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Handel: Dettingen Te Deum, Zadok the Priest, Organ Concerto no 14 / Layton, Choir of Trinity College Cambridge, et al

Album Summary

>Handel, George Frideric : Te Deum in D major, HWV 283 "Dettingen"
>Handel, George Frideric : Organ Concerto in A major (no 14), HWV 296a
>Handel, George Frideric : Coronation Anthem
Performers Conductor Ensembles Composer

Notes & Reviews:

The Choir of Trinity College, Cambridge, is one of Britain's great mixed choirs. Under its new director, the mercurial Stephen Layton, it has reached new heights of musical excellence in this latest disc for Hyperion. Accompanied throughout by the Academy of Ancient Music, the choir performs one of Handel's most florid and dazzling works, the 'Dettingen Te Deum', which was written to celebrate King George II's triumphal return from the 1743 Battle of Dettingen. As might be expected, much of this work is thrillingly bellicose, but some highly refined writing shows the composer's range, expressive versatility and imagination.

'In a performance as expert and committed as this, the pealing D major choruses have an elemental boldness and grandeur of effect of which Handel invariably possessed the secret ... Stephen Layton obviously believes strongly in a work that today ranks almost as neglected Handel. Under his fervent, energetic direction, Trinity College Choir (topped by a notably pure soprano line) strike a nice balance between choral-scholarly refinement and early, swashbuckling directness. The Academy of Ancient Music match them in style and panache, with superb trumpet solos from David Blackadder ... Choral-orchestral balance is ideally judged in the atmospheric acoustic of Trinity College Chapel. Complementing the inspiriting performance of the Te Deum is a properly overwhelming account of Zadok the Priest ... and a delightfully deft one (on a silvery-toned, six-stop chamber organ) of the A major organ concerto' (Gramophone)

- 'A magnificent Te Deum ... Great singing with sprightly playing from the Academy' (Observer)

'The youthful voices of Trinity's choir sing superbly throughout, and quite magnificently in Zadok, which rounds off the disc climactically after a stylish performance of the A major Organ Concerto by Richard Marlow' (Sunday Times)

'Prepare the sand buckets: the opening of Handel's Dettingen Te Deum is incendiary. Trinity College Choir, the Academy of Ancient Music and the conductor, Layton, deal brilliantly with the reflective moments in a setting written to celebrate George II's victory over the French in 1743' (The Times)

'In a performance as precise and exuberant as this (wonderfully expressive diction from the Trinity Choir), its trumpet-and-drum-fuelled extroversion comes across as elementally exciting' (Daily Telegraph)

'The performances are brilliant ... The choral singing is a model of clarity and beauty and Stephen Layton leads this magnificent performance with a true sense of occasion' (Goldberg)

'This rip-roaring Handel disc ... There's no want of youthful vigour here, expressed in glorious technicolour at salient points in the martial Dettingen Te Deum and Zadok the Priest. Yet it's the disciplined refinement of the music-making that delivers the purest pleasure. Recommended' (Classic FM Magazine)

'The score simply teems with incredible invention ... Layton's tempos are faultless, the Academy of Ancient Music plays as though possessed, and Neal Davies's solos lend an authority complementing the more soft-grained soloists from within the choir (itself fresh-sounding and impeccably collegiate in every sense). A stylish Zadok and nimble Organ Concerto are welcome bonuses, but if you're still to be persuaded by the Dettingen, this is the performance to do it' (BBC Music Magazine)

'There is no shortage of recordings of Zadok the Priest, but its combination with the Dettingen Te Deum and the organ concerto connected with Alexander's Feast is without rival. Stephen Layton directs the distinctive and well-balanced mixed-voice Choir of Trinity College, Cambridge with excellent players from the Academy of Ancient Music in readings that are full of vigour and rhythmic bite, exquisitely offset by the gentler musings of the contrasting slower, lyrical passages' (International Record Review)

'The Dettingen Te Deum ... is a cracking work and a deservedly popular part of Handel's corpus. This recording shows off the piece's martial exuberance. The first movement, in particular, is stirring stuff, and David Blackadder (trumpet) is magnificent ... The Organ concerto in A is one of Handel's most charming works, and is played happily and charmingly by Richard Marlow' (Early Music Review)

'On a new release by Trinity College Cambridge under Stephen Layton, all goes splendidly, the three trumpets and timpani adding to the rich sound ... an exciting album' (Liverpool Daily Post)



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Works Details

>Handel, George Frideric : Te Deum in D major, HWV 283 "Dettingen"
  • Performers: Neal Davies (Bass-Baritone); Robin Firth (Tenor); Christopher Lowrey (Countertenor)
  • Conductor: Stephen Layton
  • Ensemble: Cambridge Trinity College Choir
  • Notes: Chapel of Trinity College, Cambridge, England (06/29/2007-07/01/2007)
  • Running Time: 31 min. 17 sec.
  • Period Time: Baroque
  • Written: 1743

>Handel, George Frideric : Organ Concerto in A major (no 14), HWV 296a
  • Performer: Richard Marlow (Organ)
  • Conductor: Stephen Layton
  • Ensemble: Academy of Ancient Music
  • Notes: Chapel of Trinity College, Cambridge, England (06/29/2007-07/01/2007)
  • Running Time: 15 min. 31 sec.
  • Period Time: Baroque
  • Form: Concerto
  • Written: 1739

>Handel, George Frideric : Coronation Anthem
  • Conductor: Stephen Layton
  • Ensemble: Cambridge Trinity College Choir
  • Notes: Chapel of Trinity College, Cambridge, England (06/29/2007-07/01/2007)
  • Running Time: 5 min. 11 sec.
  • Period Time: Baroque
  • Form: Choral
  • Written: 1727