Georg Friedrich Händel: Alexander's Feast
Label: DEUTSCHE HARMONIA MUNDI
Vox Chor, Vox Orchester, Lorenzo Ghirlanda
Among the most successful works written by George Frideric Handel (1685-1759) in London is his ode "Alexander's Feast or The Power of Music". Handel composed this piece as an homage to Saint Cecilia. At its premiere in 1736, 1300 listeners, including the royal family, celebrated Handel's contrasting, melancholic as well as exciting piece for vocal soloists, choir and orchestra. The Vox Orchester & Chor, that specializes in historical performance practice, presents the complete recording of Handel's masterpiece under the direction of Lorenzo Ghirlanda. With this album, the young, international cast of the Vox Orchester continues its preoccupation with English Baroque music after its celebrated recording of works by Henry Purcell and Matthew Locke. The solo parts are sung by excellent singers: Marie Sophie Pollak (soprano), Tobias Hunger (tenor) and Krešimir Stražanac (bass baritone). Inspired by the English choral tradition, the Alexander Festival tells the story of the Alexander the Great, who is moved to great deeds by the power of music: The work describes a festival that Alexander the Great gave together with his lover Thaïs in the conquered city of Persepolis. The musician Timotheus sings and plays his lyre, evoking various moods in Alexander, until he is finally inspired to burn down the city.