeur of those celebrations three centuries ago.
0Comment|4 people found this helpful. Was this review helpful to you?YesNoReport abuse
on 24 February 2013
I came across this title by accident and was intrigued. Many years ago I bought a double CD of Caldara's Maddalena ai piedi di Cristo by Rene Jacobs from an East London market stall for a bargain £4.99. It's an odd piece but has some great music and it alerted me to Antonio Caldara as a composer to explore. Handel obviously needed no such introduction.

The Carmelite Vespers as recorded here are not sung in a darkened monastery; in fact the plainchant tracks that top and tail the recording feel a little like an added afterthought. Historically it's also unlikely that Handel and Caldara ever worked together to produce a coherent work. However, don't let that put you off. This is Baroque with bells on - the soprano, Roberta Invernizzi, in particular is clearly having a whale of a time. Whatever the historical underpinning, it all works as a musical extravaganza. Play it loud and enjoy!
0Comment|2 people found this helpful. Was this review helpful to you?YesNoReport abuse
on 5 April 2012
The Vespers as they could have been performed 300+ years ago. Do we know 100% certain that it was performed as presented to us on these 2 cd set and is that important? When i listen to the glorious music by Händel and Caldara the question seems no longer relevant. The performance is bright and vivid, well played, lifting my spirits and never dull. If you like Vespers, don't miss this one. Well done DHM and a big thanks to all performers!
0Comment|10 people found this helpful. Was this review helpful to you?YesNoReport abuse
on 6 March 2013
I came across this title by accident and was intrigued. Many years ago I bought a double CD of Caldara's Maddalena ai piedi di Cristo by Rene Jacobs from an East London market stall for a bargain £4.99. It's an odd piece but has some great music and it alerted me to Antonio Caldara as a composer to explore. Handel obviously needed no such introduction.

The Carmelite Vespers as recorded here are not sung in a darkened monastery; in fact the plainchant tracks that top and tail the recording feel a little like an added afterthought. Historically it's also unlikely that Handel and Caldara ever worked together to produce a coherent work. However, don't let that put you off. This is Baroque with bells on - the soprano, Roberta Invernizzi, in particular is clearly having a whale of a time. Whatever the historical underpinning, it all works as a musical extravaganza. Play it loud and enjoy!
0Comment|Was this review helpful to you?YesNoReport abuse
on 12 June 2012
I like this style of music. The performances are excellent, and the quality of the recording blew my socks off. Very strongly recommended.
0Comment|3 people found this helpful. Was this review helpful to you?YesNoReport abuse

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