Handel: Gloria, Dixit Dominus

Handel: Gloria, Dixit Dominus

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by Laurence Cummings
     
 

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Here is a remarkable musical discovery: a marvelous, unknown Handel composition that lay dormant for nearly three centuries. Handel wrote this setting of the Gloria for solo soprano and chamber orchestra around 1707, probably in Rome, when he was in his early 20s. The extant manuscript, which dates from the 1730s, changed hands several times until it was deposited in… See more details below

Overview

Here is a remarkable musical discovery: a marvelous, unknown Handel composition that lay dormant for nearly three centuries. Handel wrote this setting of the Gloria for solo soprano and chamber orchestra around 1707, probably in Rome, when he was in his early 20s. The extant manuscript, which dates from the 1730s, changed hands several times until it was deposited in the library of the Royal Academy of Music in London in 1865, and there it lay undetected until September 2000, when a German scholar happened upon it and recognized its illustrious author. Musical discoveries of similar importance happen from time to time (a trove of Bach manuscripts was unearthed in the Ukraine in 1999, for example), but often the fanfare arising from such findings seems out of proportion to the musical value of the newly discovered works. This case is different. The Gloria is not run-of-the-mill early Handel: it is a delightful work that abounds with charm and attraction. For this premiere recording, English soprano Emma Kirkby was tapped to tackle the role, and there could hardly be a better choice. Kirkby's voice -- high, bright, and clear in that distinctly British manner -- has become darker and richer with experience, and her performance, accompanied by the Royal Academy Baroque Orchestra led by Laurence Cummings, is by turns expressively lyrical and brilliantly virtuosic. A 1986 recording of a Handel Dixit Dominus -- for choir, soloists (including Anne Sofie von Otter), and orchestra -- fills out the album with style, but the Gloria is the more glorious of the two -- for its beauty as well as its novelty.

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Product Details

Release Date:
12/15/2001
Label:
Bis
UPC:
7318590012352
catalogNumber:
1235
Rank:
319368

Related Subjects

Tracks

  1. Gloria, for soprano & orchestra (discovered in 2001)  - George Frideric Handel  - Laurence Cummings  - Emma Kirkby
  2. Dixit Dominus for soloists, hymn for chorus & orchestra in G Minor, HWV 232  - George Frideric Handel  - Anders Ohrwall  - Anne Sofie von Otter  -  Stockholm Bach Choir  -  Drottningholm Baroque Ensemble  - Hillevi Martinpelto

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