King: Handel - L'Allegro, il Penseroso ed il Moderato (2 CD, APE)
King: Handel - L'Allegro, il Penseroso ed il Moderato (2 CD, APE)

Audio CD
SPARS Code: DDD
Number of Discs: 2
Format: APE (image+cue)
Label: Hyperion
Size: 551 MB
Recovery: +3%
Scan: yes

Susan Gritton (soprano)
Lorna Anderson (soprano)
Claron McFadden (soprano)
Paul Agnew (tenor)
Neal Davies (bass)

The King’s Consort
Choir of the King’s Consort
Conductor – Robert King

CD 01
01. OVERTURE [Grave]: Allegro – Lentement – Allegro Moderato
02. PART ONE: Accompagnato – Hence, loathed Melancholy
03. Accompagnato – Hence, vain deluding Joys
04. Air – Come, thou goddess fair and free
05. Air – Come rather, goddess, sage and holy
06. Air – Haste thee, nymph, and bring with thee
07. Air – Come and trip it as you go
08. Accompagnato – Come, pensive nun, devout and pure
09. Air – Come, but keep thy wonted state
10. Accompagnato – There, held in holy passion still
11. Recitative – Hence, loathed Melancholy!
12. Air – Mirth, admit me of thy crew
13. Accompagnato – First and chief, on golden wing
14. Air – Sweet bird, that shun’st the noise of Folly
15. Recitative – If I give thee honour due
16. Air – Mirth, admit me of thy crew
17. Air – Oft on a plat of rising ground
18. Air – Far from all resort of mirth
19. Recitative – If I give thee honour due
20. Air – Let me wander not unseen
21. Air – Straight mine eye hath caught new pleasures
22. Accompagnato – Mountains, on whose barren breast
23. Air – Or let the merry bells ring round

Also available:  Argerich, Kondrashin: Rimsky-Korsakov - Sheherazade, Tchaikovsky - Piano Concerto no.1 (SACD)

CD 02
01. PART TWO: Accompagnato – Hence, vain deluding Joys
02. Air – Sometimes let gorgeous tragedy
03. Air – But O, sad virgin, that thy pow’r
04. Air – Thus, Night, oft see me in thy pale career
05. Chorus – Populous cities please me [us] then
06. Air – There let Hymen oft appear
07. Accompagnato – Me, when the sun begins to fling
08. Air – Hide me from Day’s garish eye
09. Air – I’ll to the well-trod stage anon
10. Air – And ever against eating cares
11. Air – Orpheus’ self may heave his head
12. Air – These delights if thou canst give
13. Recitative – But let my due feet never fail
14. Chorus – There let the pealing organ blow
15. Air – May at last my weary age
16. Fugue – Organo ad libitum il soggetto della fuga seguente
17. Chorus – These pleasures, Melancholy, give
18. PART THREE: Accompagnato – Hence! boast not, ye profane
19. Air – Come, with native lustre shine
20. Accompagnato – Sweet Temp’rance in thy right hand bear
21. Air – Come, with gentle hand restrain
22. Recitative – No more short life they then will spend
23. Air – Each action will derive new grace
24. Duet – As steals the morn upon the night
25. Chorus – Thy pleasures, Moderation, give

King Triumphs in Handel’s Pastoral Ode, L’ Allegro

Review of Hyperion Label’s L’ Allegro by Handel

I own both the Gardiner performance (Erato) from the 80’s and now this newer performance by King (Hyperion) from the 90’s, and the King routs Gardiner. Not only does this newer recording benefit from better sound, but the solo singing is uniformly better, being informed by more recent scholarship. In addition, some of the solos on the Gardiner set are just weak, such as those of the boy soprano, who has almost no voice at all, thus ruining his part completely. On Hyperion’s excellent set, in contrast, all of these problems are completely avoided; all the solo parts are taken by adult singers, who do both Milton and Handel grand, making this lovely poetry completely audible. King’s orchestra and chorus are also the equal of Gardiner’s well-known, excellent ensemble, and they perform the later edition of this delightful music which Handel prepared about a year or two after the initial performances, thus adding almost twice as much as Gardiner performs in his version of Handel’s original version. In short, haste thee, and purchase King’s period instrument triumph of Handel’s L’ Allegro and bring out smiles, jollity, and rejoicing all around.

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