Streams of Pleasure: Solos & Duets by G.F. Handel / Karina Gauvin, soprano; Marie-Nicole Lemieux, contralto

> Belshazzar, HWV 61 - Belshazzar, HWV 61, Act III: Aria: Destructive war, thy limits know
> Theodora, HWV 68 - Theodora, HWV 68, Act II: To thee, thou glorious son of worth
> Alexander Balus, HWV 65 - Alexander Balus, HWV 65, Act III: Fury with red sparkling eyes
> Susanna, HWV 66 - Susanna, HWV 66, Act II: Lead me - Crystal streams in murmurs flowing
> Judas Maccabaeus, HWV 63 - Judas Maccabaeus, HWV 63, Act I: Duet: From this dread scene
> Theodora, HWV 68 - Act II: Aria: Streams of pleasure ever flowing
> Theodora, HWV 68 - Act I: Recitative: Ah! whither should we fly? - Aria: As with rosy steps the morn
> Joseph and His Brethren, HWV 59 - Joseph and His Brethren, HWV 59, Act III: Aria: Prophetic raptures swell my breast
> Joshua, HWV 64 - Joshua, HWV 64, Act I: Our limpid streams with freedom flow
> Solomon, HWV 67 - Solomon, HWV 67, Part II: Can I see my infant gor'd
> Alexander Balus, HWV 65 - Alexander Balus, HWV 65, Act I: Aria: Fair virtue shall charm me
> Solomon, HWV 67 - Solomon, HWV 67, Act I: Recitative: Thou fair inhabitant - Welcome as the dawn of day
> Hercules, HWV 60 - Hercules, HWV 60, Act I: Recitative: Forgive me - Aria: My father
> Theodora, HWV 68 - Theodora, HWV 68, Act II: Recitative: But why art thour disquieted - Aria: Oh! that I on wings could rise
> Belshazzar, HWV 61 - Belshazzar, HWV 61, Act III: Great victor, at your feet I bow

Album Summary

>Handel, George Frideric : Belshazzar, HWV 61
>Handel, George Frideric : Theodora, HWV 68
>Handel, George Frideric : Alexander balus, HWV 65
>Handel, George Frideric : Susanna, HWV 66
>Handel, George Frideric : Judas maccabaeus, HWV 63
>Handel, George Frideric : Joseph and his brethren, HWV 59
>Handel, George Frideric : Joshua, HWV 64
>Handel, George Frideric : Solomon, HWV 67
>Handel, George Frideric : Alexander Labus, HWV 65
>Handel, George Frideric : Hercules, HWV 60
Performer Conductor Ensemble Composer

Notes & Reviews:

In this highly anticipated recording, Canadian singers Marie-Nicole Lemieux and Karina Gauvin perform some of the most beautiful and beloved solos and duets composed by Handel. These acclaimed artists have voices that were born to sing together, blending seamlessly throughout each duet. Alan Curtis and his Complesso Barocco, one of the most famous and renowned ensembles in the baroque music field, complete the performance with elegant, historically informed performances. The fifteen arias, performed in solo or in duet, are 15 jewels from 9 oratorios that use material from the Bible. They provide a large overview of Handel's genius to depict each emotion, from tenderness to fury.

In 2000 the contralto Marie-Nicole Lemieux became the first Canadian to win the First Prize as well as the Special Prize for Lieder at the Queen Elisabeth International Music Competition in Belgium. Winning this prestigious award immediately opened the door to an international career on the recital platform and in concert. Each year, Marie-Nicole Lemieux is invited to sing in prestigious venues and international music festivals in North America and overseas. Marie-Nicole Lemieux performs roles by Berlioz, Debussy, Gluck, Handel, Ho-negger, Monteverdi, Mozart, Rossini, Verdi, Vivaldi and Wagner in the world's leading opera houses.

