Handel: Athalia

価格: (税込)
レーベル:Polygram Records
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Disc : 1
  1. Act One, Scene 1: Sinf
  2. Act One, Scene 1: Aria: Blooming Virgins, Spotless Train
  3. Act One, Scene 1: Chor: The Rising World Jehovah Crown'd
  4. Act One, Scene 1: Solo & Chor: Tyrants Would In Impious Throngs
  5. Act One, Scene 1: Recitative: When He Is In His Wrath Reveal'd
  6. Act One, Scene 2: Recitative: Your Sacred Songs Awhile Forbear
  7. Act One, Scene 3: Recitative: What Scenes Of Horror Round Me Rise!
  8. Act One, Scene 3: Chor: The Gods, Who Chosen Blessings Shed
  9. Act One, Scene 3: Chor: Cheer Her, O Baal
  10. Act One, Scene 3: Aria: Gentle Airs, Melodious Strains!
  11. Act One, Scene 3: Aria: Softest Sounds No More Can Ease Me
  12. Act One, Scene 3: Chor: The Traitor If You There Descry/Scene 4: Recitative: My Josabeth!...
  13. Act One, Scene 4: Aria: Faithful Cares In Vain Extended
  14. Act One, Scene 4: Aria: Gloomy Tyrants, We Disdain
Disc : 2
  1. Act Two, Scene 1: Chor: The Mighty Pow'r
  2. Act Two, Scene 1: Aria: Through The Land So Lovely Blooming
  3. Act Two, Scene 1: Aria: Ah Canst Thou But Prove Me!/Scene 2: Recitative: Confusion To My Thoughts!
  4. Act Two, Scene 2: Aria: Will God, Whose Mercies Ever Flow
  5. Act Two, Scene 2: Aria: My Vengeance Awakes Me
  6. Act Two, Scene 2: Duet: My Spirits Fail, I Faint, I Die!/Scene 3: Recitative: Dear Josabeth
  7. Act Two, Scene 3: Duet: Cease Thy Anguish, Smile Once More
  8. Act Two, Scene 3: Chor: The Clouded Scene Begins To Clear
  9. Act Three, Scene 1: Recitative: What Sacred Horrors Shake My Breast!
  10. Act Three, Scene 1: Chor: Unfold, Great Seer, What Heav'n Imparts
  11. Act Three, Scene 1: Recitative: Let Harmony Breathe Soft Around
  12. Act Three, Scene 1: Chor: With Firm United Hearts/Scene 2: Recitative: O Princess, I Approach Thee
  13. Act Three, Scene 2: Aria: Soothing Tyrant, Falsely Smiling!/Scene 3: Recitative: Apostate Priest!...
  14. Act Three, Scene 4: Chor: Around Let Acclamations Ring
  15. Act Three, Scene 4: Aria: Oppression, No Longer I Dread Thee
  16. Act Three, Scene 4: Aria: Hark! His Thunders Round Me Roll
  17. Act Three, Scene 4: Aria: To Darkness Eternal
  18. Act Three, Scene The Last: Recitative: Now, Josabeth, Thy Fears Are O'er!
  19. Act Three, Scene The Last: Chor: Give Glory To His Awful Name
Messiah is the best known of Handel's oratorios, but it's far from typical. More common are Old Testament narratives such as Israel in Egypt, Joshua, and Saul. One of Handel's finest such efforts is Athalia, a tightly constructed, vivid retelling of the downfall of tyrannical Queen Athalia, daughter of Jezebel and worshiper of Baal. This superb 1985 recording was controversial in its initial release, due to the casting in the title role of the soon-to-retire Joan Sutherland--not the diva you'd expect to find starring in a period-practice Handel performance. Dame Joan doesn't exactly fit in with the baroque instruments (she overwhelms the obbligato flute in one aria) or with her colleagues (all Hogwood regulars), but her performance works: the tormented Athalia comes off as a creature very much separated from those around her, and Sutherland's notoriously mushy diction and inept acting are replaced by clear enunciation and real dramatic involvement. Anthony Rolfe Johnson, James Bowman (in unusually good voice), David Thomas, and the young Aled Jones all do sterling work as well. Then there's the radiant Emma Kirkby, who sings her high-flying, florid role with remarkable clarity, precision, and imagination. Check out her opening aria, "Blooming virgins": you won't find a better example of how to embellish a da capo aria--or how to transform a simply lilting song into a thrilling showpiece. --Matthew Westphal