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Handel - Chandos Anthems, Vol.1 - The Age Green Guide

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The recent slew of Handel releases in honour of the 250th anniversary of his death has reinforced the composer’s versatility. Clever and entrepreneurial, Handel came to London primarily to make his name in opera, but that did not stop him from seeking out rich patrons like the Duke of Chandos and fulfilling their musical needs. In this case, it was providing music for the duke’s private chapel which came complete with its own musicians. Three of the anthems are recorded here: My song shall be alway, Let God arise and O praise the Lord with one consent. These are performed by a stellar cast led by soprano Emma Kirkby and ably supported by fellow soloists Iestyn Davies, James Gilchrist and Neil Davies. Stephen Layton brings his characteristic zeal to the performances and in matters of diction and articulation the result is somewhat like being led to a dinner table full of sparkling crystal and starched napery where everything is exactly in its place. The joyful formality of these works is well captured by Hyperion’s engineering.

Tony Way

Handel - Chandos Anthems, Vol.1
Hyperion Records CDA67737