Handel: Dixit Dominus, Salve Regina, Nisi Dominus / Scholars Bar... Cover Art

Handel: Dixit Dominus, Salve Regina, Nisi Dominus / Scholars Baroque Ensemble (CD)

By: G.F. Handel

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DISC 1 for Handel: Dixit Dominus, Salve Regina, Nisi Dominus / Scholars Baroque Ensemble (CD) Album By G.F. Handel Amazon.com iTunes
1   Dixit Dominus, HWV 232: Dixit Dominus Domino meo Buy Buy
2   Dixit Dominus, HWV 232: Virgam virtutis Buy Buy
3   Dixit Dominus, HWV 232: Tecum principium Buy Buy
4   Dixit Dominus, HWV 232: Iuravit Dominus Buy Buy
5   Dixit Dominus, HWV 232: Tu es sacerdos Buy Buy
6   Dixit Dominus, HWV 232: Dominus a dextris tuis Buy Buy
7   Dixit Dominus, HWV 232: Iudicabit in nationibus Buy Buy
8   Dixit Dominus, HWV 232: De torrente in via bibet Buy Buy
9   Dixit Dominus, HWV 232: Gloria Patri Buy Buy
10   Salve Regina, HWV 241: Salve Regina Buy Buy
11   Salve Regina, HWV 241: Eia ergo Buy Buy
12   Salve Regina, HWV 241: O clemens Buy Buy
13   Nisi Dominus, HWV 238: Nisi Dominus Buy  
14   Nisi Dominus, HWV 238: Vanum est vobis Buy Buy
15   Nisi Dominus, HWV 238: Cum dederit Buy  
16   Nisi Dominus, HWV 238: Sicut sagittae Buy  
17   Nisi Dominus, HWV 238: Beatus vir Buy  

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Product Notes

Handel's setting of the Dixit Dominus is a comparatively early work, written in 1707 when he was in Rome voraciously absorbing the rich Italianate music of baroque masters such as Corelli and Scarlatti. It remains a popular piece, perhaps because although it's a sacred work it still exudes all the larger-than-life exuberance of the composer's maturity. The other two psalm settings here--Nisi Dominus and Salve Regina--date from the same year, making this disc a thoughtful snapshot of the young composer before London and the opera house claimed his affections entirely. The Scholars Baroque Ensemble have previously recorded Messiah for Naxos, and, like that performance, this one will win many fans but alienate others. Using period instruments and performing without a conductor, the Ensemble believes in paring down works to the minimum number of instruments, which usually means one voice and one instrument per part, all rigorously performed with the minimum of vibrato. Such an approach gives far greater clarity to the instrumental and vocal textures--each part is exposed to the closest scrutiny--but for listeners weaned on the "inauthentic" Handel of Beecham, Sargent, or even Marriner, the sound will seem uncomfortably Spartan. Given the long and varied history of performing Handel, both traditions have their own validity. Showman that he was, one suspects that Handel would have opted for the biggest group available to him for maximum effect, but the impeccable precision of The Scholars Baroque Ensemble offers an insight into how this splendid music may have sounded in 1707. --Mark Walker

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