Handel: Alceste

Editorial Reviews

All Music Guide - Stephen Eddins
Handel wrote incidental music for only one play, Tobias Smollett's Alceste, and it was never produced, so the composer, characteristically, recycled most of its major numbers. In this recording, Christian Curnyn and the Early Opera Company deliver a distinguished account of the rarely performed or recorded complete score. Written in 1750, late in Handel's career, it is clearly the work of the composer at the height of his powers, and many of its numbers deserve broader exposure. The soprano aria "Gentle Morpheus" is easily among the loveliest the composer ever wrote, and Lucy Crowe sings it with ravishing sensuality. Crowe's luminous singing in her three arias is one of ...
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Editorial Reviews

All Music Guide - Stephen Eddins
Handel wrote incidental music for only one play, Tobias Smollett's Alceste, and it was never produced, so the composer, characteristically, recycled most of its major numbers. In this recording, Christian Curnyn and the Early Opera Company deliver a distinguished account of the rarely performed or recorded complete score. Written in 1750, late in Handel's career, it is clearly the work of the composer at the height of his powers, and many of its numbers deserve broader exposure. The soprano aria "Gentle Morpheus" is easily among the loveliest the composer ever wrote, and Lucy Crowe sings it with ravishing sensuality. Crowe's luminous singing in her three arias is one of the highlights of the album. Tenor Benjamin Hulett, whose part is given the bulk of the solos, performs with agility and lightness. Baritone Andrew Foster-Williams seems less than fully at ease with the coloratura of his single aria. The orchestral playing is crisply precise and exceptionally nimble, and the chorus sings with clarity and high spirits.
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Product Details

  • Release Date: 5/29/2012
  • Label: Chandos
  • UPC: 095115078822
  • Catalog Number: 788
  • Sales rank: 120,282

Tracks

Disc 1
  1. 1–21 Alceste, incidental music, HWV 45 - George Frideric Handel & Thomas Hudson (57:08)
    Composed byGeorge Frideric Handel
    Conducted byChristian Curnyn
    Performed byLucy Crowe, Andrew Foster-Williams, Benjamin Hulett, Siân Menna, Christian Curnyn, Early Opera Company, Early Opera Company, Ben Hulett, Elizabeth Weisberg
    1. 1No. 1. Ouverture. ( ) - Allegro - A tempo ordinario
    2. 2No. 2. Grand Entrée
    3. 3No. 3. Accompagnato. Ye happy people
    4. 4No. 4. Soli and Chorus. Triumph, Hymen, in the pair. / Andante allegro
    5. 5No. 5. Solo and Chorus. Still caressing, and caress'd. / Allegro
    6. 6No. 6. Air. Ye swift minutes as ye fly. / Allegro
    7. 7No. 7. Chorus. O bless ye pow'rs above
    8. 8No. 8. Air. Gentle Morpheus, son of night. / Largo e mezzo piano / That when bright Aurora's beams.
    9. 9No. 9. Air. Ye fleeting shades, I come. / Andante
    10. 10No. 10. Chorus. Thrice happy who in life excel. / Larghetto
    11. 11No. 11. Air. Enjoy the sweet Elysian grove. / Allegro, mà non troppo
    12. 12Si replica il Coro precedente. Thrice happy
    13. 13No. 12. Air. Come Fancy, empress of the brain / Allegro, ma non troppo - Adagio
    14. 14No. 13. Symphony and Accompagnato. He comes, he rises from below
    15. 15No. 14. Chorus. All hail, thou mighty son of Jove! / Allegro
    16. 16No. 15. Symphony. Larghetto
    17. 17No. 16. Recitative. From high Olympus' top, the seat of God
    18. 18No. 17. Air. Tune your harps, all ye Nine. / Larghetto / Segue il Ballo
    19. 19No. 18. Ballo Primo. Un peu lentement
    20. 20No. 19. L'ultimo Ballo / Entra il Coro ultimo
    21. 21No. 20. Chorus. Triumph, thou son of Jove
  2. 22 Admeto, Rè di Tessaglia, opera, HWV 22: Sinfonia - George Frideric Handel & Thomas Hudson (1:18)
    Composed byGeorge Frideric Handel
    Conducted byChristian Curnyn
    Performed byChristian Curnyn, Early Opera Company, Early Opera Company
  3. 23 Radamisto, opera, HWV 12: Passacaille - George Frideric Handel & Thomas Hudson (4:42)
    Composed byGeorge Frideric Handel
    Conducted byChristian Curnyn
    Performed byChristian Curnyn, Early Opera Company, Early Opera Company
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Album Credits

Performance Credits
Early Opera Company Primary Artist
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