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G.F. Handel: Saul / Sarah Connolly, Elizabeth Atherton, Joelle Harvey, Christopher Purves, Robert Murray - The Sixteen

Audio Samples

  1. Handel — Saul, HWV 53: Act 1, Overture
  2. Handel — Saul, HWV 53: Act I, Scene I, "How Excellent Thy Name", (Chorus of Israelites) $0.99 on iTunes
  3. Handel — Saul, HWV 53 : Act I, Scene I, "Along the Monster" (Chorus) $0.99 on iTunes
  4. Handel — Saul, HWV 53 : Act I, Scene I, "The Youth Inspired" (Chorus of Israelites) $0.99 on iTunes
  5. Handel — Saul, HWV 53 : Act I, Scene I, "How Excellent Thy Name" (Chours of Israelites) $0.99 on iTunes
  6. Handel — Saul, HWV 53 : Act I, Scene I, "Hallelujah!" (Chorus of Israelites) $0.99 on iTunes
  7. Handel — Saul, HWV 53 : Act I, Scene II, Recitive. "He Comes, He Comes!" (Michal) $0.99 on iTunes
  8. Handel — Saul, HWV 53 : Act I, Scene II, Air. "O Godlike Youth" (Michal) $0.99 on iTunes
  9. Handel — Saul, HWV 53 : Act I, Scene II, Recitative. "Behold, O King" (Abner, Saul, David) $0.99 on iTunes
  10. Handel — Saul, HWV 53 : Act I, Scene II, Air. "O King, Your Favours" (David) $0.99 on iTunes
  11. Handel — Saul, HWV 53 : Act I, Scene II, Recitative "Oh Early Piety!" (Jonathan) $0.99 on iTunes
  12. Handel — Saul : Act I, Scene II, Air. "What Abject Thoughts" (Merab) $0.99 on iTunes
  13. Handel — Saul, HWV 53 : Act I, Scene II, Recitative. "Yet Think On Whom This Honor" (Merab) $0.99 on iTunes
  14. Handel — Saul, HWV 53 : Act I, Scene II, Air. "Birth and Fortune I Despise!" (Jonathan) $0.99 on iTunes
  15. Handel — Saul, HWV 53: Act I, Scene II, Recitative. "Go On, Illustrious Pair!" (High Priest) $0.99 on iTunes
  16. Handel — Saul, HWV 53 : Act I, Scene II, Air. "While Yet Thy Tide" (High Priest) $0.99 on iTunes
  17. Handel — Saul, HWV 53 : Act I, Scene II, Recitative. "Thou, Merab, First in Birth" (Saul, Merab) $0.99 on iTunes
  18. Handel — Saul, HWV 53 : Act I, Scene II, Air. "My Soul Rejects" (Merab, Michal) $0.99 on iTunes
  19. Handel — Saul, HWV 53 : Act I, Scene II, Sinfonia $0.99 on iTunes
  20. Handel — Saul, HWV 53 : Act I, Scene III, Recitative. "Already See the Daughters" (Michal) $0.99 on iTunes
  21. Handel — Saul, HWV 53 : Act I, Scene III, "Welcome, Welcome, Mighty King!" (Chorus of Israelites) $0.99 on iTunes
  22. Handel — Saul, HWV 53 : Act I, Scene III, Accompagnato. "What Do I Hear?" (Saul) $0.99 on iTunes
  23. Handel — Saul, HWV 53 : Act I, Scene III, "David His Ten Thousand Slew" (Chorus of Israelites) $0.99 on iTunes
  24. Handel — Saul, HWV 53 : Act I, Scene III, Accompagnato. "To Him Ten Thousands" (Saul) $0.99 on iTunes
  25. Handel — Saul, HWV 53 : Act I, Scene III, Air. "With Rage I Shall Burst" (Saul) $0.99 on iTunes
  26. Handel — Saul, HWV 53 : Act I, Scene IV, Recitative. "Imprudent Women!" (Johnathan, Michal) $0.99 on iTunes
  27. Handel — Saul, HWV 53 : Act I, Scene IV, Air. "Fell Rage and Black Despair" (Michal) $0.99 on iTunes
  28. Handel — Saul, HWV 53 : Act I, Scene V, Recitative. "Racked with Infernal Pains" (Abner) $0.99 on iTunes
  29. Handel — Saul, HWV 53 : Act I, Scene V, Air. "Oh Lord Whose Mercies" (David) $0.99 on iTunes
  30. Handel — Saul, HWV 53 : Act I, Scene V, Symphony (Harp) $0.99 on iTunes
  31. Handel — Saul, HWV 53 : Act I, Scene V, Air. "Capricious Man" (Mehab) $0.99 on iTunes
  32. Handel — Saul, HWV 53 : Act I, Scene VI, Accompagnato. "O Filial Piety!" (Jonathan) $0.99 on iTunes
  33. Handel — Saul, HWV 53 : Act I, Scene VI, Air. "No, Cruel Father, No!" (Jonathan) $0.99 on iTunes
  34. Handel — Saul, HWV 53 : Act I, Scene VI, Air. "O Lord, Whose Providence" (High Priest) $0.99 on iTunes
  35. Handel — Saul, HWV 53 : Act I, Scene VI, "Preserve Him for the Glory" (High Priest) $0.99 on iTunes
  36. Handel — Saul, HWV 53 : Act II, Scene I, "Envy, Eldest Born of Hell" (Chorus) $0.99 on iTunes
  37. Handel — Saul, HWV 53 : Act II, Scene II, Recitative. "Ah, Dearest Friend" (Jonathan) $0.99 on iTunes
  38. Handel — Saul, HWV 53 : Act II, Scene II, Recitative. "Oh, Strange Vicissitude!" (David, Jonathan) $0.99 on iTunes
  39. Handel — Saul, HWV 53 : Act II, Scene II, Air. "Such Haughty Beauties Rather Move" (David) $0.99 on iTunes
  40. Handel — Saul, HWV 53 : Act II, Scene II, Recitative. "My Father Comes" (Jonathan) $0.99 on iTunes
  41. Handel — Saul, HWV 53 : Act II, Scene III, Air. "Sin Not, O King, Against the Youth" (Jonathan) $0.99 on iTunes
  42. Handel — Saul, HWV 53 : Act II, Scene III, Air. "As Great Jehovah Lives, I Swear" (Saul) $0.99 on iTunes
  43. Handel — Saul, HWV 53 : Act II, Scene III, Air. "From Cities Stormed, And Battles Won" (Jonathan) $0.99 on iTunes
  44. Handel — Saul, HWV 53 : Act II, Scene IV, Recitative. "Appear, My Friend" (Jonathan, Saul) $0.99 on iTunes
  45. Handel — Saul, HWV 53 : Act II, Scene IV, Air. "Your Words, O King, My Loyal Heart" (David) $0.99 on iTunes

