Your Tuneful Voice: Handel Oratorio Arias

Your Tuneful Voice: Handel Oratorio Arias

by Iestyn Davies

CD

Overview

British countertenor Iestyn Davies stands out from his contemporaries with his unusually smooth, liquid voice. That kind of countertenor voice usually flourishes in quieter arias but faces a tough slog in more athletic Handel arias, which for the most part were written not for a countertenor but for a castrato. Listeners might indeed wish for a more flamboyant presentation of arias like this from Davies, but really he has picked arias that fit his voice startlingly well. The showstoppers emerge as precise displays of chamber virtuosity, and in the slower, serious but sensuous pieces like Who calls my parting soul from death? (track 16), from "Esther," Davies is really transcendent. In that piece and one other he's joined by soprano Carolyn Sampson, whose voice has a similar creamy quality, inducing a kind of sensory overload. The sheer vocal pleasure is broken up by the inclusion of a pair of overtures from the King's Consort under Robert King, who deserve notice for staying in balance with Davies in quite a variety of unfamiliar material, and another attraction of the album is the informative set of booklet notes by Donald Burrows, exploring the variety of scenes and voice types for which Handel's oratorios were written, and in so doing throwing light on why this rather unorthodox performance works so wonderfully well.

Product Details

Release Date: 02/02/2014
Label: Vivat
UPC: 0799439080683
catalogNumber: 105

Tracks

  1. Belshazzar, oratorio, HWV 61: O sacred oracles of truth

    1. O sacred oracles of truth  (05:01)
  2. The Triumph of Time and Truth, oratorio, HWV 71: Mortals think that Time is sleeping

    1. Mortals think that Time is sleeping  (07:05)
  3. Esther, oratorio, HWV 50a: Tune your harps to cheerful strains

    1. Tune your harps to cheerful strains  (04:45)
  4. Alexander Balus, oratorio, HWV 65: Mighty love now calls to arm

    1. Mighty love now calls to arm  (02:35)
  5. Jephtha, oratorio, HWV 70: Overture: (Grave) - Allegro - (Grave)

    1. Overture: (Grave) - Allegro - (Grave)  (05:08)
  6. Jephtha, oratorio, HWV 70: Overture: Menuet

    1. Overture: Menuet  (01:37)
  7. Ode for the Birthday of Queen Anne (Eternal Source of Light Divine), HWV 74: Eternal source of light divine

    1. Eternal source of light divine  (03:35)
  8. Solomon, oratorio, HWV 67: Welcome as the dawn of day

    1. Welcome as the dawn of day  (03:32)
  9. Semele, oratorio, HWV 58: Your tuneful voice my tale would tell

    1. Your tuneful voice my tale would tell  (05:12)
  10. The Choice of Hercules, oratorio, HWV 69: Yet can I hear that dulcet lay

    1. Yet can I hear that dulcet lay  (03:49)
  11. Jephtha, oratorio, HWV 70: Up the dreadful steep ascending

    1. Up the dreadful steep ascending  (03:36)
  12. Samson, oratorio, HWV 57: Overture: Andante - Adagio

    1. Overture: Andante - Adagio  (03:17)
  13. Samson, oratorio, HWV 57: Overture: Allegro - Adagio

    1. Overture: Allegro - Adagio  (01:37)
  14. Samson, oratorio, HWV 57: Overture: Menuetto

    1. Overture: Menuetto  (02:49)
  15. Israel in Egypt, oratorio, HWV 54: Thou shalt bring them in

    1. Thou shalt bring them in  (03:15)
  16. Esther, oratorio, HWV 50a: Who calls my parting soul from death

    1. Who calls my parting soul from death  (03:13)
  17. The Triumph of Time and Truth, oratorio, HWV 71: On the valleys, dark and cheerless

    1. On the valleys, dark and cheerless  (04:00)
  18. Esther, oratorio, HWV 50a: How can I stay when love invites

    1. How can I stay when love invites  (03:06)

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