Your Tuneful Voice: Handel Oratorio Arias

Editorial Reviews

All Music Guide - James Manheim
British countertenor Iestyn Davies stands out from his contemporaries with his unusually smooth, liquid voice. That kind of countertenor voice usually flourishes in quieter arias but faces a tough slog in more athletic Handel arias, which for the most part were written not for a countertenor but for a castrato. Listeners might indeed wish for a more flamboyant presentation of arias like this from Davies, but really he has picked arias that fit his voice startlingly well. The showstoppers emerge as precise displays of chamber virtuosity, and in the slower, serious but sensuous pieces like Who calls my parting soul from death? track 16, from "Esther," Davies is really ...
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Editorial Reviews

All Music Guide - James Manheim
British countertenor Iestyn Davies stands out from his contemporaries with his unusually smooth, liquid voice. That kind of countertenor voice usually flourishes in quieter arias but faces a tough slog in more athletic Handel arias, which for the most part were written not for a countertenor but for a castrato. Listeners might indeed wish for a more flamboyant presentation of arias like this from Davies, but really he has picked arias that fit his voice startlingly well. The showstoppers emerge as precise displays of chamber virtuosity, and in the slower, serious but sensuous pieces like Who calls my parting soul from death? track 16, from "Esther," Davies is really transcendent. In that piece and one other he's joined by soprano Carolyn Sampson, whose voice has a similar creamy quality, inducing a kind of sensory overload. The sheer vocal pleasure is broken up by the inclusion of a pair of overtures from the King's Consort under Robert King, who deserve notice for staying in balance with Davies in quite a variety of unfamiliar material, and another attraction of the album is the informative set of booklet notes by Donald Burrows, exploring the variety of scenes and voice types for which Handel's oratorios were written, and in so doing throwing light on why this rather unorthodox performance works so wonderfully well.
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Product Details

  • Release Date: 3/18/2014
  • Label: Imports
  • UPC: 799439080683
  • Catalog Number: 1124042
  • Sales rank: 110,064

Tracks

Disc 1
  1. 1 Esther, oratorio, HWV 50a: How can I stay when love invites - George Frideric Handel & Robert King (3:06)
  2. 2 The Triumph of Time and Truth, oratorio, HWV 71: On the valleys, dark and cheerless - George Frideric Handel & Robert King (4:00)
  3. 3 Esther, oratorio, HWV 50a: Who calls my parting soul from death - George Frideric Handel & Robert King (3:13)
  4. 4 Israel in Egypt, oratorio, HWV 54: Thou shalt bring them in - George Frideric Handel & Robert King (3:15)
  5. 5 Samson, oratorio, HWV 57: Overture: Menuetto - George Frideric Handel & Robert King (2:49)
  6. 6 Samson, oratorio, HWV 57: Overture: Allegro - Adagio - George Frideric Handel & Robert King (1:37)
  7. 7 Samson, oratorio, HWV 57: Overture: Andante - Adagio - George Frideric Handel & Robert King (3:17)
  8. 8 Jephtha, oratorio, HWV 70: Up the dreadful steep ascending - George Frideric Handel & Robert King (3:36)
  9. 9 The Choice of Hercules, oratorio, HWV 69: Yet can I hear that dulcet lay - George Frideric Handel & Robert King (3:49)
  10. 10 Semele, oratorio, HWV 58: Your tuneful voice my tale would tell - George Frideric Handel & Robert King (5:12)
  11. 11 Solomon, oratorio, HWV 67: Welcome as the dawn of day - George Frideric Handel & Robert King (3:32)
  12. 12 Ode for the Birthday of Queen Anne (Eternal Source of Light Divine), HWV 74: Eternal source of light divine - George Frideric Handel & Robert King (3:35)
  13. 13 Jephtha, oratorio, HWV 70: Overture: Menuet - George Frideric Handel & Robert King (1:37)
  14. 14 Jephtha, oratorio, HWV 70: Overture: (Grave) - Allegro - (Grave) - George Frideric Handel & Robert King (5:08)
  15. 15 Alexander Balus, oratorio, HWV 65: Mighty love now calls to arm - George Frideric Handel & Robert King (2:35)
  16. 16 Esther, oratorio, HWV 50a: Tune your harps to cheerful strains - George Frideric Handel & Robert King (4:45)
  17. 17 The Triumph of Time and Truth, oratorio, HWV 71: Mortals think that Time is sleeping - George Frideric Handel & Robert King (7:05)
  18. 18 Belshazzar, oratorio, HWV 61: O sacred oracles of truth - George Frideric Handel & Robert King (5:01)
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Album Credits

Performance Credits
Iestyn Davies Primary Artist
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