Handel: L’Allegro, il Penseroso ed il Moderato, 1740

£18.00

The Gabrieli’s first Handel recording in over a decade is particularly special, recreating in painstaking detail the very first performance of L’Allegro, il Penseroso ed il Moderato, given in 1740, with additional instrumental repertoire including a Handel organ concerto and two concerti grossi.

With a reputation as peerless Handelians, Paul McCreesh and the Gabrieli Consort & players bring meticulous research to every performance and recording project, and are joined on this disc by a stunning selection of soloists.

Featured Soloists
Gillian Webster soprano, Laurence Kilsby treble, Jeremy Ovenden tenor, Peter Harvey baritone, Ashley Riches bass,
William Whitehead organ
Gabrieli Consort
Gabrieli Players
Catherine Martin leader
Paul Mccreesh conductor

SKU: SIGCD392

What people are saying

" 5* This is quite simply life-enhancing music making, a glorious achievement in every respect." Early Music Today

"McCreesh’s superb Gabrieli Consort and Players present all this…with flair, a pristine sense of style and infectious energy." The Times, May 2015

"It’s a joy to hear the Gabrielis give us Handel again. The attention to detail, the vibrant tone, the briskly invigorating tempi, and the seamless ensemble are everything you could wish for." Hi-Fi Plus, June 2015

"5* – The choral elements are scrupulously handled by the Gabrieli Consort, and the soloists are choice. Gillian Webster is the light, bright soprano, Laurence Kilsby the delightful treble tenor Jeremy Ovenden brings his words to life, while Peter Harvey provides a solid baritone and Ashley Riches a confident bass." BBC Music Magazine, August 2015

"Who captured this country’s pastoral tradition better than Vaughan Williams? … Handel’s ravishing score, realised to perfection by Paul McCreesh and Gabrieli, evokes these scenes with colourful precision … A glorious recording." The Observer

"5* McCreesh finds all the expressive opportunities in a blissful production, at times breathtakingly beautiful." Choir & Organ, Autumn 2015

" McCreesh has done it again, presenting a familiar work in a fresh guise and arguing a case for things we hardly knew were there before." Music Web International

Gabrieli Consort & Players
Paul McCreesh

Release date:4th May 2015
Order code:SIGCD392
Barcode: 635212039229

The singing, from all soloists and chorus, has tremendous character and clarity, fizzing with excitement or languishing in lovely legato, and soprano Gillian Webster carries all before her with grace, easy elegance, and a ravishing range of vocal colour. McCreesh finds all the expressive opportunities in a blissful production, at times breathtakingly beautiful

Choir & Organ

McCreesh’s direction is both alert and expressive, and his soloists are very fine. Gillian Webster shines in Penseroso’s famous nightingale aria, Sweet bird, and in the only duet in which mirth and melancholy come together — the sublime As steals the morn, one of Handel’s greatest hits

The Sunday Times

From the opening bars of this utterly compelling performance it is strikingly evident something special is afoot. Handel’s adopted countrymen were quick to recognise that the juxtaposition of Milton’s sublime poetry with Handel’s mimetic gifts had produced a work of try vernal freshness; “L’Allegro would remain one of the most popular works throughout the remainder of the 18th century. It is this meeting of literary and musical genius that lies at the heart of a performance for which all involved appear to have thought through every bar afresh, both texturally and musically. It is rare to hear words delivered with such point.

Paul McCreesh’s decision to give Handel’s original 1740 version of course entails the loss of later additions, some of them favourites. Instead he prefaces Parts 1 and 2 each with a concerto grosso (op 6/1 and 3) and Part 3 with the Organ Concerto op7/1. As has long been customary with Gabrieli performances both singing and orchestral playing are outstanding, as is the solo team, with soprano Gillian Webster producing some ravishing mezzo voce singing, tenor Jeremy Ovenden superb in both diction and projection, an exceptional treble in Laurence Kilsby and noble singing of the baritone and bass parts by Peter Harvey and Ashley Riches respectively. This is quite simply life-enhancing music making, a glorious achievement in every respect.

Early Music Today, Editors Choice

Who captured this country’s pastoral tradition better than Vaughan Williams? There is surely no greater, deeper evocation of our landscape than this 18th-century ode of Handel’s. To texts by John Milton, the music spotlights the contrasts between the "busy hum of men" in the city, and the "hedge-row elms, on hillocks green" of the countryside, setting up the deeper contrast between cheerfulness and melancholy. Handel’s ravishing score, realised to perfection by Paul McCreesh and Gabrieli, evokes these scenes with colourful precision. Gillian Webster’s piercingly pensive soprano and Jeremy Ovenden’s half-spoken, cheerful tenor effect a moving reconciliation in the sublime duet As Steals The Morn Upon the Night. A glorious recording. 

