This almost unknown, large scale (almost 3 hour) oratorio, The Triumph of Time and Truth, was composed by Handel in Rome in 1707 and revised by him for performances in London’s Covent Garden in 1737 (the version recorded here) and then translated into English, revised again and presented, with new additions, in 1757. The performance recorded here contains, probably, everything Handel composed for this work in its various incarnations, and then some: A brief organ concerto by the composer is added to the second part’s introduction and another pops up before the final chorus; a number from the serenata Acis & Galatea is inserted at one point; and a Saraband for two harpsichords from Handel’s Almira is used as an interlude in Part III. Furthermore, some will recognize the beautiful aria from the original, “Lascia la spina,” which became “Lascia ch’io piango” in Rinaldo, set to another text and very different music.
Seventeen-track anthology focuses mostly on their popular 1963-66 recordings, including "Deep Purple," "Whispering," "Stardust," "All Strung Out," several lower-charting items, and some LP tracks. They milked the "Deep Purple" formula too many times, but this is enjoyably frothy pop, and "All Strung Out" is a genuinely soulful, accurate approximation of Phil Spector's work with the Righteous Brothers. The disc also includes Stevens's 1959 solo single "Teach Me Tiger," a bizarre cover of "I Love How You Love Me" (with battling bagpipes and fuzzy guitars), and one undistinguished track each from 1985 and 1996.
Wigmore Hall Live kicks off New Year with an early music release. Handel s Il Trionfo del Tempo e del Disinganno was the composer s first opera to feature the celebrated aria Lascia la spina, cogli la rosa (Avoid the thorn, pluck the rose). Recorded for Wigmore Hall Live in January 2010 by the Early Opera Company, one of Britain s leading early music ensembles, the group features contralto Hilary Summers in the traditional countertenor role of enlightenment, her voice specifically chosen for its depth and fullness of tone. Director and harpsichordist, Christian Curnyn, was determined to recreate as faithful a sound as possible to what audiences at the time would have heard, not only instrumentally but notably in relation to tempi: Everything in Handel comes back to the heartbeat rate, fifty per minute. Recently people have tended to go either very fast or make things very dragged out, but in my view that spoils it. Baroque music is all based on dance, which means a natural rhythm. Of course you should push the boundaries, but it should feel as though you re pushing against a natural membrane. There s an inner pulse in Handel which you can t ignore.
This is a stupendous record by one of the small handful of incontestably great living classical composers – a disc where tremendous, idiomatic performances by violinist Gidon Kremer and musical fellow travellers meets ECM’s fabled acoustics, which are perfect for music of such sparsely adorned silence. … A magnificent disc.
Just the fact that Ellington's extended masterpiece "Reminiscing in Tempo" is included here in its original and continuous form is reason enough to pick up this compilation. Initially recorded in 1935, "Reminiscing" was the first thoroughly composed jazz piece and one that not only demonstrated Ellington's knack for longer forms, but also featured practically all of his singular soloists. Upon its first release, the 13-minute piece was broken up over a few 78s, later making its way into EP form. Currently, the Classics label includes it on one of its Chronological discs, but spread over four distinct tracks. So, this 1991 Columbia release might be the only way to get this great work in its seamless form as it was originally recorded. Collector's concerns aside, this CD was the audio companion to an Ellington documentary aired on PBS. Predictably, it provides something of an overview of Ellington's career, beginning with a recording of "The Mooche" from his Cotton Club days in the late '20s up through a version of "Black Beauty" from 1960.
Handel wrote the secular oratorio Il trionfo del Tempo e del Disinganno (The triumph of Time and of Enlightenment) to the text of one of his patrons, Cardinal Benedetto Pamphili, in Rome in 1707. The libretto, which doesn't stand up to close logical scrutiny, centers on Beauty, who must choose between self-indulgent Pleasure and the austerity of allegiance to Time and Enlightenment. Needless to say, any patron entering the theater for the performance, having noted the title on the playbill, would have no doubt about the outcome of the struggle, so dramatic suspense cannot have been one of the inducements for an eighteenth century audience. The rewards, however, are real, most notably Handel's remarkably fertile inventiveness and musical ingenuity, which justified sitting through a two-and-a-half-hour performance that was guaranteed to be a dramatic non-starter. Handel keeps recitatives to a minimum, and the oratorio is rich in musical substance and variety.
The video series follows one of the industry's best photographers as he explains some of his techniques for creating spectacular lighting