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Handel: Dixit Dominus CD

4.7 out of 5 stars 3 customer reviews

Price: £12.07 & FREE Delivery in the UK on orders over £20. Details
Includes FREE MP3 version of this album.
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  • Orchestra: Choeur des Musiciens du Louvre, Musiciens du Louvre
  • Conductor: Marc Minkowski
  • Composer: Georg Friederich Handel
  • Audio CD (15 Nov. 1999)
  • Number of Discs: 1
  • Format: CD
  • Label: Archiv
  • ASIN: B00002DETD
  • Other Editions: MP3 Download
  • Average Customer Review: 4.7 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (3 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 86,151 in Music (See Top 100 in Music)
  • Sample this album Artist - Artist (Sample)
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Product Description

Product Description

MINKOWSKI MARC / LES MUSICIENS

Amazon.co.uk

We know Handel mostly for the operas (Ariodante, for example), biblical oratorios (Messiah), and instrumental works (Water Music) he wrote for London high society. Yet he was producing masterpieces such as these Latin sacred works composed in Rome when he was barely into his 20s. The big chorus-and-orchestra Dixit Dominus and the soprano showpieces Sæviat tellus, Laudate pueri, and Salve Regina have been recorded several times in recent years (including, most notably, Andrew Parrott's thrilling full-scale reconstruction of the lavish Vespers service for which Handel probably wrote these works), yet this lively performance by Marc Minkowski and les Musiciens du Louvre is as good as any of them. Since Handel wrote this music for virtuoso castratos, it's no surprise that the stars here are the (female) sopranos Annick Massis and Magdalena Kozená. Both have sweet, flexible voices with more body than, say, Emma Kirkby or Jill Feldman (two of Parrott's divas), yet without the wide vibrato and relentless legato that make so many singers unsuitable for period-instrument Handel. The performance isn't flawless: Massis does sometimes let her vibrato, however narrow, get in the way of long, sustained notes; the choir, surprisingly, lets vibrato get in its way overall, sounding better suited to Beethoven than Handel. Yet the energetic tempos and generally skillful execution make this a very worthwhile release. It competes against one of Parrott's finest recordings (two discs for a lower price than Minkowski's one), but if you don't want all that chant mixed in with your Handel or happen to dislike singers such as Kirkby and Feldman, then you won't find a better Dixit Dominus than this. In fact, real Handel fans should want both. --Matthew Westphal

Customer Reviews

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Top Customer Reviews

Format: Audio CD
The first item on this CD is sheer delight. Massis sings as if her voice is a little ball in her hands. The opening aria is energetic, perhaps a little too fast to the new listener's ear, but a show piece otherwise. Then follow two angelic slow movements (absolutely beautiful!) and the final breathtakingly fast "Alleluia" (why do the "Alleluia's" allways have to be so fast?) sung, once again, flawless. The "Laudate Pueri" is qiute an interesting piece of music, in that the soprano soloist, in the choir sections, sings with the sopranos. This has the effect that the high voices of the choir may sound as if they sing with a vibrato (which is illustrated by the other review, where the reviewer incorrectly experienced the choir as singing with a vibrato). Magdalena Kozena has a wonderfully deep voice, reminding one of dark chocolate. It is also amazing how she controls her voice in the handelian scales, showing that she has more than mastered her technique. The "Salve Regina" is a short, slow piece, without any fast sections, but extremely expressive at times (notably "Ad te clamamus"). Here, Kozena shows that she is not only able to sing fast passages, but also slow, yet powerful and expressive melodic lines. Personally, the "Dixit Dominus" was a little disappointing: in two words too fast, from beginning to end - definately not the best recording I have yet heard. Throughout the CD, but more apparent in this piece, one witnesses one of the greater disadvantages of live recordings: there is a sense of "nervous energy" noticable in the choir, resulting in not-so-flawless singing, with "muddy" sounds here and there. On the whole, though, a CD any Handel lover should have.Read more ›
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Format: Audio CD Verified Purchase
I absolutely agree with the comments of the previous reviewer. I really enjoyed this recording though it did leave me out of breath at times with its pace. Do the housework to this and you'll be finished in no time! Actually, I liked the crisp Dixit Dominus and it did slow down when appropriate such as for the beautiful, haunting 'De torrente in via bibet' duet where Annick Massis and Magdalena Kozena soared. The choir were outstanding. The CD includes a handy libretto of the Latin text with multi-lingual translation.
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Format: Audio CD Verified Purchase
Outstanding performance - an uplifting, joyful pace.
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews on Amazon.com (beta)

