Miriam Allan

Miriam Allan
Soprano

Miriam Allan, master class graduate student of Emma Kirkby and Julianne Baird and winner of the London Handel Competition 2003, was born in Newcastle (Australia) in 1977. She studied at Newcastle University and graduated from there with several distinctions. She has performed the most important works of Bach, Handel and Purcell with leading choirs and orchestras such as the Australian Chamber Orchestra and the Sydney Philharmonic. She has also appeared as a guest with the Song Company and Sounds Baroque, including at their concertante performances. In addition to this she also gives recitals. In the summer of 2003, she sang not only the title role in the Handel opera "Semele" for the Pinchgut Opera, she also appeared in the world premiere of "Dreaming Transportation" at the Sidney Festival and sang in the first Australian performance of Bach's St Mark Passion by the Sidney Philharmonic under Arno Volmer as well as performing in Pergolesi's "Stabat Mater". Meanwhile, Miriam Allan lives in London, where she teaches singing at the Westminster Under School. She performs with ensembles such as Concerto Copenhagen, Israel Camerata, the London Handel Orchestra, the Leipzig Chamber Orchestra or Concerto Köln and is working with conductors like Trevor Pinnock, Sir John Elliot Gardiner and William Christie.
George Fr. Handel · BelshazzarGeorge Fr. Handel · Belshazzar
George Frideric Handel:
B E L S H A Z Z A R
The English Oratorio HWV 61,
performed according to the traditions of the time
by Miriam Allan (Soprano), Michael Chance (Countertenor),
Patrick van Goethem (Countertenor), Mark Le Brocq (Tenor),
André Morsch (Bass), Hanoverian Court Orchestra,
and the Maulbronn Chamber Choir.
Conductor: Jürgen Budday.
A concert recording from the church of the German
UNESCO World Heritage Site Maulbronn Monastery
HD Recording · DDD · Double Album · c. 150 Minutes
2 CD
EUR 33,00SpotifyDeezerNapsterApple MusicAmazon MusicTidaliTunes MasteredFor...Prime Phonic HDQobuz HDHD TracksReview

***** This is a great recording!

This performance is recorded live! And that's one of the reasons that it is so exciting to hear. Performers and conductor alike are really 'up' for a performance like this, and the listener is rewarded by this experience. No matter that a note here and there may not be perfect, it's really the overall 'high' that this type of rendition gives us. Of course, no need to worry that Maulbronn discs are inferior; just the opposite: excellent singers & instrumentalists and outstanding soloists prevail.
The English passion for the oratorio is largely due to Handel. Every year from 1738 to 1751, he produced at least one. Handel's oratorios, more dramatic than any previously written,were like operas without scenery and costumes. "Balshazzar" is one of a cycle of old testament oratorios by Handel. It is the story of the Babylonian king, Belshazzar, as presented in the biblical story from the book of Daniel. Belshazzar commits sacrilege against the God of the Israelites, upon which a ghostly hand inscribes the mysterious text,the Menetkel, upon the wall of the court,predicting the downfall of the kingdom and the death of Belshazzar at the hands of the Persians. The prophecy is fulfilled that very same night.
Instrumentally and chorally this is a great recording! The characters of Daniel (Michael Chance) and Belshazzar (Mark LeBrocq) are well sung and dramatically convincing as is Nitrocris (Miriam). Gobrias is OK and somewhat convincing at times, but has some difficulty producing well-rounded low tones. But the weakest character both dramatically and vocally is Cyrus (Patrick van Goethem) countertenor. His voice was breathy in the low register and brittle and somewhat off pitch in the upper register. However, I'm really hard on countertenors, so you may not agree! One of the most exciting and well performed parts occurs when the hand of God writes on the wall terrifying Belshazzar; Daniel, the prophet then appears and prophesies in a most frightening manner death and destruction and nobody could have done that better than Chance. RECORDINGS FROM MAULBRONN ARE NEVER DULL!

