Marcus Creed amply proves in this recording of the Ode for the Birthday of Queen Anne and the Dixit Dominus that he has what it takes to conduct George Frederick Handel. He's got the big beat down, plus the muscular rhythms, vigorous tempos, and vivid textures, as well as the tight ensembles and the unstoppable drive so essential in making Handel come alive. And that's just in the fast choral movements. In the solos and duets, Creed creates poised, alert, and wholly sympathetic accompaniments that help shape the singers' performances as part of the total work. And what singers! Both sopranos are superlative, especially Sophie Kussmann, and countertenor Andreas Scholl is, as always, strong, yet supple and sensitive. With the expert period instrument skills of the Akademie für Alte Musik, Berlin, and the agile but robust singing of the Vocalconsort Berlin, Creed has delivered one of the great Handel discs, hopefully his first in what will be a long and distinguished engagement with the composer. Harmonia Mundi's digital sound is superbly modulated.
AllMusic Review by James Leonard
|Ode for the Birthday of Queen Anne, HWV 74|
|Dixit Dominus, HWV 232|