Handel's Finest Arias for Base Voice

Editorial Reviews

All Music Guide - James Manheim
There's no shortage of Handel aria recitals these days, especially in Britain, but this one by bass baritone Christopher Purves stands out from the crowd in several respects. First of all, it is rare in collecting arias for bass voice, which was, in Handel's time as it was later on, generally associated with a few fixed and generally negative character types (tyrants, rogues, repressive patriarchs). Second, it's a very pleasantly varied collection of tunes, including displays of brilliant passagework, out-of-the-norm writing in service of characterization (Fra l'ombre e gl'orrori, from "Aci, Galatea e Polifemo," track 4), and high climactic drama (the big, three-part ...
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Editorial Reviews

All Music Guide - James Manheim
There's no shortage of Handel aria recitals these days, especially in Britain, but this one by bass baritone Christopher Purves stands out from the crowd in several respects. First of all, it is rare in collecting arias for bass voice, which was, in Handel's time as it was later on, generally associated with a few fixed and generally negative character types (tyrants, rogues, repressive patriarchs). Second, it's a very pleasantly varied collection of tunes, including displays of brilliant passagework, out-of-the-norm writing in service of characterization (Fra l'ombre e gl'orrori, from "Aci, Galatea e Polifemo," track 4), and high climactic drama (the big, three-part Revenge, Timotheus cries, from "Alexander's Feast," track 19, is a familiar example). Finally, Purves unearths some rarely heard pieces and programs them intelligently. When did anyone last year anything from "Muzio Scevola," or "Riccardo Primo, rè d'Inghilterra," which must have pleased London audiences in 1727 despite its Italian-language text. Purves does not have the biggest voice in the bass baritone universe, and there could be a bit more sound in the very low notes. But the dimensions of the music are right for the period. He's pleasingly accurate in the passagework, and he's a real actor who makes these potentially stilted characters come alive. Listeners will want to hear Purves in a small production of one of these operas after hearing this album, preferably accompanied by the strong historical-instrument group Arcangelo under Jonathan Cohen, as he is here.
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Product Details

  • Release Date: 12/11/2012
  • Label: Hyperion Uk
  • UPC: 034571178424
  • Catalog Number: 67842
  • Sales rank: 100,852

Tracks

Disc 1
  1. 1 Rinaldo, opera, HWV 7: Sibilar gli angui d'Aletto - George Frideric Handel & Balthasar Denner (4:49)
  2. 2 Acis and Galatea, oratorio, HWV 49: I rage, I melt, I burn! - John Gay & John Hughes (1:20)
  3. 3 Acis and Galatea, oratorio, HWV 49: O ruddier than the cherry - John Gay & John Hughes (3:12)
  4. 4 Aci, Galatea e Polifemo (Sorge il di), dramatic cantata, HWV 72: Fra l'ombre e gl'orrori - George Frideric Handel & Balthasar Denner (6:58)
  5. 5 L'Allegro, il Penseroso ed il Moderato (Pastoral Ode), oratorio, HWV 55: If I give thee honour due - George Frideric Handel & Balthasar Denner (0:11)
  6. 6 L'Allegro, il Penseroso ed il Moderato (Pastoral Ode), oratorio, HWV 55: Mirth, admit me of thy crew - George Frideric Handel & Balthasar Denner (2:33)
  7. 7 La Resurrezione, oratorio, HWV 47: Qul'insolita luce - George Frideric Handel & Balthasar Denner (1:09)
  8. 8 La Resurrezione, oratorio, HWV 47: Caddi, è ver - George Frideric Handel & Balthasar Denner (4:14)
  9. 9 Deborah, oratorio, HWV 51: Tears, such as tender fathers shed - George Frideric Handel & Balthasar Denner (2:30)
  10. 10 Belshazzar, oratorio, HWV 61: To pow'r immortal my first thanks are due - George Frideric Handel & Balthasar Denner (3:54)
  11. 11 Orlando, opera, HWV 31: Impari ognun da Orlando - George Frideric Handel & Balthasar Denner (1:11)
  12. 12 Orlando, opera, HWV 31: Sorge infausta una procella - George Frideric Handel & Balthasar Denner (4:35)
  13. 13 Theodora, oratorio, HWV 68: Racks, gibbets, sword and fire - George Frideric Handel & Balthasar Denner (3:55)
  14. 14 Muzio Scevola, opera, Act III, HWV 13: Volate più dei venti - George Frideric Handel & Balthasar Denner (3:23)
  15. 15 Agrippina, opera, HWV 6: Vieni, o cara - George Frideric Handel & Balthasar Denner (1:45)
  16. 16 Riccardo Primo, rè d'Inghilterra, opera, HWV 23: Nel mondo e nell'abisso - George Frideric Handel & Balthasar Denner (3:12)
  17. 17 Apollo e Dafne (La Terra è Liberata), dramatic cantata for soprano, bass & orchestra, HWV 122: Mie piante correte - George Frideric Handel & Balthasar Denner (2:49)
  18. 18 Apollo e Dafne (La Terra è Liberata), dramatic cantata for soprano, bass & orchestra, HWV 122: Cara pianta - George Frideric Handel & Balthasar Denner (7:27)
  19. 19 Alexander's Feast, ode for St. Cecilia's Day, HWV 75: Revenge, Timotheus cries - George Frideric Handel & Balthasar Denner (7:54)
  20. 20 Semele, oratorio, HWV 58: Leave me, loathsome light - George Frideric Handel & William Congreve (3:40)
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Album Credits

Performance Credits
Christopher Purves Primary Artist
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