Customer Review

18 of 23 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A welcome reissue of an excellent recording, 10 April 2004
This review is from: Handel: Athalia (Audio CD)
This reissue of a classic Hogwood recording from 1985 brings to a new generation a rare rendition of one of Handel's earlier oratorios. It also introduces for a new generation the sound of Dame Joan Sutherland who, though at the end of her illustrious career, seems better cast as Athalia than in some of her other better known Handel parts.
Here we have the Baalite queen Athalia (Sutherland), together with the apostate priest Mathan (a sublime Anthony Rolfe-Johnston), opposed by the high priest Joad (James Bowman), his wife Josabeth (Emma Kirkby) and their 'son' Joas (Aled Jones). Into the mix throw the Jewish army captain Abner (David Thomas) and you can be certain of excellent singing and interpretation of the texts. All is backed up by the very good all-male choir of New College Oxford.
One of only two recordings currently in circulation (Martini's one on Naxos has many faults), Gramophone are to be congratulated for pressing this to be reissued. The highlights are all of Emma Kirkby's arias, not to mention the contribution of Aled Jones about whom the BBC made a film at the time of this recording, and who included some of the footage of the original concert performance before Hogwood took to the studio.
A Handel completist would not wish to be without this issue - the casual admirer of good singing will find themselves drawn in to another world.
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