Charles Groves

The Magnificent Mr. Handel

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AllMusic Review by

Once the least thoroughly recorded of the great masters, Handel nonetheless has had his champions, and their efforts to bring his music out of obscurity have led to a lasting revival. Although Handel's instrumental pieces and songs have been arranged several times for the modern orchestra, most notably by Elgar and Beecham, such arrangements were popularizations that failed to present the music in a proper Baroque style. This compilation fares better than its precursors, for the orchestra is small and some attempts are made at correct ornamentation. On the whole, though, these pieces are played in a straightforward style on modern instruments, with few nods toward authentic performance practice. Although E. Power Biggs is given top billing and is featured as a soloist in the sonata from The Triumph of Time and Truth and the Concerto in B flat major, his role is mainly restricted to the occasionally exposed continuo part. Charles Groves and the Royal Philharmonic Orchestra have the lion's share of the program, and they give hearty performances of these overlooked pieces. Recorded in 1969 but released in 1970 and 1972 as two albums, this collection has been digitally enhanced and has few recording problems.

Track Listing

Title/Composer Performer Time
Alceste, incidental music, HWV 45
1 1:51
Semele, oratorio, HWV 58
2 4:14
Solomon, oratorio, HWV 67
3 3:36
Samson, oratorio, HWV 57
4 2:51
5 2:32
Hercules, oratorio, HWV 60
6 1:42
Concerto a due cori No.2 in F major, HWV 333
7 2:01
8 2:19
9 3:09
The Triumph of Time and Truth, oratorio, HWV 71
10 3:47
Concerto a due cori No.1 in B flat major, HWV 332
11 2:03
12 2:48
13 2:44
Belshazzar, oratorio, HWV 61
14 0:43
Floridante, opera, HWV 14
15 2:07
16 1:15
Tolomeo, rè d'Egitto, opera, HWV 25
17 3:28
Il Parnasso in festa, serenata, HWV 73
18 5:33
Il Pastor Fido, opera, HWV 8a
19 2:24
Work(s)
20 2:08
Saul, oratorio, HWV 53
21 3:30
Ezio, opera, HWV 29
22 2:05
Scipione (Publio Cornelio Scipione), opera, HWV 20
23 1:48
Rodrigo, opera, HWV 5
24 4:56
Judas Maccabaeus, oratorio, HWV 63
25 3:45
26 1:18
Alcina, opera, HWV 34
27 2:41
Ode for St Cecilia's Day (Song for St Cecilia's Day) for soloists, chorus & orchestra, HWV 76
28 1:45
Athalia, oratorio, HWV 52
29 2:17
Rinaldo, opera, HWV 7
30 1:13
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