Album Summary

>Handel, George Frideric : Saul
Conductor Ensemble Composer

Notes & Reviews:

Harry Christophers and The Sixteen are revered for their performances and recordings of Handel's great oratorios, and they add to their stunning collection with this new recording of Saul. In his Biblical oratorio, Handel wrote an epic work of great drama and thrilling musical inventiveness. He gifted his solo singer's roles with vivid characterization - and in Christopher Purves as Saul we have a baritone whose talent for dramatic realization is matched by superb musical craftsmanship. Sarah Connolly, who sings the role of David, has become one of the most sought-after Handel interpreters.

Financial Times
Sarah Connolly seals her reputation as our best Handel mezzo in many years.

Sunday Times, September 2012
Christopher Purves gives vent to Saul's paranoia with trenchant diction and fulminating delivery of Handel's angry coloratura. Sarah Connolly's David is the other star, unusually but apparently authentically cast in a role once thought to have been written for a countertenor.

International Record Review, October 2012
Christophers is, on the whole, a lively and mainstream Handelian...The set is worth having for Connolly's singing of [David's] aria alone...Purves's volatile Saul strikes me, too, as a prime asset...none of his colleagues in the older sets suggests the gradual slide into paranoia and derangement as Purves does here. His text is immaculate, his coloratura clean and precise, never blustery.

Gramophone Magazine, October 2012
[Christophers's] ever-sure handling of choruses, sensitivity to the needs of solo singers and affinity for the orchestral grandeur or Handel's most elaborate score mark him out as an honest, natural Handelian conductor...Purves charms, broods, fumes implacably, plots villainously and confronts his doom vividly in the manner of a Shakespearean tragedian...The Sixteen's first-class account of Saul is magnificent in every way that matters most.

The Times, September 2012
With his acting chops and weighty bass-baritone, Purves in full cry is a splendid and fearful spectacle. But balm is at hand from Sarah Connolly's David...She's at her peak singing O Lord, Whose Mercies Numberless in Act I, channelling her eloquence through the words rather than any elaborately beautified tone...Buy with confidence.

American Record Guide, January/February 2013
Of the many recordings this great work has been given, some are more effective than this. The most recent one under Hans-Christoph Rademann (Carus 83243, 3SACD: S/O 2009) has an impressive cast and some really fine choral work. For particularly intense theatrical feeling, there is the extra-speedy Jacobs recording (Harmonia Mundi 901877, 2CD: J/F 2006), but for all-round musicality and drama my foremost recommendation remains McCreesh.

BBC Music Magazine, Christmas 2012
The choruses are always beautifully contoured, as is the incisive playing of The Sixteen's house band. Christopher Purves and Sarah Connolly all but steal the show: Purves's splenetic Saul is a satisfyingly multi-layered creation...Connolly's 'O Lord, whose mercies' proves a spellbinding vindication of casting a sophisticated velvety mezzo.

Notes & Reviews:

Recording information: St Augustine's Church, Kilburn, London (01/2012).



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Works Details

>Handel, George Frideric : Saul
  • Conductor: Harry Christophers
  • Ensemble: The Sixteen
  • Notes: Composition written: 1738.
  • Running Time: 140 min. 25 sec.
  • Period Time: Baroque
  • Form: Cantata/Oratorio
  • Written: 1738