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Handel: Esther [First Reconstructable Version, 1720] / Robin Blaze, James Gichrist, Susan Hamilton

Audio Samples

  1. Handel — Esther, HWV 50a, Act I: Overture. Andante $0.99 on iTunes
  2. Handel — Esther, HWV 50a, Act I: Overture. Larghetto $0.99 on iTunes
  3. Handel — Esther, HWV 50a, Act I: Overture. Allegro $0.99 on iTunes
  4. Handel — Esther, HWV 50a, Act I Scene 1: Air. Pluck root and branch from out the land [Haman] $0.99 on iTunes
  5. Handel — Esther, HWV 50a, Act I Scene 1: Recitative. Our souls with ardour glow [Persian Officer] $0.99 on iTunes
  6. Handel — Esther, HWV 50a, Act I Scene 1: Shall we the God of Israel fear? [Chorus] $0.99 on iTunes
  7. Handel — Esther, HWV 50a, Act I Scene 2: Recitative. Now persecution shall lay by her iron rod [First Israelite] $0.99 on iTunes
  8. Handel — Esther, HWV 50a, Act I Scene 2: Air. Tune your harps to cheerful strains [First Israelite] $0.99 on iTunes
  9. Handel — Esther, HWV 50a, Act I Scene 2: Shall we of servitude complain [Chorus] $0.99 on iTunes
  10. Handel — Esther, HWV 50a, Act I Scene 2: Air. Praise the Lord with cheerful noise [Israelite Woman] $0.99 on iTunes
  11. Handel — Esther, HWV 50a, Act I Scene 2: Shall we of servitude complain $0.99 on iTunes
  12. Handel — Esther, HWV 50a, Act I Scene 3: Ye sons of Israel mourn [Chorus] $0.99 on iTunes
  13. Handel — Esther, HWV 50a, Act I Scene 3: Aria. O Jordan, Jordan, sacred tide [Priest of the Israelites] $0.99 on iTunes
  14. Handel — Esther, HWV 50a, Act I Scene 3: Ye sons of Israel mourn $0.99 on iTunes
  15. Handel — Esther, HWV 50a, Act II Scene 1: Recitative. Why sits that sorrow on thy brow? [Esther, Mordecai] $0.99 on iTunes
  16. Handel — Esther, HWV 50a, Act II Scene 1: Air. Dread not, righteous Queen, the danger [Mordecai] $0.99 on iTunes
  17. Handel — Esther, HWV 50a, Act II Scene 1: Recitative. I go before the King to stand [Esther] $0.99 on iTunes
  18. Handel — Esther, HWV 50a, Act II Scene 1: Air. Tears assist me, pity moving [Esther] $0.99 on iTunes
  19. Handel — Esther, HWV 50a, Act II Scene 1: Save us, O Lord [Chorus] $0.99 on iTunes
  20. Handel — Esther, HWV 50a, Act II Scene 2: Recitative: Who dares intrude into our presence [Ahasuerus, Esther] $0.99 on iTunes
  21. Handel — Esther, HWV 50a, Act II Scene 2: Duet: Who calls my parting soul from death? [Esther, Ahasuerus] $0.99 on iTunes
  22. Handel — Esther, HWV 50a, Act II Scene 2: Air: O beauteous Queen, unclose those eyes! [Ahasuerus] $0.99 on iTunes
  23. Handel — Esther, HWV 50a, Act II Scene 2: Recitative: If I find favour in thy sight [Esther] $0.99 on iTunes
  24. Handel — Esther, HWV 50a, Act II Scene 2: Aria: How can I stay when love invites? [Ahasuerus] $0.99 on iTunes
  25. Handel — Esther, HWV 50a, Act II Scene 3: Recitative: With inward joy his visage glows [Third Israelite, Fourth Israelite] $0.99 on iTunes
  26. Handel — Esther, HWV 50a, Act II Scene 3: Virtue, truth and innocence [Chorus] $0.99 on iTunes
  27. Handel — Esther, HWV 50a, Act III Scene 1: He comes, he comes to end our woes [Chorus] $0.99 on iTunes
  28. Handel — Esther, HWV 50a, Act III Scene 2: Recitative: Now, O Queen, thy suit declare [Ahasuerus, Esther] $0.99 on iTunes
  29. Handel — Esther, HWV 50a, Act III Scene 2: Accompanied: Turn not, O Queen, thy face away [Haman] $0.99 on iTunes
  30. Handel — Esther, HWV 50a, Act III Scene 2: Recitative: Guards, seize the traitor, bear him hence! [Ahasuerus] $0.99 on iTunes
  31. Handel — Esther, HWV 50a, Act III Scene 3: The Lord our enemy has slain [Chorus]

Album Summary

>Handel, George Frideric : Esther
Conductor Ensemble Composer

Notes & Reviews:

The Dunedin Consort's highly anticipated new recording of 'Esther - First Reconstructable Version (Cannons), 1720' is the third recording in its hugely successful Handel series. The Consort have set the bar high for this Handel performance with a Gramophone Award in 2007 for 'Messiah' and a BBC Radio 3 'Building a Library' First Choice accolade for 'Acis and Galatea'. For Esther, director John Butt has reunited his award-winning team of soloists (Susan Hamilton - Esther; Nicholas Mulroy - Mordecai; Matthew Brook - Haman; Thomas Hobbs - 1st Israelite) plus well-known guest soloists Robin Blaze - Priest, James Gilchrist - Habdonah / Assuerus and Electra Lochhead - Israelite Boy

Gramophone Magazine
Butt's direction combines spontaneous freshness with a care for expressive phrasing and precise colouring. The 11-strong chorus - the solo cast plus reinforcement - is vital incisive, packing a fair punch even in the ceremonial final chorus.

The Guardian
The scholarship is only a means to an end, and is never allowed to get in the way of the wonderfully crafted music making. Textures are lean - 11 singers, including the soloists, 20 instrumentalists - but wonderfully precise, and the solo contributions, with soprano Susan Hamilton as Esther, are models of stylishness.

International Record Review
Butt's consort of soloists do this great music proud, sounding larger than their number would suggest...I'll return to this recording for the winning drive, dramatic conception and expressive phrasing of Butt's direction, his crack Baroque orchestra and his exceptional male cast.

American Record Guide, September / October 2012
As for the "original" Esther, we are lucky to have had the two earlier recordings, which still have their merits, but we can be grateful for this new and very carefully thought-out rendition.

BBC Music Magazine, August 2012
Paradoxically, a two-voices-to-a-part chorus achieves more immediacy than a larger choir, coupled with a stylish and delightfully intimate band. Yet again, Butt demonstrates that less can be more.

Notes & Reviews:

Recording information: Greyfriars Kirk, Edinburgh, UK (07/12/2011-07/15/2011).



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Works Details

>Handel, George Frideric : Esther
  • Conductor: John Butt
  • Ensemble: Dunedin Consort
  • Notes: Greyfriars Kirk, Edinburgh, UK (07/12/2011-07/15/2011)
  • Running Time: 84 min. 10 sec.
  • Period Time: Baroque
  • Written: circa 1718