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Handel: Chandos Anthems / Kirkby, Gilchrist, Layton, Academy of Ancient Music

Album Summary

>Handel, George Frideric : Chandos Anthem no 9 in E flat, "O Praise the Lord With One Consent", HWV 254
>Handel, George Frideric : Chandos Anthem no 11 in B flat major, "Let God Arise", HWV 256
>Handel, George Frideric : Chandos Anthem no 7 in G, "My Song Shall Be Alway", HWV 252
Performers Conductor Ensemble Composer

Notes & Reviews:

"I have to say that Emma Kirkby's voice has only improved with age; her tone is warmer and rounder, and her interpretive instincts, always sound, are fully on display here. The other three soloists are equally strong, but I was particularly impressed with tenor James Gilchrist's brilliant rendition of "Like as the smoke vanisheth" in Let God arise and with bass Neal Davies' consistently rich, vibrant tone and informed musicality. This choir always is a pleasure to hear--singers this well trained and intelligent don't put a foot wrong anywhere--and the orchestra needs no confirmation of its baroque-music-playing credentials. Conductor Stephen Layton seems to be popping up everywhere these days--and we're all the luckier for that. May we hope that these same forces will soon add the rest of the Chandos Anthems to the catalog?" -Classics Today (10/10)

The legendary Emma Kirkby, tenor James Gilchrist and Trinity College Choir Cambridge demonstrate the very best Handelian singing England has to offer.

'There is vintage Handel to be gleaned here ... Layton offers luxury casting, Iestyn Davies and Neal Davies on particularly commanding form ... The only thing missing on this disc are the words 'Vol. 1'. Such 'Handel with care' deserves nothing less' (BBC Music Magazine)

'Soloists and chorus alike excel in three of Handel's Chandos Anthems ... The 40 members of the Choir of Trinity College, Cambridge, sing with flexibility and lightness ... Emma Kirkby shows her stylistic intelligence and masterful communication of text in the opening of HWV252. It is enjoyable to hear some of Handel's lesser-known and more intimate church music performed with such elegant restraint and skill' (Gramophone)

'The choir's firm tone and tightly disciplined singing, coupled with the Academy's polished ensemble and phrasing, are a considerable improvement on The Sixteen and O'Reilly's sometimes raw and slightly untidy performances ... Emma Kirkby's contributions are unfailingly masterful. Her solo, backed by the choir, in HWV252's lyrical opening movement and in HWV254's gentle soprano aria, 'God's tender mercy', are high points of these performances, easily outclassing Christopher's two sopranos ... The young countertenor Iestyn Davies also sings impressively' (International Record Review)

'Stephen Layton is on a roll ... His inspirational direction and choice of top soloists makes this a welcome addition to earlier recordings. The choir sings with their usual purity of tone and clear diction whle the Academy of Ancient Music plays with convincing vigour in the sprightly double-dotted passages' (The Observer)

'Very good performances... Emma Kirby sings with beauty and authority... much to enjoy here' (Fanfare, USA)

'Der Choir of Trinity College überzeugt mit klarem Stimmfokus, hoher Koloratursicherheit und exzellenter Aussprache .. Nuancen bringen die vier Solisten nahezu optimal zur Geltung' (Fono Forum, Germany)

'Emma Kirkby's voice has only improved with age; her tone is warmer and rounder, and her interpretive instincts, always sound, are fully on display here. The other three soloists are equally strong... This choir always is a pleasure to hear--singers this well trained and intelligent don't put a foot wrong anywhere--and the orchestra needs no confirmation of its baroque-music-playing credentials. Conductor Stephen Layton seems to be popping up everywhere these days--and we're all the luckier for that' (ClassicsToday.com, USA)



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Works Details

>Handel, George Frideric : Chandos Anthem no 9 in E flat, "O Praise the Lord With One Consent", HWV 254
  • Performers: Neal Davies (Bass-Baritone); James Gilchrist (Tenor); Emma Kirkby (Soprano)
  • Conductor: Stephen Layton
  • Ensemble: Academy of Ancient Music
  • Notes: Chapel of Trinity College, Cambridge, England (06/29/2008-07/01/2008)
  • Running Time: 24 min. 17 sec.
  • Period Time: Baroque
  • Form: Choral
  • Written: 1717-1718

>Handel, George Frideric : Chandos Anthem no 11 in B flat major, "Let God Arise", HWV 256
  • Performers: Neal Davies (Bass-Baritone); James Gilchrist (Tenor); Emma Kirkby (Soprano)
  • Conductor: Stephen Layton
  • Ensemble: Academy of Ancient Music
  • Notes: Chapel of Trinity College, Cambridge, England (06/29/2008-07/01/2008)
  • Running Time: 3 min. 48 sec.
  • Period Time: Baroque
  • Form: Choral
  • Written: 1717-1718

>Handel, George Frideric : Chandos Anthem no 7 in G, "My Song Shall Be Alway", HWV 252
  • Performers: Neal Davies (Bass-Baritone); James Gilchrist (Tenor); Emma Kirkby (Soprano)
  • Conductor: Stephen Layton
  • Ensemble: Academy of Ancient Music
  • Notes: Chapel of Trinity College, Cambridge, England (06/29/2008-07/01/2008)
  • Running Time: 18 min. 38 sec.
  • Period Time: Baroque
  • Form: Choral
  • Written: 1717-1718