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Thread: Handel's Ode for St Cecilia's Day recordings

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    Senior Member JSBach85's Avatar
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    Default Handel's Ode for St Cecilia's Day recordings

    I have been searching for Handel's Ode for St Cecilia's Days recordings. At the time I own this one:

    The King's Consort/Robert King


    but I recently discovered and ordered this classic:

    The English Concert/Trevor Pinnock


    Pinnock's conducting is firmly and brisk as always but I even find this one of the finest vocal works recorded by Pinnock.

    Ode for St Cecilia's Days is one of my favourite Handel's vocal works because of the variety of instruments and vocal forces involved. Which recordings of this masterpiece do you like?

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    Senior Member Vasks's Avatar
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    It's not so much "like" these days, but when I was a teenager my friends suggested the Bernstein Columbia LP. And we'd joke around about the aria "To Arms, To Arms" by singing immediately after those words "Two Legs, Two Legs"
    "Music in any generation is not what the public thinks of it but what the musicians make of it"....Virgil Thomson

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    "Which recordings of this masterpiece do you like?"

    First of all, I agree that it's a masterpiece, and it's good to see someone else acknowledging that fact! (as Handel seems to get underrated these days). Trevor Pinnock and The English Concert have been my benchmark recording for many years: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=PwN7_R25P6g, and I think it's one of his better Handel recordings. But lately, I've been listening to Marc Minkowski's excellent recording on Naive: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=OICv...iefTeeMgXnW5FU

    I've heard a lot of Minkowski's Handel in recent years, and generally find him first rate--although he can be a bit erratic, occasionally: such as with his Messiah recording, which I didn't overly care for (Paul McCreesh's Messiah is preferable, in my view). On the other hand, Minkowski's Concerto Grossi, Op. 3, Teseo, St. Cecilia, and La Resurrezione are all superb:

    https://www.amazon.com/Handel-Concer...sr=1-2-catcorr
    https://www.prestomusic.com/classica...rrezione-hwv47.

    Diego Fasiolis and Il Barrocchisti offer a more lively, spunkier interpretation of the Ode, which I find refreshing, as an alternative: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=o-I6mDxIAu0. He's not as square or conservative as Pinnock, while Minkowski falls somewhere in between Pinnock & Fasiolis, interpretatively.

    On modern instruments, I retain a special (& admittedly nostalgic) affection for Sir David Willcocks old Argo recording: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=pE6j3xrZ2M0
    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=5BUdR1uS_Bo

    Among St. Cecilias that I've not heard, I'd like to hear the Dunedin Consort's recording:

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=xZNlGz7NU8I
    https://www.prestomusic.com/classica...-cecilia-s-day

    and perhaps Wolfgang Helbich's version with Concerto Polacco, on Naxos:

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=HftILKhm_DI
    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ly0qdEmV5GY

    My 2 cents.
    Last edited by Josquin13; May-23-2019 at 22:31.

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