The International Handel Recording
The Choice of Hercules (HWV 69)
Pleasure: Susan Gritton
Virtue: Alice Coote
Hercules: Robin Blaze
An Attendant on Pleasure: Charles Daniels
The Choir of The King’s Consort
The King’s Consort (on period instruments)
Conductor: Robert King
(Read the Review)
The International Handel Recording Prize is delighted to congratulate
Hyperion upon the award of first prize for its recording of Handel's hitherto
neglected The Choice of Hercules. We congratulate the excellent cast of
singers, The King's Consort, Robert King, and Hyperion for making such a fine,
distinguished, and desperately needed recording.
Prior to this recording there were only two old and inadequate versions of The Choice of Hercules despite it being a significant work composed towards
the end Handel's distinguished career. Therefore Robert King's performance of The Choice of Hercules is a special and long-awaited contribution to the
Handelian discography, and it has brought a previously under-appreciated major
work to the attention of many Handel lovers.
We particularly wish to acknowledge Robert King's judicious choice of tempos,
attractive melodic phrasing, and for his careful attention to aspects beyond the
solo singing (such as the sympathetic management of Handel's orchestral and
choral writing). The panel also wishes to make special mention of tenor Charles
Daniels, who, despite being cast in a minor role, deserves particular praise for
his historically-informed and elegant singing. The panel also acknowledges that
this superb issue is completed by an excellent essay by Handel scholar Anthony
We also wish to commend this year's runner-up.
We could not ignore the fabulous quality of 'Love Duets' by Suzie
LeBlanc, Daniel Taylor, Arion, and Stephen Stubbs. (Read
the review.) It is highly unusual for a recital disc to gain so many votes from
our specialist panel, not least because 'Love Duets' features so many popular
arias that have been so frequently recorded. Yet, in light of the exquisite
musicianship featured on this refreshing disc, we congratulate the performers
and ATMA Classique, and earnestly hope that they will turn their attention to
some substantial Handel recording projects.
What is The International Handel Recording Prize?
The annual International Handel Recording Prize is awarded to one distinctive
new recording of Handel's music. The winner is carefully selected from a
comprehensive list of all new recordings of Handel's music released during the
previous calendar. The winner must satisfy tough criteria: it needs to combine
fine interpretive quality with a penetrating or valuable insight into Handel's
genius. Thus this Prize is an indication of a disc's quality and its
contribution to Handelian knowledge.
The panel of judges constitutes respected Handel musicologists and
journalists who can discern those recordings of Handel's music that make
valuable contributions to the discography. The International Handel Recording
Prize has unparalleled integrity. Unlike such prizes awarded solely by scholars,
or only by critics, our panel comfortably blends those commonly opposed
perspectives. Furthermore, this is not a financial prize, but purely idealistic:
this prize is an indication of a genuinely special recording, and is designed to
encourage unique and supportive recognition from a cross-section of those who
care most about the music itself.
This Year's Panel of Judges:
Philippe Gelinaud (Handel scholar, journalist)
Brad Leissa (American Handel Society, founder gfhandel.org)
Michael Pacholke (Hallische Händel-Ausgabe;
Benedikt Poensgen (Göttingen Handel Festival; Göttinger
Stanley Sadie (Handel Institute; New Grove Dictionary of Music; critic)
David Vickers (Handel scholar; critic; co-producer gfhandel.org)
Carlo Vitali (baroque music scholar; radio author; journalist)
The Candidate List
(in no particular order)
Choice of Hercules
Gritton (soprano), Coote (mezzo-soprano), Blaze (countertenor), C. Daniels
(tenor). The King’s Consort, Robert King. Hyperion.
Otter (mezzo-soprano), Dawson (soprano), Saks (bass), Croft (tenor), Daniels
(countertenor). Les Musiciens du Louvre, Marc Minkowski. DG Archiv.
Macliver (soprano), et al. Cantillation, Orchestra of the Antipodes, Antony
Walker. ABC Classics.
Bacelli (alto), Randle (tenor), Pushee (countertenor), Norberg-Schulz (soprano),
Bonatatibus (mezzo-soprano), Abete (bass). The English Concert, Trevor
Dettingen Te Deum
Collegium Vocale des Bach-Chores Siegen, Hannoversche Hofkapelle, Trompeten-Consort
"Friedemann Immer", Ulrich Stötzel. Hännsler.