Karina Gauvin's outstanding performances have been recognized by prizes at prestigious competitions worldwide, including the 's-Hertogenbosch International Vocal Competition, the CBC Competition for Young Performers, the Virginia Parker Prize and the Maggie Teyte Memorial Prize. Her repertoire ranges from the music of J. S. Bach to Britten and beyond and she has sung with many major orchestras including the Orchestre Symphonique de Montréal, San Francisco Symphony, Chicago Symphony and New York Philharmonic, as well as period-instrument groups such as Aka-demie für Alte Musik Berlin, Les Violons du Roy, Venice Baroque Orchestra, Accademia Bizantina, and Il Complesso Barocco. Karina Gauvin was recently featured in the title role of Handel's Alcina with Les Talens Lyriques under Christophe Rousset and the title role in Georg Conradi's Ariadne (Boston Early Music Festival). Her most recent solo album features Britten's Les Illuminations with Les Violons du Roy.

Financial Times
We prize Handel's stage works for their tragic depth, but there is a gentler, nobler strain that explains the title given to this CD. Uniting two stylish Canadians, one a soprano and the other a contralto, it comprises 15 numbers from the English oratorios Handel wrote late in his career.

Classic FM Magazine
Gauvin's soprano has a warm timbre that blends beautifully with Lemieux's deep, dusky contralto. Individually, too, they are fabulous - Lemieux's opening 'Destructive war' is a dramatic tour de force. The heart of the disc is the profound, moving duet 'Streams of pleasure'... these polished, beautifully balanced performances are a pleasure to listen to

BBC Music Magazine
Bright, edgy woodwind; neat violins; an ever-purposeful bass line; two healthful, smiling voices and some lovely music. There is much to admire... but there is little sense of dramatic context... If you can put that aside, you can relish the pizazz with which Lemieux and Gauvin attack each oratorio character's emotional state... It's a handsome, stylish, polished performance.

Gramophone Magazine
There is indeed plenty to enjoy, especially where soprano Karina Gauvin is involved... [Lemieux] is a singer with temperament to burn... But in less overwrought music... I wanted less gusty phrasing, more care from true legato... If this is not quite the Handel recital I was hoping for, it's still worth investigating for Lemieux's viscerally exciting singing and, above all, Gauvin's ideal Handelian mix of grace and profound emotional truth.

International Record Review
Part of the attraction of [the] blending of voices is that Gauvin's middle tones have a warmth, almost mezzo-ish, which accords well with Lemieux's rich bloom... I am not one who throws accolades around like confetti, but the enjoyment that this CD has provided brings from me an IRR Outstanding recommendation. The disc is entitled 'Streams of Pleasure' but for me it is a full, flowing river.

Notes & Reviews:

Recording information: Villa San Fermo, Lonigo, Italy (01/2011).



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Works Details

>Handel, George Frideric : Belshazzar, HWV 61 :: Destructive war'
  • Conductor: Alan Curtis
  • Ensemble: Il Complesso Barocco
  • Running Time: 2 min. 27 sec.
  • Period Time: Baroque
  • Form: Cantata/Oratorio
  • Written: 1744

>Handel, George Frideric : Theodora, HWV 68 :: To Thee, thou glorious son of worth
  • Performer: Karina Gauvin (Soprano)
  • Conductor: Alan Curtis
  • Ensemble: Il Complesso Barocco
  • Running Time: 4 min. 46 sec.
  • Period Time: Baroque
  • Form: Cantata/Oratorio
  • Written: 1749

>Handel, George Frideric : Alexander balus, HWV 65 :: Fury with red sparkling eyes
  • Conductor: Alan Curtis
  • Ensemble: Il Complesso Barocco
  • Notes: Composition written: 1747.
  • Running Time: 6 min. 6 sec.
  • Period Time: Baroque
  • Form: Cantata/Oratorio
  • Written: 1747

>Handel, George Frideric : Susanna, HWV 66 :: Lead me - Crystal streams in murmurs flowings
  • Performer: Karina Gauvin (Soprano)
  • Conductor: Alan Curtis
  • Ensemble: Il Complesso Barocco
  • Running Time: 6 min. 49 sec.
  • Period Time: Baroque
  • Written: 1748

