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David Denton
David's Review Corner, November 2011

We are travelling down the byways of Handel’s massive output, the Gloria probably composed around 1707 and only rediscovered in London in 2001. If the date were correct it would coincide with his short stay in Italy, and certainly the writing has it share of Italian opera influences. Scored for soprano, two violins and continuo, its six sections contain much fast and florid writing that is far from easy. In this performance the vocal line is supported by a small group of two violins, violone, cello and organ. The so-called Nine German Arias are unusual in the use of his native language, most of his vocal music being in Italian for operas, or English for oratorios. The words here come from Barthold Heinrich Brockes, at times drawing on biblical texts but largely on the subject of nature and our thanksgiving for life. It calls for soprano and solo violin, here supported by cello and a harpsichord that is so discrete as to be barely audible. I have heard performances of more outgoing joy, the German soprano, Dorothea Craxton, taking a rather serious view. Her singing in both works is technically very sound, diction is good and there are only a few questions regarding intonation. The accompaniment is very sympathetic to her interpretation, but maybe the engineers need not have focused so much on the voice, which is well to the fore. An interesting addition to the catalogue at budget price.






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8:14:14 PM, 18 September 2014
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