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Andrew Foster-Williams, Early Opera Company, Christian Curnyn – Handel: Alceste (2012/2021) [Official Digital Download 24bit/96kHz]

Andrew Foster-Williams, Early Opera Company, Christian Curnyn – Handel: Alceste (2012/2021)
FLAC (tracks) 24bit/96kHz | Time – 01:03:05 minutes | 829 MB | Genre: Classical
Studio Masters, Official Digital Download | Digital Booklet, Front Cover | © Chandos

Handel wrote incidental music for only one play, Tobias Smollett’s Alceste, and it was never produced, so the composer, characteristically, recycled most of its major numbers. In this recording, Christian Curnyn and the Early Opera Company deliver a distinguished account of the rarely performed or recorded complete score. Written in 1750, late in Handel’s career, it is clearly the work of the composer at the height of his powers, and many of its numbers deserve broader exposure. The soprano aria “Gentle Morpheus” is easily among the loveliest the composer ever wrote, and Lucy Crowe sings it with ravishing sensuality. Crowe’s luminous singing in her three arias is one of the highlights of the album. Tenor Benjamin Hulett, whose part is given the bulk of the solos, performs with agility and lightness. Baritone Andrew Foster-Williams seems less than fully at ease with the coloratura of his single aria. The orchestral playing is crisply precise and exceptionally nimble, and the chorus sings with clarity and high spirits.

1. Lucy Crowe – Ouverture
2. Lucy Crowe – Grand entree
3. Lucy Crowe – Accompagnato: Ye happy people (Tenor)
4. Lucy Crowe – Triumph, Hymen, in the pair (Soprano, Chorus)
5. Lucy Crowe – Still caressing and caress’d (Soprano, Chorus)
6. Lucy Crowe – Air: Ye swift minutes as ye fly (Tenor)
7. Lucy Crowe – O bless, ye pow’rs above (Chorus)
9. Early Opera Company Orchestra – Admeto, re di Tessaglia, HWV 22: Sinfonia
10. Lucy Crowe – Air: Ye fleeting shades, I come (Bass)
11. Lucy Crowe – Thrice happy who in life excel (Chorus)
12. Lucy Crowe – Air: Enjor the sweet Elysian grove (Tenor)
13. Early Opera Company Orchestra – Radamisto, HWV 12a: Passacaille
14. Lucy Crowe – Si replica il Core precedente: Thrice happy
15. Lucy Crowe – Air: Come, Fancy, empress of the brain (Soprano)
16. Lucy Crowe – Symphony and Accompagnato: He comes, he rises from below (Tenor)
17. Lucy Crowe – Al hail, thou mighty son of Jove! (Chorus)
18. Lucy Crowe – Symphony: Larghetto
19. Lucy Crowe – Recitative: From high Olympus’ top, the seat of God (Tenor)
20. Lucy Crowe – Air: Tune your harps, all ye Nine (Tenor)
21. Lucy Crowe – Ballo primo: Un peu lentement
22. Lucy Crowe – L’ultimato ballo
23. Lucy Crowe – Triumph, thou son of Jove (Chorus)


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