Well, let me confess, it was the CD that primarily lured me to purchase this 'book'.
Come on, admit it, the CD of 64 minutes is first-rate (no less!) Handel operatic arias and oratorio excerpts.
This alone would be a main attrachtion, considering that at least three of the four singers in the tracks are current top-players in the field - Ann Hallenberg, Swedish baroque mezzo-soprano par excellence, Karin Gauvin, the current top classical soprano, and Paul Agnew, Handel tenor par excellence.
In fact these three singers and Alan Curtis recorded specifically for this 'book', the contents of which are both interesting and informative.
The author has deep understanding of Handel's operas, for sure. In relating these creatures to other literary aspects and mother nature, each 'chapter' offers an insightful short account of how the composer dealt with 'them' in his works.
As for the singing and music, I find this 'album' to be some thing on top of the field.
If this CD is to be issued as 'Handel's creatures in his operas/oratorios', by itself would be topic of great interest, since the pieces are performed at the highest possible musical level.
I do not find any solo album of the great Swedish mezzo-soprano Ann Hallenberg. While this is not her solo album, this comes pretty close.
BTW, the creature 'phoenix' in this album was not sung by Gauvin, the soprano, but by Hallenberg, the mezzo, since the original singer for Handel was a high-mezzo soprano.
The final duet on 'turtle dove' by Hallenberg and Gauvin is one of the most beautiful renditions of this piece ever.
- Hardcover: 144 pages
- Publisher: WILLIAM HEINEMANN - TRADE; 1 edition (1 August 2011)
- Language: English
- ISBN-10: 0434021520
- ISBN-13: 978-0434021529
- Product Dimensions: 14.8 x 2 x 18.5 cm
- Boxed-product Weight: 381 g
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