Handel: Streams of Pleasure

Handel: Streams of Pleasure

by Marie-Nicole Lemieux

CD

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Overview

Handel: Streams of Pleasure

Streams of Pleasure, an album of arias and duets from Handel oratorios featuring soprano Karina Gauvin and contralto Marie-Nicole Lemieux, two exceptionally talented Canadian singers, comes with high expectations that unfortunately aren't fulfilled. Each singer has made very fine recordings, and Gauvin in particular has distinguished herself in exemplary, revelatory performances in a broad spectrum of works ranging from Vivaldi to Britten and Barber, but neither is in top form for this project. Even on a less-than-great day, though, Gauvin is a singer who commands attention. Several tracks, such as "Can I see my infant gor'd," from "Solomon"; the delightfully pictorial "Crystal Streams" from "Susanna"; and "But why are thou disquieted," from "Theodora," are lovely and moving, even though in general her work here doesn't quite demonstrate the same luxuriously fluid coloratura or subtle vocal colorings that typically characterize her performances. Lemieux comes across less well, especially in her more florid arias. On her least effective tracks, such as "Destructive war," from "Belshazzar," Lemieux comes dangerously close to sounding like a caricature of bad, old-fashioned English oratorio singing: warbly and wobbly, with unsteady coloratura and unfocused intonation. She is far more convincing in the arias and duets that allow her rich tone to unfold and expand in more melodic, lyrical lines. The lyrical duets are among the most pleasing tracks, particularly "To thee, thou glorious son of wrath," from "Theodora," and the erotically charged "Welcome as the dawn of day," from "Solomon." Alan Curtis leads Il Complesso Barocco in graceful, shapely, finely shaded accompaniments. Naïve's sound is clean, but seems to complement the orchestra more generously than it does the singers.

Product Details

Release Date: 09/27/2011
Label: Naive
UPC: 0822186052617
catalogNumber: 5261
Rank: 193702

Tracks

  1. Belshazzar, oratorio, HWV 61: Destructive war'

    1. Destructive war'  (02:27)
  2. Theodora, oratorio, HWV 68: To Thee, thou glorious son of worth

    1. To Thee, thou glorious son of worth  (04:46)
  3. Alexander Balus, oratorio, HWV 65: Fury with red sparkling eyes

    1. Fury with red sparkling eyes  (06:06)
  4. Susanna, oratorio, HWV 66: Lead me - Crystal streams in murmurs flowings

    1. Lead me - Crystal streams in murmurs flowings  (06:49)
  5. Judas Maccabaeus, oratorio, HWV 63: From this dread scene

    1. From this dread scene  (03:01)
  6. Theodora, oratorio, HWV 68: Streams of pleasure ever flowing

    1. Streams of pleasure ever flowing  (05:40)
  7. Theodora, oratorio, HWV 68: Ah! whither should we fly? - As with rosy steps th

    1. Ah! whither should we fly? - As with rosy steps the morn  (06:56)
  8. Joseph and His Brethren, oratorio, HWV 59: Prophetic raptures swell my breast

    1. Prophetic raptures swell my breast  (08:49)
  9. Joshua, oratorio, HWV 64: Our limpid streams with freedom flow

    1. Our limpid streams with freedom flow  (02:59)
  10. Solomon, oratorio, HWV 67: Can I see my infant gor'd

    1. Can I see my infant gor'd  (04:26)
  11. Alexander Balus, oratorio, HWV 65: Fair virtue shall charm me

    1. Fair virtue shall charm me  (02:39)
  12. Solomon, oratorio, HWV 67: Thou fair inhabitant - Welcome as the dawn of day

    1. Thou fair inhabitant - Welcome as the dawn of day  (04:03)
  13. Hercules, oratorio, HWV 60: Forgive me - My father

    1. Forgive me - My father  (06:42)
  14. Theodora, oratorio, HWV 68: But why art thou disquieted - Oh! that I on wings

    1. But why art thou disquieted - Oh! that I on wings could rise  (04:29)
  15. Belshazzar, oratorio, HWV 61: Great victor, at your feet I bow

    1. Great victor, at your feet I bow  (05:07)

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