George Peabody (A voice teacher and early music fan) on Amazon

Review

***** One of The best of Handel's Works

This is a masterpiece to enjoy and pass the treasures of classical music to your children.

'JORALE95' on eMusic.com

Review

A splendid recording

Handel’s spectacular oratorio Belshazzar was composed in 1744, from a libretto by Charles Jennens that describes the fall of Babylon. Less successful in it’s day than the popular Italian opera, Belshazzar is a work on an imposing scale—dramatic, passionate, full of stirring choruses and solos, and a piece which Handel himself described as ‘very grand and uncommon’. The oratorio is full of invention, energy and drama with the Jewish, Babylonian Persian and Medes masses having their own distinctive musical styles that were juxtaposed to create a tense dramatic conflict. Composed in the same year as the splendid Hercules the two oratorios represent the peak of Handel’s dramatic writing. Belshazzar was a failure at the time of its first performance in 1745—contemporary reports speak of a disastrously bad performance—and the oratorio never gained popularity in Handel’s lifetime. Jürgen Budday is director of church music and artistic director of the concert series at the monastery of Maulbronn, of the cantor choir and of the Maulbronn Chamber Choir. He is one of the leading German conductors of historical and modern vocal music, and his previous concert recordings have received international acclaim, including thos of the Handel oratorios Jephtha, Samson, Judas Maccabaeus, Saul and Belshazzar may be one of Handel’s less performed works but is indisputably one of his finest, as is evident from this splendid recording in which the soloists include Mark Le Broque (Belshazzar), soprano Miriam Allan, countertenor Michael Chance and Patrick van Goethem.

new-classics.co.uk

Review

HI-RES AUDIO

Awarded by Qobuz with the HI-RES AUDIO

November 2013

George Fr. Handel · JoshuaGeorge Fr. Handel · Joshua
George Frideric Handel:
J O S H U A
Unedited version from 1748 of the English Oratorio HWV 64,
performed according to the traditions of the time
by Miriam Allan (Soprano), David Allsopp (Countertenor),
Mark Le Brocq (Tenor), James Rutherford (Bass),
Hanoverian Court Orchestra (Hannoversche Hofkapelle),
and the Maulbronn Chamber Choir (Maulbronner Kammerchor)
Conductor: Jürgen Budday
A concert recording from the church of the German
UNESCO World Heritage Site Maulbronn Monastery
HD Recording · DDD · Double Album · c. 140 Minutes
2 CD
EUR 33,00SpotifyDeezerNapsterGoogle PlayApple MusicAmazon Music IAmazon Music IITidaliTunes MasteredFor...Prime Phonic HDReview

Unique

A unique interpretation of a baroque master piece.

A listener on YouTube

Review

Outstanding with the right balance between voices, orchestra and choir...

The splendid German label, K&K continues to delight eclectic connoisseurs with selected works, mostly choral recorded in the splendid setting of the UNESCO World Heritage site, the Maulbronn Monastery in rural Germany.
Handel's 'Joshua', an oratorio which is perhaps rather overlooked when compared to other more copiously played works. However this splendid interpretation which includes some of the world's rising stars in oratorio singing could change that neglect. Budday directs the Hannoversche Hofkapelle with alacrity, never forcing the pace untowardly but at the same time keeping the ebb and flow of the whole work in check.
The recoding is outstanding with just the right balance between voices, orchestra and choir and I really must recommend this beautifully presented set to all lovers of choral music.

Gerald Fenech on Classical Net

Review

An exemplary recording...