Coronation Anthems /
Rebecca Ryan (soprano), Tallis Chamber Choir. Royal Academy Consort, Jeremy
Apollo e Dafne
[and also “Crudel tiranno amor”]
Salomé Haller (soprano) Jérôme Correas (baritone-bass), Les Paladins. Arion
“Ahi, nelle sorte umane”;
“No, di voi non vuo fidarmi”; “Caro autor di mia doglia”; “Quel fior che
all'alba ride”; “Conservate, raddoppiate”; “Tanti strali al sen mi scocchi”;
“Va, speme infida”; “A miravi io son intento”; “Sono liete, fortunate”. Le
Concert d'Astrée, Emmanuelle Haïm.
David Hobson (tenor), Sinfonia Australis, Antony Walker. ABC Classics.
Emma Matthews (soprano), New Zealand Chamber Orchestra, Donald Armstrong.
Handel Love Duets
Rinaldo ”Scherzano sul
tuo volto”, “Cara sposa”, “Lascia ch'io pianga”; Ouverture (HWV 337); Tolomeo “Se il cor ti perde”; Rodelinda “Io t'abbraccio”, “Ombre,
piante”; Giulio Cesare in Egitto “Caro! bella!”, “Da tempeste”,
Ouverture; Serse “Ombra mai fu”. Suzie LeBlanc
(soprano), Daniel Taylor (countertenor), Arion, Stephen Stubbs. ATMA
Belshazzar “Destructive War”, “Oh sacred oracles of Truth”; Semele “Despair no
more shall wound me”, “Your tuneful voice”; Theodora “The raptured
soul”, “Deeds of kindness”, “Kind Heaven”, “Sweet rose an lily”; Saul “Brave Jonathan”, “O Lord, whose mercies numberless”; Jephtha “Up the
dreadful steep ascending”, “Dull delay”; Messiah “He was despised”.
David Daniels (countertenor). Ensemble Orchestral de Paris, John Nelson.
“Son gelsomino”; “Figli del mesto cor”; “Dolc' è pur d'amor l'affanno”;
“Clori, degli occhi miei”; “Ho fuggito Amore anch'io”; “Irene, idolo mio”;
La Solitude, or "L'aure grate, il fresco rio"; “Nel dolce tempo”. Jeffrey
Gall (countertenor), David Schrader (harpsichord), John Mark Rozendaal
(viola da gamba). Centaur
Italian Cantatas & Other Works
“Mi palpita il cor”; Suite
in E major for harpsichord (1720); “Irene, idolo mio”; Sonata in D major
for flute and continuo; “Lungi da me, pensier tiranno!”; Harpsichord Piece -
Air in the Water Music; “Fra pensieri quel pensiero”. Nicole
Lemieux (soprano), Luc Beausejour (bass). Analekta
Orchestral / Instrumental:
Harpsichord Works Volume 3
Suite de pièce in F sharp minor, Vol 1 No 6; Suite de pièce in G minor, Vol
1 No 7; Suite de pièce in F minor, Vol 1 No 8; Suite de pièce in B flat
major, Vol 2 No 7; Suite de pièce in G major, Vol 2 No 8; Preludio from
Suite de pièce in G major, Vol 2 No 9. Sophie
Yates (harpsichord). Chandos Chaconne.
and the Oratorio for Concerts
Simon Standage (violin), Anthony Robson (oboe), Collegium Musicum 90.
Junge Kantorei, Frankfurt Barockorchester, Joachim Carlos Martini. Naxos.
Handel vs Scarlatti,
Luca Guglielmi (harpsichord & the Luca Blasi organ, Basilica of San Giovanni
Laterano, Rome), Stradivarius.
Händel in London -
Works for Organ
Inc. 8 tunes for Mr. Clay's musical clock; Pieces for a musical clock; 2
Voluntaries; various 18th century organ arrangements of oratorio
and choral works. Johannes Geffert (Byfield organ in the parish of St.
Mary's, Rotherhithe, London), Querstand.
The International Handel Recording Prize was inspired by The American
Handel Society's Recording Prize. The AHS Recording Prize was awarded on an
annual basis between 1991-1998.
explicitly specified otherwise,
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Vickers and Matthew Gardner
August 30, 2020
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