- Gloria, for soprano & orchestra (discovered in 2001)
- Dixit Dominus for soloists, hymn for chorus & orchestra in G Minor, HWV 232
Handel: Gloria, Dixit Dominusby Laurence Cummings
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.
- Release Date:
Performance CreditsLaurence Cummings Primary Artist,Conductor
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I loved it. I'm glad they finally found the manuscript so they could record it. What a beautiful piece of music.
Glorious, glorious , glorious! I simply cannot find the right words to describe the astounding talent of Emma Kirkby... Emma; I am your #1 fan!