>Handel, George Frideric : Judas maccabaeus, HWV 63 :: From this dread scene
  • Performer: Karina Gauvin (Soprano)
  • Conductor: Alan Curtis
  • Ensemble: Il Complesso Barocco
  • Notes: Composition written: 1746.
  • Running Time: 3 min. 1 sec.
  • Period Time: Baroque
  • Form: Cantata/Oratorio
  • Written: 1746

>Handel, George Frideric : Theodora, HWV 68 :: Streams of pleasure ever flowing
  • Performer: Karina Gauvin (Soprano)
  • Conductor: Alan Curtis
  • Ensemble: Il Complesso Barocco
  • Running Time: 5 min. 40 sec.
  • Period Time: Baroque
  • Form: Cantata/Oratorio
  • Written: 1749

>Handel, George Frideric : Theodora, HWV 68 :: Ah! whither should we fly? - As with rosy steps the morn
  • Conductor: Alan Curtis
  • Ensemble: Il Complesso Barocco
  • Running Time: 6 min. 56 sec.
  • Period Time: Baroque
  • Form: Cantata/Oratorio
  • Written: 1749

>Handel, George Frideric : Joseph and his brethren, HWV 59 :: Prophetic raptures swell my breast
  • Performer: Karina Gauvin (Soprano)
  • Conductor: Alan Curtis
  • Ensemble: Il Complesso Barocco
  • Running Time: 8 min. 49 sec.
  • Period Time: Baroque
  • Form: Cantata/Oratorio
  • Written: 1743

>Handel, George Frideric : Joshua, HWV 64 :: Our limpid streams with freedom flow
  • Performer: Karina Gauvin (Soprano)
  • Conductor: Alan Curtis
  • Ensemble: Il Complesso Barocco
  • Notes: Composition written: 1747.
  • Running Time: 2 min. 59 sec.
  • Period Time: Baroque
  • Written: 1747

>Handel, George Frideric : Solomon, HWV 67 :: Can I see my infant gor'd
  • Performer: Karina Gauvin (Soprano)
  • Conductor: Alan Curtis
  • Ensemble: Il Complesso Barocco
  • Running Time: 4 min. 26 sec.
  • Period Time: Baroque
  • Form: Cantata/Oratorio
  • Written: 1748

>Handel, George Frideric : Alexander Labus, HWV 65 :: Fair virtue shall charm me
  • Conductor: Alan Curtis
  • Ensemble: Il Complesso Barocco
  • Notes: Composition written: 1747.
  • Running Time: 2 min. 39 sec.
  • Period Time: Baroque
  • Form: Cantata/Oratorio
  • Written: 1747

>Handel, George Frideric : Solomon, HWV 67 :: Thou fair inhabitant - Welcome as the dawn of day
  • Performer: Karina Gauvin (Soprano)
  • Conductor: Alan Curtis
  • Ensemble: Il Complesso Barocco
  • Running Time: 4 min. 3 sec.
  • Period Time: Baroque
  • Form: Cantata/Oratorio
  • Written: 1748

>Handel, George Frideric : Hercules, HWV 60 :: Forgive me - My father
  • Performer: Karina Gauvin (Soprano)
  • Conductor: Alan Curtis
  • Ensemble: Il Complesso Barocco
  • Notes: Composition written: 1744.
  • Running Time: 6 min. 42 sec.
  • Period Time: Baroque
  • Form: Cantata/Oratorio
  • Written: 1744

>Handel, George Frideric : Theodora, HWV 68 :: But why art thou disquieted - Oh! that I on wings could rise
  • Performer: Karina Gauvin (Soprano)
  • Conductor: Alan Curtis
  • Ensemble: Il Complesso Barocco
  • Running Time: 4 min. 29 sec.
  • Period Time: Baroque
  • Form: Cantata/Oratorio
  • Written: 1749

>Handel, George Frideric : Belshazzar, HWV 61 :: Great victor, at your feet I bow
  • Performer: Karina Gauvin (Soprano)
  • Conductor: Alan Curtis
  • Ensemble: Il Complesso Barocco
  • Running Time: 5 min. 7 sec.
  • Period Time: Baroque
  • Form: Cantata/Oratorio
  • Written: 1744