A unique interpretation of a baroque master piece.
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.
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.