Amazon.com: HASH(0x9e3fb8e8) out of 5 stars 12 reviews
9 of 10 people found the following review helpful
HASH(0x9dcb53c8) out of 5 stars Vivid and enthralling 29 Dec. 2001
By Mark Dirksen - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Audio CD
Having just panned John Eliot Gardiner's recent recording of Dixit Dominus (Philips, Nov. 2001), I will only say here that this disc is eminently satisfactory for all the reasons cited in the other reviews. I'm especially taken with the solo work, and with Ms. Massis in particular - her account of Saeviat Tellus is a marvel. Minkowski gives the Dixit all of its startling, vivid color and the live performance seems to add to the lustre. Don't hesitate to invest in this recording - it will repay you with hours of listening pleasure. Stanley Sadie is right!
12 of 14 people found the following review helpful
HASH(0x9dcb6874) out of 5 stars A Bargain 1 Jun. 2000
By Lars Hinnum - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Audio CD
The french conductor and Handel-lover Marc Minkowski and his original instruments ensemble Musiciens du Louvre gives a flamboyant and delightful performance. Especially the beautiful Dixit Dominus HWV 232.The recording is so alive and spirited that this cd must be strongly recommended.
8 of 10 people found the following review helpful
HASH(0x9e1c14e0) out of 5 stars Minkowski does it again! 16 Jan. 2002
By D. Gammelgard - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Audio CD
If you want to experience some absolutely wonderful music by Handel that is rarely performed then you should check out this disc. As I have made clear in my other reviews, I am a big fan of Marc Minkowski and his brilliant orchestra. These are passionate and exciting performances like most of his productions. Though, some things disturbs me. Most of all:
Why no harsichord? Many of the pieces would strongly benefit from the use of a harpsichord. The rhytmical details are really quite lost in the more dramatic movements and the textures easily gets blurry. It might be "authentic" in some way but there are so many other things that are not so why does he bother? As usual the french choirs are not really impressive. The intonation is far from impeccable but still, compared to for example the choir of C. Rousset, good and acceptable. Overall a great disc which is by the way a live recording. Kozena and Massis are superb. Dixit Dominus is the true highlight of the cd. If you like Handel it's worth buying just for this piece!
Yet another recording that kills of the "flat-earthers" illusion that period performances are boring!!
HASH(0x9dcb7c54) out of 5 stars The soloists are fantastic. I don't think there is a finer soprano ... 28 Mar. 2015
By Daniel C. Harlow - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Audio CD Verified Purchase
HOLY SMOKE! This is a white-hot recording of some of Handel's most magnificent vocal works. The thrill of live performance is palpable throughout. Marc Minkowski is a wizard. The soloists are fantastic. I don't think there is a finer soprano alive than Annick Massis, and Magdalena Kozena was really hitting her stride in 1998/1999. This is hands-down my favorite Handel CD. Get it by all means!
1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
HASH(0x9dcb7dec) out of 5 stars Handel at his brightest. 5 Jan. 2011
By Ludmilla Milo - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Audio CD Verified Purchase
Mark Minkowski is a master of authentic interpretations of music of this period. This is music from a young Handel writing in his most Italianate style. If you are a fan of Venetian baroque choral music you will like this disc. Sophisticated, bright and joyous featuring two wonderful soprano voices to enjoy solo and in concert.
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