George Frideric Handel's Joshua was composed in a month during the summer of 1747. It was the fourth oratorio by the great composer based on a libretto by Thomas Morell, and premiered in 1748 at the Covent Garden Theatre, London. Based on the Biblical stories of Joshua, this is one of Handel's works from the height of his late creative period. Following the Jacobite Rising in England, he produced a series of oratorios based on military themes: Occasional Oratorio, Judas Maccabaeus, Alexander Balus, Joshua and Solomon. One of Handel's most famous choruses, 'See the Conq'ring Hero Comes' was originally written for Joshua, although the composer soon added it to the better-known Judas Maccabaeus, which had premiered the season before. The sources, story and style of the two works are similar, but Joshua has perhaps been more underrated and contains some wonderful music, especially in the second act with its splendid opening and closing choruses. This exemplary recording, made in 2007, is part of a cycle of old testament oratorios by G. F. Handel and is performed at Maulbronn monastery. The series combines authentically performed baroque oratorios with the optimal acoustics and atmosphere of this unique monastic church. This ideal location demands the transparency of playing and the interpretive unveiling of the rhetoric intimations of the composition, aided by historically informed performance on reconstructed historical instruments tuned to the pitch customary in the composer's lifetime. Jürgen Budday, artistic director and founder, conducts the excellent Maulbronn Chamber Choir and Hanoverian Court Orchestra, with a fine array of soloists Miriam Allan (soprano), David Allsopp (countertenor), Mark LeBrocq (tenor) and James Rutherford (bass). See also these K&K recordings: BELSHAZZAR, SAUL and DIVINE LITURGY.

new-classics.co.uk

George Fr. Handel · MessiahGeorge Fr. Handel · Messiah
George Frideric Handel:
M E S S I A H
The complete recording of the English Oratorio HWV 56,
performed according to the traditions of the time
by Miriam Allan (Soprano), Michael Chance (Countertenor),
Mark Le Brocq (Tenor), Christopher Purves (Bass),
Hanoverian Court Orchestra, Maulbronn Chamber Choir.
Conductor: Jürgen Budday.
A concert recording from the church of the German
UNESCO World Heritage Site Maulbronn Monastery
HD Recording · DDD · Double Album · c. 140 Minutes
2 CD
EUR 33,00SpotifyDeezerGoogle PlayYouTube MusicApple MusicAmazon.com MusicNaxos Music LibraryTidalPrimephonicAmazon.comiTunes Apple Digital MasterQobuz HDPresto Classical HDeClassical HDReview

A rich Messiah of unusually strong Impact

They produced in the hands of conductor Jürgen Budday a rich Messiah of unusually strong impact... aided by fine live engineering in the impressive, sonically clear spaces of Germany's Maulbronn Monastery...
This live German recording of Messiah is based on a manuscript Handel marked up for a performance of the work in Dublin, adding a variety of new dynamic markings and ensemble indications. There's no reason to regard it as quite the definitive version of the work that it is proposed to be by the booklet here; it can equally well be considered an experiment on Handel's part in dealing with the new stylistic currents of his day. For listeners unfamiliar with it, this version carries quite a few surprises. Sampling merely the beginning of the "Hallelujah" chorus, CD 2, track 16, is enough to give the listener an idea of what he or she is getting into as the usually muscular entrance of the choir contracts to a quiet, angelic effect. The work becomes much more varied in texture and a good deal less monumental overall.
It would nevertheless be a shame if this recording were pigeonholed among the Dublin versions, for it has a good deal to offer any Messiah listener. Billed as an uncut, historically informed performance, this recording becomes, in the hands of conductor Jürgen Budday, a nice fusion of the immediate feel of the best historical performances (aided by fine live engineering in the impressive, sonically clear spaces of Germany's Maulbronn Monastery) with a rich, more conventional sound from a good-sized German choir, the Maulbronner Kammerchor.
Budday gives the soloists a chance to stretch out in the recitatives. Collectively the performers capture the different strands of Handel's experience - operatic, English Protestant, solo-oriented, and instrumental - that he brought to bear on this magnificent work, and they produce a rich Messiah of unusually strong impact. The live recording has a few flaws, but they are more than overcome by the edge thus generated. Notes are in German and English, the text is in English.