The Observer, Nicholas Kenyon

  1. Concerto Grosso No. 1 in G Major, Op. 6, HWV 319: I. A tempo guisto – George Frideric Handel – 1.14
  2. Concerto Grosso No. 1 in G Major, Op. 6, HWV 319: II. Allegro – George Frideric Handel – 1.44
  3. Concerto Grosso No. 1 in G Major, Op. 6, HWV 319: III. Adagio – George Frideric Handel – 2.33
  4. Concerto Grosso No. 1 in G Major, Op. 6, HWV 319: IV. Allegro – George Frideric Handel – 2.37
  5. Concerto Grosso No. 1 in G Major, Op. 6, HWV 319: V. Allegro – George Frideric Handel – 2.39
  6. L’Allegro, il Penseroso ed il Moderato, Part I: L’Allegro, Recitative Accompany’d – George Frideric Handel – 2.03
  7. L’Allegro, il Penseroso ed il Moderato, Part I: Il Penseroso, Recitative Accompany’d “Hence! vain deluding Joys” – George Frideric Handel – 0.51
  8. L’Allegro, il Penseroso ed il Moderato, Part I: L’Allegro, Air “Come, thou goddess, fair and free” – George Frideric Handel – 1.41
  9. L’Allegro, il Penseroso ed il Moderato, Part I: Il Penseroso, Air “Come rather, goddess, sage and holy” – George Frideric Handel – 2.54
  10. L’Allegro, il Penseroso ed il Moderato, Part I: L’Allegro, Air & Chorus “Haste thee, nymph, and bring with thee” – George Frideric Handel – 2.14
  11. L’Allegro, il Penseroso ed il Moderato, Part I: L’Allegro, Air & Chorus “Come and trip it as you go” – George Frideric Handel – 2.26
  12. L’Allegro, il Penseroso ed il Moderato, Part I: Il Penseroso, Recitative Accompany’d “Come, pensive nun, devout and pure” – George Frideric Handel – 1.01
  13. L’Allegro, il Penseroso ed il Moderato, Part I: Il Penseroso, Air & Chorus “Come, but keep thy wonted state” – George Frideric Handel – 2.02
  14. L’Allegro, il Penseroso ed il Moderato, Part I: L’Allegro, Recitative “Hence loathed Melancholy” – George Frideric Handel – 0.27
  15. L’Allegro, il Penseroso ed il Moderato, Part I: L’Allegro, Air “Mirth, admit me of thy crew” – George Frideric Handel – 4.04
  16. L’Allegro, il Penseroso ed il Moderato, Part I: Il Penseroso, Recitative Accompany’d “First, and chief, on golden wing” – George Frideric Handel – 0.55
  17. L’Allegro, il Penseroso ed il Moderato, Part I: Il Penseroso, Air “Sweet bird, that shuns’t the noise of folly” – George Frideric Handel – 13.28
  18. L’Allegro, il Penseroso ed il Moderato, Part I: L’Allegro, Recitative “If I give thee honour due” – George Frideric Handel – 0.10
  19. L’Allegro, il Penseroso ed il Moderato, Part I: L’Allegro, Air “Mirth, admit me of thy crew” – George Frideric Handel – 2.26
  20. L’Allegro, il Penseroso ed il Moderato, Part I: Il Penseroso, Air “Oft on a plat of rising ground” – George Frideric Handel – 3.23
  21. L’Allegro, il Penseroso ed il Moderato, Part I: L’Allegro, Recitative “If I give thee honour due” – George Frideric Handel – 0.14
  22. L’Allegro, il Penseroso ed il Moderato, Part I: L’Allegro, Air “Let me wander, not unseen” – George Frideric Handel – 1.43
  23. L’Allegro, il Penseroso ed il Moderato, Part I: L’Allegro, Air & Chorus “Or let the merry bells ring round” – George Frideric Handel – 3.45
  24. Concerto Grosso No. 3 in E Minor, Op. 6, HWV 321: I. Larghetto – George Frideric Handel – 1.19
  25. Concerto Grosso No. 3 in E Minor, Op. 6, HWV 321: II. Andante – George Frideric Handel – 1.25
  26. Concerto Grosso No. 3 in E Minor, Op. 6, HWV 321: III. Allegro – George Frideric Handel – 2.36
  27. Concerto Grosso No. 3 in E Minor, Op. 6, HWV 321: IV. Polonaise – Andante – George Frideric Handel – 4.56
