Newport Classics have done much for Handel on CD in recent years, this is
a stimulating recital by the American soprano Jennifer Lane, a warm rich
voice (but not too plummy to detract from the dramatic qualities of her arias),
displaying very good diction and stylish in matters like vocal declarations.
Her programme is unusual; we all know Where ere you
walk and perhaps Laschia chio Pianga from
Rinaldo and Si Tra I Ceppi from Berenice usually
heard sung by a bass but we also have here two fine numbers including the
discs title aria, from Alexander Balus, maybe Handels
most rarely heard oratorio, two arias from Muzio Sievola (of which
opera Handel composed only Act 3), two superb ones from Faramondo,
a late failed opera which perhaps we should reconsider (previously
I only knew the Overture, also fine), and an accompanied recitative and aria
also from Berenice. Dramatic should not be taken too literally as
the programme affords plenty of variety.
The Brewer Chamber Orchestra under Rudolph Palmer are vigorous, stylish
accompanists and they break the sequence of arias with brief orchestral
interludes, taken from Joshua (an oratorio) and Siroe (an opera).
Good recording. Worth investigating by Handel enthusiasts