Review by James Manheim - All Music Guide, allmusic.com

Review

***** Absolutely the finest rendition

I am nearly 60 years old and have heard countless versions of Handel's "Messiah" since I was a boy. Recently I decided to purchase the best recording I could find for MP3 use. Wanting the version most faithful to Handel's baroque style, I easily eliminated most of the recordings I "auditioned" due to the overuse of orchestration, usually performed by unauthentic modern instruments. I also did not want to listen to any more wobbly warbling of soloists who seemed to be more intent on overpowering the listener than on communicating the divine message of the scripture text. Nor did I wish to hear any more sloppy choral performances that muddy the words because of the choir size and poor attack.
I had heard other recordings done with "authentic" or "antique" instruments, some of which are fine, but usually one or two of the soloists have left me disappointed. This version has satisfied every one of my wishes. Where have they been hiding? It is totally delightful, and I have no complaint. I can only hope that more persons will become aware of this recording and add their two bits of comments. If you are one of those persons who enjoys heavy vibrato and heavy orchestration, you might not appreciate this fine Baroque recording. But if you are tired of the same old..... then by all means, give it a try. It is refreshing!

'Monergistic Reader' on Amazon.com

Review

***** Superlative

I've heard many, many versions of "Messiah" in my short 27 years, and this is by far the best. One need only listen to the "Hallelujah Chorus" to appreciate this recording - it is at once intimate and majestic. The restraint that the choir demonstrates in the beginning is remarkable, considering that that chorus is normally an unwieldy, overwhelming, incomprehensible mess. It's not lacking for majesty and bombast, but it's there at appropriate places.

'Dweeb' on Amazon.com

Review

***** A clear, beautiful, authentic Messiah

An absolute gem of a Messiah. Definitely in the stream of the great "authentic" recordings of the work (like Christopher Hogwood's fantastic recording so many years before), this one makes the most of a small orchestra and chorus. The performances are all wonderfully beautiful, from the orchestra and the crystal-clear soloists to the all-male choir. There is an elegant restraint shown in this recording that sets it apart, even amongst some of its contemporaries in the authentic-arrangement camp; This is particularly notable in "Hallelujah". Don't confuse elegance and restraint for dull and boring, however. It is anything but that. This version transports the listener. The sound quality is pristine and, recorded live in concert in a large church, captures the wonderful resonance that atmosphere uniquely provides. This is a lesser-known Messiah that stacks up well against other, more noted performances.

Jacob A. Davis on Amazon.com

HANDEL: Oratorio JoshuaHANDEL: Oratorio Joshua
George Frideric Handel:
J O S H U A
The unedited version from 1748 of the English Oratorio HWV 64,
performed according to the traditions of the time
by Miriam Allan (Soprano), David Allsopp (Countertenor),
Mark Le Brocq (Tenor), James Rutherford (Bass),
Hanoverian Court Orchestra & Maulbronn Chamber Choir.
Conductor: Jürgen Budday.
Remastered Original Recording
A concert recording from the church of the German
UNESCO World Heritage Site Maulbronn Monastery
HD Recording · DDD · Duration: 2 Hours 11 Minutes
Digital Album · 61 Tracks · incl. Online Booklet
FILES
EUR 19,90SpotifyDeezerNapsterApple MusicNaxos Music LibraryAmazon Digital MusiciTunes MasteredFor...Qobuz HDPresto Classical HDPrime Phonic HDHD TracksReview

Unique

A unique interpretation of a baroque master piece.

A listener on YouTube

Review

Outstanding with the right balance between voices, orchestra and choir...

The splendid German label, K&K continues to delight eclectic connoisseurs with selected works, mostly choral recorded in the splendid setting of the UNESCO World Heritage site, the Maulbronn Monastery in rural Germany.
Handel's 'Joshua', an oratorio which is perhaps rather overlooked when compared to other more copiously played works. However this splendid interpretation which includes some of the world's rising stars in oratorio singing could change that neglect. Budday directs the Hannoversche Hofkapelle with alacrity, never forcing the pace untowardly but at the same time keeping the ebb and flow of the whole work in check.
The recoding is outstanding with just the right balance between voices, orchestra and choir and I really must recommend this beautifully presented set to all lovers of choral music.

Gerald Fenech on Classical Net

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