[ Vivat / CD ]
Release Date: Thursday 20 February 2014
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Acclaimed countertenor Iestyn Davies and The King's Consort perform an outstanding programme of Handel arias from some of the composer's finest oratorios.
Eleven varied solo arias include 'O sacred oracles of truth', the delicate 'Tune your harps', 'Eternal source of light' (with supreme trumpet playing from Crispian Steele-Perkins), the melodious 'Your tuneful voice' and the virtuoso 'Mighty love now calls to arm', as well as rarities including 'On the valleys, dark and cheerless' and an especial jewel, 'Mortals think that Time is sleeping'.
Iestyn is joined in two glorious duets by soprano Carolyn Sampson, including the ecstatic 'Welcome as the dawn of day' and the ghostly 'Who calls my parting soul from death'.
Recorded in the well-nigh perfect acoustic of Menuhin Hall with a large and colourful orchestra, who also contribute two splendid overtures.
36 page booklet with authoritative liner note (in three languages) by renowned Handel scholar Prof. Donald Burrows, together with full texts, and 16 photos from the recordings.
"Iestyn Davies brings a grace and calm entirely appropriate to these Handel arias...Throughout, Davies' control is remarkable." (The Independent, Feb 2014)
"he cherishes the words while negotiating the technical hurdles with amazing fluency and consistency of timbre...Davies's definition of the varying moods in these arias is of an absorbing order, matched as it also is by the King's Consort's judicious range of colour in the orchestral accompaniments on a disc that highlights a countertenor voice in its prime." (The Daily Telegraph, Feb 2014)
"this is a first class anthology of Handel arias. The singing of Iestyn Davies is a delight from start to finish and he receives ideal support from Robert King and his players. The well-produced booklet includes an authoritative essay by Professor Donald Burrowes and the recorded sound is clear and has just the right degree of brightness to it. Handelians and admirers of Iestyn Davies need not hesitate." (MusicWeb Feb 2014)
Belshazzar: Oh sacred oracles of truth
The Triumph of Time and Truth: Mortals think that Time is sleeping
Esther: Tune your harps to cheerful strains
Alexander Balus: Mighty love now calls to arms
Ode for the Birthday of Queen Anne HWV74 'Eternal source of light divine'
Solomon: Welcome as the dawn of day (Carolyn Sampson - soprano)
Your tuneful voice (from Semele)
The Choice of Hercules: Yet can I hear that dulcet lay
Jephtha: Up the dreadful steep ascending
Samson - Overture
Israel in Egypt: Thou shalt bring them in
Esther: Who calls my parting soul (Carolyn Sampson - soprano)
The Triumph of Time and Truth: On the valleys, dark and cheerless
Esther: How can I stay, when love invites?