  28. Concerto Grosso No. 3 in E Minor, Op. 6, HWV 321: V. Allegro, ma non troppo – George Frideric Handel – 1.31
  29. L’Allegro, il Penseroso ed il Moderato, Part II: Il Penseroso, Recitative Accompany’d “Hence, vain deluding Joys” – George Frideric Handel – 1.25
  30. L’Allegro, il Penseroso ed il Moderato, Part II: Il Penseroso, Air “But O! sad virgin, that thy power” – George Frideric Handel – 6.00
  31. L’Allegro, il Penseroso ed il Moderato, Part II: Il Penseroso, Recitative “Thus, Night, oft see me in thy pale career” – George Frideric Handel – 0.38
  32. L’Allegro, il Penseroso ed il Moderato, Part II: L’Allegro, Chorus “Populous cities please me then” – George Frideric Handel – 3.20
  33. L’Allegro, il Penseroso ed il Moderato, Part II: L’Allegro, Air “There let Hymen oft appear” – George Frideric Handel – 2.08
  34. L’Allegro, il Penseroso ed il Moderato, Part II: Il Penseroso, Recitative Accompany’d “Me, when the sun begins to fling” – George Frideric Handel – 0.53
  35. L’Allegro, il Penseroso ed il Moderato, Part II: Il Penseroso, Air “Hide me from day’s garish eye” – George Frideric Handel – 3.48
  36. L’Allegro, il Penseroso ed il Moderato, Part II: L’Allegro, Air “I’ll to the well-trod stage anon” – George Frideric Handel – 1.59
  37. L’Allegro, il Penseroso ed il Moderato, Part II: L’Allegro, Air “And ever against eating cares” – George Frideric Handel – 3.01
  38. L’Allegro, il Penseroso ed il Moderato, Part II: L’Allegro, Air & Chorus “These delights if thou canst give” – George Frideric Handel – 3.19
  39. L’Allegro, il Penseroso ed il Moderato, Part II: Il Penseroso, Recitative “But let my due feet never fail” – George Frideric Handel – 0.52
  40. L’Allegro, il Penseroso ed il Moderato, Part II: Il Penseroso, Chorus “There let the pealing organ blow” – George Frideric Handel – 1.58
  41. L’Allegro, il Penseroso ed il Moderato, Part II: Il Penseroso, Organo ad libitum & Chorus “These pleasures, Melancholy, give” – George Frideric Handel – 4.39
  42. Organ Concerto No. 1 in B-Flat Major, Op. 7, HWV 306: I. Andante – George Frideric Handel – 9.16
  43. Organ Concerto No. 1 in B-Flat Major, Op. 7, HWV 306: II. Largo e piano – George Frideric Handel – 3.32
  44. Organ Concerto No. 1 in B-Flat Major, Op. 7, HWV 306: III. Fuga – George Frideric Handel – 2.38
  45. Organ Concerto No. 1 in B-Flat Major, Op. 7, HWV 306: IV. Adagio: Organo ad libitum – George Frideric Handel – 0.31
  46. Organ Concerto No. 1 in B-Flat Major, Op. 7, HWV 306: V. Bour?e – George Frideric Handel – 2.33
  47. L’Allegro, il Penseroso ed il Moderato, Part III: Il Moderato, Recitative Accompany’d “Hence! boast not, ye profane” – George Frideric Handel – 0.31
  48. L’Allegro, il Penseroso ed il Moderato, Part III: Il Moderato, Recitative Accompany’d & Chorus “Come, with native lustre shine” – George Frideric Handel – 5.51
  49. L’Allegro, il Penseroso ed il Moderato, Part III: Il Moderato, Air “Come, with gentle hand restrain” – George Frideric Handel – 1.34
  50. L’Allegro, il Penseroso ed il Moderato, Part III: Il Moderato, Recitative “No more short life they then will spend” – George Frideric Handel – 0.38
  51. L’Allegro, il Penseroso ed il Moderato, Part III: Il Moderato, Air “Each action will derive new grace” – George Frideric Handel – 2.04
  52. L’Allegro, il Penseroso ed il Moderato, Part III: L’Allegro & il Penseroso, Duet “As steals the morn upon the night” – George Frideric Handel – 6.20
  53. L’Allegro, il Penseroso ed il Moderato, Part III: Il Moderato, Chorus “Thy pleasure, Moderation give” – George Frideric Handel – 2.51