Handel wrote his great oratorio Messiah in just two weeks in 1741, setting a libretto by Charles Jennens. Every aria and chorus is memorable including, of course, the famous ‘Hallelujah’ chorus.
Susan Hamilton, Nicholas Mulroy, et al, Dunedin Consort/John Butt
When George I took a boat trip down the Thames in July 1717, complete with entourage, they were also accompanied by 50 musicians on a separate ‘barge’ playing Handel’s stately Water Music.
L’Arte dell’Arco/Federico Guglielmo
Like Bach’s great Partitas, Handel’s Suites incorporate French, Italian and German music. From the most tender opening of Suite No. 2 to its Gigue ending, Handel reveals his mastery of colour and texture.
Giulio Cesare received a welcome boost from a tremendously zesty Glyndebourne production in 2005. Handel‘s opera
boasts magnificently memorable music.
Jennifer Larmore, Barbara Schlick, Bernarda Fink, et al, Concerto Köln/René Jacobs
Harmonia Mundi HMC901385/87
Written during his years in Italy, the influence of Vivaldi on this anthem is clear. It’s a virtuosic choral piece with exuberant counterpoint and drive.
The Sixteen/Harry Christophers