HANDEL: An Ode for St. Cecilia’s Day; Cecilia, Volgi un sguardo (cantata) – Carolyn Sampson, James Gilchrist, the Choirs of The King’s Consort/ The King’s Consort conducted by Robert King – Hyperion

by | Sep 3, 2006 | SACD & Other Hi-Res Reviews | 0 comments

HANDEL: An Ode for St. Cecilia’s Day; Cecilia, Volgi un sguardo (cantata) – Carolyn Sampson,  James Gilchrist, the Choirs of The King’s Consort/ The King’s Consort conducted by Robert King – Hyperion Multichannel SACD 67463 77:53 ****:

First released in the U.S. less than two years ago, Robert King’s fine and jaunty pairing of the familiar St. Cecilia’s Day Ode with a virtually unknown (and otherwise unrecorded) St. Cecilia cantata (originally written to accompany the composer’s wonderful Alexander’s Feast oratorio) makes a fine candidate for the Super Audio multi-channel treatment. Featuring two outstanding soloists, soprano Caroline Sampson (totally magnificent) and tenor James Gilchrist (who excels in the sweet and dextrous manner), King and his Consort crew give a performance of the Ode that might benefit from a bit more breadth and width but cannot be faulted on grounds of live-giving energy and a sense of true exhilaration. The forces seem a bit more in tune with the cantata’s emotional dimensions, while the musical delights include a scintillating trio of soprano arias and a addicting concluding duo.

When the solo trumpet (the redoubtable Crispian Steele-Perkins) arises from the orchestra to herald the final chorus, the whole concept of multichannel Super Audio sound will have justified itself. Recorded in St.-Jude-on-the-Hill in the London suburb of Hampstead, the recording gains significantly in richness and expanded soundstage without becoming overblown or losing clarity and inner detail. The recording also takes volume exceedingly well, so turn it up if the mood seizes you (and the neighbors won’t complain).

 – Laurence Vittes

Related Reviews
Logo Pure Pleasure
Logo Apollo's Fire
Logo Crystal Records Sidebar 300 ms
Logo Jazz Detective Deep Digs Animated 01