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Handel: The Choice of Hercules / King, Gritton, Blaze, et al

Album Summary

>Handel, George Frideric : The Choice of Hercules, oratorio, HWV 69
>Green, Maurice : Hearken Unto Me, Ye Holy Children, anthem for soloists, chorus & ensemble
Performers Conductor Ensemble Composers

Notes & Reviews:

"First of all, let's escape the trap into which so many catalog listings fall: 'The Choice of Hercules' is NOT the same as 'Hercules'. King gives us the third recording of the curious but musically quite substantial work. Since the Handel work runs less than 49 minutes, King enhances his achievement by offering a work that was for a while erroneously attributed to Handel as his 'Twelfth Chandos Anthem'. - Barker, ARG

'especially enjoyable' (Gay Times)

'The Choice of Hercules is one of Handel's best-kept secrets... Robert King and his expert team evidently relish the work's hedonistic charms' (The Daily Telegraph)

'A delightful sequence of 24 brief numbers telling the story of Hercules making his choice between Virtue and Pleasure... Robert King brings out the unquenchable freshness of invention that Handel retained even in his last years, with the choir and players of The King's Consort consistently responsive and resilient' (The Guardian)

'Susan Gritton and Alice Coote are exquisite as Pleasure and Virtue. A delightful rarity, coupled with an appealing anthem by Handel's English contemporary Maurice Greene' (The Sunday Times)

'And about time too! An admirable addition to Robert King's ongoing Hyperion Handel series' (International Record Review)

'Strong choral singing and excellent orchestral playing add to the merits of a performance that bears all the characteristic hallmarks of Robert King's stylish, vital direction... Strongly recommended' (Goldberg)

'This is a lovely performance. All the soloists are in exceptionally good voice... Robert King directs proceedings with his spry confidence' (Evening Standard)

'Another major release from one of our most accomplished Baroque outfits' (Organists' Review)

'a glowing and altogether irresistible sound' (Fanfare, USA)

'excellent soloists... nicely pointed playing and singing from orchestra and chorus' (Early Music News)

'In its colour and tunefulness this is extracted essence of Handel, immaculately performed by Robert King's finely disciplined forces' (Musical Opinion)

'Robert King is a fine Handelian, in that he uses the best players and some of the more characterful singers around... some very fine singing' (Early Music Review)

'Fine notes and full texts complete yet another example of King's superlative recording activities - a must for Handelians' (American Record Guide)

'The confident performance by The King's Consort is compelling and full of refinement, catching the music's flavour and drama brilliantly' (Cathedral Music)

'le King's Consort est énergique et vif... Le chr est remarquable, surtout dans la vaillance grace à la magnifique présence de ses basses... Cette version surpasse largement celles qui l'ont précedée' (Répertoire, France)

'this new recording of the little-known Choice Of Hercules is a welcome addition to their discography... As usual with The King's Consort recordings, the playing of the musicians is tight and balanced, with a fine equilibrium between soloists, chorus and orchestra' (musicweb.uk.net)



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Works Details

>Handel, George Frideric : The Choice of Hercules, oratorio, HWV 69
  • Performers: Robin Blaze; Alice Coote (Mezzo Soprano); Charles Daniels; Susan Gritton (Soprano)
  • Conductor: Robert King
  • Ensemble: King's Consort
  • Notes: St-Jude-on-the-Hill, Hampstead Garden Suburb, London, England (03/28/2001-03/31/2001)
  • Running Time: 44 min. 30 sec.
  • Period Time: Baroque
  • Form: Cantata/Oratorio
  • Written: 1750

>Green, Maurice : Hearken Unto Me, Ye Holy Children, anthem for soloists, chorus & ensemble
  • Performers: Robin Blaze; Charles Daniels; Peter Harvey (Bass Baritone)
  • Conductor: Robert King
  • Ensemble: King's Consort
  • Notes: St-Jude-on-the-Hill, Hampstead Garden Suburb, London, England (03/28/2001-03/31/2001)
  • Running Time: 3 min. 2 sec.
  • Period Time: Baroque
  • Written: 1728