£16 post free World-wide

 


555 sonatas 9Cds mp3 files
Only £22


 


Benjamin: Written on Skin £16

Search
What's New
Previous CDs
Concerts
Jazz
Nostalgia
Composers
Resources
Announce
Labels index


Every day we post 10 new Classical CD and DVD reviews. A free weekly summary is available by e-mail. MusicWeb is not a subscription site. To keep it free please purchase discs through our links.

  Classical Editor Rob Barnett    



CD REVIEW

Some items
to consider


BRAHMS Complete Edition
58CD £95.22


Shostakovich 14 Petrenko


Rachmaninov #3
Prokofiev #2

 


Dunedin Consort

Peter Grimes

Hymn of Jesus: Sea Drift

Complete Mozart Edition
Mozart complete edition

Vaughan Williams Symphonies 5 & 8 £11

Weiner, Klepper, Bloch, Schulhoff £12 post free


Available again

alternatively AmazonUK

 

George Frederick HANDEL (1685-1759)
Solomon - oratorio in three acts HWV67 (1748)
Tim Mead (alto) – Solomon
Dominique Labelle (soprano) – Solomon’s Queen, First Harlot
Claron McFaddon (soprano) – Queen of Sheba, Second Harlot
Michael Slattery (tenor) – Zadok
William Kendall (tenor) – Attendant
Roderick Williams (bass) – Levite
Winchester Cathedral Choir
Göttingen Festival Orchestra/Nicholas McGegan
rec. live, Frauenkirche, Dresden, 26 May 2007
Text and German translation included
CARUS 83.242 [3 CDs: 60:20 + 49:15 + 47:04]
Experience Classicsonline

This is one of two new recordings of Solomon to have been released recently, the other being on Harmonia Mundi in a performance directed by Daniel Reuss. Hitherto catalogue leaders in the field have been the 1984 Gardiner on Philips [412 612-2] which, like the current Reuss, has some cuts and the much later 1998 McCreesh on Archiv [459 688-2] which doesn’t. Will this McGegan fit the bill? 

Well, his version is complete and he sticks to Handel’s ordering of choruses and arias - not everyone does. And he was recorded live in the Frauenkirche, Dresden where Carus has so successfully recorded before. The use of an all-male choir is good – Handel used one – and he has some unusually forceful basses in the Winchester Cathedral Choir; which is another plus as far as I’m concerned.  The modest-sized Göttingen Festival Orchestra responds adeptly to his direction and there are some notable orchestral flourishes and touches throughout. Listen for example to the lower strings throbbing at the words “resound your Maker’s name” in the Priests’ Chorus With pious hearts – excellent and exciting. But in the end much falls on the singers and this is where quite a lot falls down. 

Let’s start with someone of whom that cannot be said, Roderick Williams. Here is a Levite firm of voice, clear of diction, and strong of characterization. His every appearance gave me pleasure. Try him in Act II’s Thrice bless’d for instance – secure, commanding.  The two Queens (and Harlots) are good, though not outstanding. Dominique Labelle starts a little nervously but soon gets into her stride. I’m not taken by her cadential passage in Bless’d the day but she’s otherwise a fine team player. Claron McFaddon sings Will the sun splendidly – it’s one of the most beautiful arias in the work and she does it justice. Together she and Labelle are pushed too hard and fast in their duet Welcome as the Dawn of day, McGegan succumbing to the modern manner of hard-driving the duet as if it were a flock of recalcitrant sheep. 

Tenor Michael Slattery suffers from a surfeit of self-regard alas. He rolls his “r” with almost comic relish and constantly subjects Almighty pow’r and other recitatives and arias to a degree of assault and battery. This contrasts with the stillness and gravity of Williams to an almost embarrassing degree. To add insult his divisions in Sacred rapture are approximate – one can hear him audibly grab for the safety of the legato passage after the taxing time he’s had. As Solomon we have countertenor Tim Mead. His voice is a little reminiscent of James Bowman’s though he lacks the latter’s fluidity. It’s not a “free” sounding voice and it lacks colour and vibrance; thus that most beautiful of arias What though I trace goes for little. Hs duet with Labelle, in which amorous joys are in the offing, sounds rather like a boy scout going off to put up a tent for all the sexiness he puts into it. 

So, no, this latest entrant doesn’t really alter the balance of power in the discography stakes; McCreesh for a first class complete edition; Gardiner for a cut version; Beecham (Somm – rearranged by the Bart) for historical bravado.

Jonathan Woolf 

see also Review by John Sheppard

 




 


Gerard Hoffnung CDs

Advertising on
Musicweb


Donate and get a free CD

New Releases

Naxos Classical

Hyperion

Musicweb sells the following labels
Acte Préalable
Alto
Arcodiva
CDAccord
Centaur
Hallé
Hortus
Lyrita
Nimbus
Northern Flowers
Redcliffe
Sheva
Talent
Toccata Classics


Follow us on Twitter

Subscribe to our free weekly newsletter
 


EXPLORE MUSICWEB INTERNATIONAL

Making a Donation to MusicWeb

Writing CD reviews for MWI

About MWI
Who we are, where we have come from and how we do it.

Site Map

How to find a review

How to find articles on MusicWeb
Listed in date order

Review Indexes
   By Label
      Select a label and all reviews are listed in Catalogue order
   By Masterwork
            Links from composer names (eg Sibelius) are to resource pages with links to the review indexes for the individual works as well as other resources.

Themed Review pages

Jazz reviews

 

Discographies
   Composer
      Composer surveys
   National
      Unique to MusicWeb -
a comprehensive listing of all LP and CD recordings of given works
.
Prepared by Michael Herman

The Collector’s Guide to Gramophone Company Record Labels 1898 - 1925
Howard Friedman

Book Reviews

Complete Books
We have a number of out of print complete books on-line

Interviews
With Composers, Conductors, Singers, Instumentalists and others
Includes those on the Seen and Heard site

Nostalgia

Nostalgia CD reviews

Records Of The Year
Each reviewer is given the opportunity to select the best of the releases

Monthly Best Buys
Recordings of the Month and Bargains of the Month

Comment
Arthur Butterworth Writes

An occasional column

Phil Scowcroft's Garlands
British Light Music articles

Classical blogs
A listing of Classical Music Blogs external to MusicWeb International

Reviewers Logs
What they have been listening to for pleasure

Announcements

 

Community
Bulletin Board

Give your opinions or seek answers

Reviewers
Pat and present

Helpers invited!

Resources
How Did I Miss That?

Currently suspended but there are a lot there with sound clips


Composer Resources

British Composers

British Light Music Composers

Other composers

Film Music (Archive)
Film Music on the Web (Closed in December 2006)

Programme Notes
For concert organizers

External sites
British Music Society
The BBC Proms
Orchestra Sites
Recording Companies & Retailers
Online Music
Agents & Marketing
Publishers
Other links
Newsgroups
Web News sites etc

PotPourri
A pot-pourri of articles

MW Listening Room
MW Office

Advice to Windows Vista users  
Questionnaire    
Site History  
What they say about us
What we say about us!
Where to get help on the Internet
CD orders By Special Request
Graphics archive
Currency Converter
Dictionary
Magazines
Newsfeed  
Web Ring
Translation Service

Rules for potential reviewers :-)
Do Not Go Here!
April Fools




Return to Review Index

Untitled Document


Reviews from previous months
Join the mailing list and receive a hyperlinked weekly update on the discs reviewed. details
We welcome feedback on our reviews. Please use the Bulletin Board
Please paste in the first line of your comments the URL of the review to which you refer.