GF Handel, Deborah
3 CDs, Naxos
Barockorchester Frankfurt Junge Kantorei Joachim Carlos Martini with Elisabeth Scholl, Natacha Ducret, Lawrence Zazzo, Ewa Wolak, Knut Scchoch, Jelle Draijer This is the second of Handel's oratorios. It was first aired in 1733 with a hundred performers of which twenty five were singers. This was a difficult time for Handel as the Prince of Wales had recently started a rival opera company which had lured away some of his top singers. Deborah wasn't to prove his salvation but he did do well with later oratorios such as Athalia. This isn't one that music scholars have favoured as Handel's habit of borrowing from himself led to this one being called a 'pastichio' (pastiche!). For the rest of us, this has all Handel's usual mixture of grace and grandeur and this performance over three CDs is a very nice one. We've all heard versions of Handel where it sounded as if the musicians were somewhat tired and disinterested but this one is not like that at all. As an aside, Handel's house, at 25 Brook Street close to Bond Street, in London is now open to visitors after a refurbishment.
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