Handel: Arias

Handel: Arias

by Lorraine Hunt Lieberson
     
 

Lorraine Hunt Lieberson's previous recording of Bach cantatas generated so much enthusiasm that it's easy to forget her even stronger Handel credentials. This all-Handel disc builds on that experience, and the result is every bit as rewarding as her extraordinary Bach. She begins with Irene's five magnificent arias fromSee more details below

Overview

Lorraine Hunt Lieberson's previous recording of Bach cantatas generated so much enthusiasm that it's easy to forget her even stronger Handel credentials. This all-Handel disc builds on that experience, and the result is every bit as rewarding as her extraordinary Bach. She begins with Irene's five magnificent arias from Theodora, an oratorio that the mezzo-soprano has previously recorded with Nicholas McGeegan (only the highlights version is currently available), and, like her Bach, this performance was born from a celebrated staged version directed by Peter Sellars. Listening to her sing, it's difficult, if not impossible, to fathom the cool reception that originally greeted the oratorio in 1750. These are some of Handel's most consolingly beautiful arias, and in Lieberson's hands, they come across as at once intimate and radiantly noble. The prayerful aria "As with Rosy Steps the Morn," especially, benefits from the mezzo's rich tone and emotionally direct delivery. Similar qualities fill her performance of Handel's cantata La Lucrezia, a far earlier composition dating to the composer's Roman days. Less profound, the music captivates nonetheless with Lieberson's fervent singing. Two arias from Serse, one of Handel's most popular operas, serve to close the disc. The lively coloratura of "Se bramate d'amar," broken by lyrical adagio passages, proceeds to the tender strains of the famous "Ombra mai fù." Again, Lieberson's rapt lyricism holds one spellbound. Surely, Handel singing doesn't come much finer than this. The responsive accompaniment of Harry Bicket and London's Orchestra of the Age of Enlightenment is captured well in the hybrid SACD, and the booklet provides full documentation and an informative historical note by Richard Wigmore.

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Editorial Reviews

New York Times - James R. Oestreich
[The program] is full of golden moments. The glorious aria "Ombra mai fù," one of two from the opera "Serse," may itself be worth the price of the disc.... Recommendations don't come much more enthusiastic than this.
Gramophone - Jonathan Freeman-Attwood
Here is a uniquely rapt insight into Theodora's profound and universally relevant themes, most notably those of humility and sacrifice; more so, indeed, any current reading.... Another vocal triumph for the mezzo.
Time Out New York - David Shengold
Hunt Lieberson brings a depth of experience to her performance [of the Theodora arias].... She traverses Irene's five stately but rhythmically varied arias with deep feeling and ravishing tone.... This meticulously engineered and documented CD/SACD is a model production.
The New Yorker - Russell Platt
Lieberson, the most emotionally resonant singer today, finds a nuanced style for each of these gems.
Classic FM Magazine - Warwick Thompson
A disc of rare beauty and magnificent power. Lieberson’s voice has never sounded fuller, richer, or more emotionally direct.
New York Observer - Charles Michener
Listen to [Lieberson] singing of “Lord, to thee each night and day,” a magnificent prayer from the oratorio Theodora...and you’ll feel that mankind may be redeemable after all.

Product Details

Release Date:
08/10/2004
Label:
Avie
UPC:
0822252003024
catalogNumber:
30
Rank:
40665

Related Subjects

Tracks

  1. Theodora, oratorio, HWV 68: Recit. Ah! Whither Should We Fly  - George Frideric Handel  - Harry Bicket  - Simon Foster  -  Orchestra of the Age of Enlightenment  - Gareth Wiley  - Annabel Clements  - Lorraine Hunt Lieberson
  2. Theodora, oratorio, HWV 68: Aria. As with rosy steps the morn  - George Frideric Handel  - Harry Bicket  - Simon Foster  -  Orchestra of the Age of Enlightenment  - Gareth Wiley  - Annabel Clements  - Lorraine Hunt Lieberson
  3. Theodora, oratorio, HWV 68: Recit. O bright example of all goodness!  - George Frideric Handel  - Harry Bicket  - Simon Foster  -  Orchestra of the Age of Enlightenment  - Gareth Wiley  - Annabel Clements  - Lorraine Hunt Lieberson
  4. Theodora, oratorio, HWV 68: Aria. Bane of virtue, nurse of passions  - George Frideric Handel  - Harry Bicket  - Simon Foster  -  Orchestra of the Age of Enlightenment  - Gareth Wiley  - Annabel Clements  - Lorraine Hunt Lieberson
  5. Theodora, oratorio, HWV 68: Recit. The clouds begin to veil the hemisphere  - George Frideric Handel  - Harry Bicket  - Simon Foster  -  Orchestra of the Age of Enlightenment  - Gareth Wiley  - Annabel Clements  - Lorraine Hunt Lieberson
  6. Theodora, oratorio, HWV 68: Aria. Defend her Heav'n!  - George Frideric Handel  - Harry Bicket  - Simon Foster  -  Orchestra of the Age of Enlightenment  - Gareth Wiley  - Annabel Clements  - Lorraine Hunt Lieberson
  7. Theodora, oratorio, HWV 68: Aria. Lord, to Thee each night and day  - George Frideric Handel  - Harry Bicket  - Simon Foster  -  Orchestra of the Age of Enlightenment  - Gareth Wiley  - Annabel Clements  - Lorraine Hunt Lieberson
  8. Theodora, oratorio, HWV 68: Recit. She's gone, disdaining liberty and life  - George Frideric Handel  - Harry Bicket  - Simon Foster  -  Orchestra of the Age of Enlightenment  - Gareth Wiley  - Annabel Clements  - Lorraine Hunt Lieberson
  9. Theodora, oratorio, HWV 68: Aria. New scenes of joy  - George Frideric Handel  - Harry Bicket  - Simon Foster  -  Orchestra of the Age of Enlightenment  - Gareth Wiley  - Annabel Clements  - Lorraine Hunt Lieberson
  10. La Lucrezia (O Numi Eterni), cantata for soprano & continuo, HWV 145  - George Frideric Handel  - Harry Bicket  - Harry Bicket  - Harry Bicket  - Phoebe Carrai  - Simon Foster  -  Orchestra of the Age of Enlightenment  - Stephen Stubbs  - Stephen Stubbs  - Margriet Tindemans  - Gareth Wiley  - Annabel Clements  - Lorraine Hunt Lieberson
  11. Serse (Xerxes), opera, HWV 40: Aria. Se bramate d'amar, chi vi sdegna  - George Frideric Handel  - Harry Bicket  - Simon Foster  -  Orchestra of the Age of Enlightenment  - Gareth Wiley  - Annabel Clements  - Lorraine Hunt Lieberson
  12. Serse (Xerxes), opera, HWV 40: Recit. Frondi tenere e belle  - George Frideric Handel  - Harry Bicket  - Simon Foster  -  Orchestra of the Age of Enlightenment  - Gareth Wiley  - Annabel Clements  - Lorraine Hunt Lieberson
  13. Serse (Xerxes), opera, HWV 40: Aria. Ombra mai fù  - George Frideric Handel  - Harry Bicket  - Simon Foster  -  Orchestra of the Age of Enlightenment  - Gareth Wiley  - Annabel Clements  - Lorraine Hunt Lieberson

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