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Détails sur le produit

  • Chef d'orchestre: John Eliot Gardiner
  • Compositeur: Handel
  • CD (12 septembre 2006)
  • Nombre de disques: 2
  • Format : CD, Enregistrement original remasterisé, Import
  • Label: Mis
  • ASIN : B000E8N7QM
  • Autres versions : Téléchargement MP3
  • Moyenne des commentaires client : 5.0 étoiles sur 5 3 commentaires client
  • Classement des meilleures ventes d'Amazon: 32.245 en Musique (Voir les 100 premiers en Musique)
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Descriptions du produit

SOLOMON


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Format: CD
Voici peut-être le meilleur enregistrement des oratorios de Haendel (tous en langue anglaise). En effet, John Eliot Gardiner, dès 1985 pour la première édition, nous offrait, avec ce "Solomon", de la musique baroque comme on l'aime. La phalange anglaise des English Baroque Soloists est rutilante et le Monteverdi Choir exceptionnel de force et d'émotion - choeurs qui jouent le rôle le plus important dans cet oratorio biblique. Les chanteurs sont tous exceptionnels : notamment Carolyn Watkinson (alto), dans le rôle masculin de Salomon ; Barbara Hendricks (soprano), dans celui de la reine de Saba ; et Anthony Rolfe Johnson (ténor), dans celui du prêtre Zadok ; etc. On notera cependant que la caractérisation des personnages (les solistes) n'est pas très développée dans cette oeuvre (d'un faible aspect théâtral). Mais, quels choeurs... ! Et, quelle musique... ! Ce coffret de deux CD est paru chez Philips dans la fameuse collection "The Originals". On peut sans aucune hésitation l'acquérir les yeux fermés.
Remarque sur ce commentaire 13 sur 13 ont trouvé cela utile. Avez-vous trouvé ce commentaire utile ? Oui Non Commentaire en cours d'envoi...
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Format: CD
Philips réédite à prix modéré des fleurons de son catalogue dans sa collection "The Originals". L'oratorio "Solomon" composé par Haendel et interprété par John Eliot Gardiner en 1985 demeure à ce jour une interprétation de référence malgré la version dirigée par Paul McCreesh en 1999.
1. Le chef britannique dispose d'un splendide plateau vocal, des premiers rôles (Carolyn Watkinson, Nancy Argenta, Anthony Rolfe-Johson) aux seconds coûteaux (Barbara Hendricks en reine de Saba).
2. Il fait de cet oratorio méconnu un flot continu de musique : il a pratiqué de larges coupes dans les récitatifs et utilise l'orchestre étoffé qui était celui de Haendel : on est dans les partages virtuoses à la limite de la symphonie, en particulier dans l'ouverture, les sinfonie et les ballets.
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Format: CD Achat vérifié
Splendide version qui mèrite tous les éloges concernant cette œuvre magistrale digne du génie de Hændel ( que Beethoven plaçait légèrement au-dessus de celui de Mozart )
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Amazon.com: HASH(0x91b89720) étoiles sur 5 13 commentaires
15 internautes sur 15 ont trouvé ce commentaire utile 
HASH(0x91b3a180) étoiles sur 5 a voice teacher and early music fan 6 août 2007
Par George Peabody - Publié sur Amazon.com
Format: CD Achat vérifié
'SOLOMON' IS PROBABLY THE MOST MAGNIFICENT AND THE MOST LAVISH OF ALL THE HANDEL ORATORIOS'. In this work he demanded a grander, more sumptuous orchestra than for any other oratorio, and it contains a high proportion of choral music written in the most imposing ceremonial style. We have to remember that Handel's primary aim was to entertain, not to preach.

This oratoio is one of Handel's towering masterpieces, written at the height of his powers after a long experimentation with not only Italian style opera, but a move towards all sorts of oratorios as well. 'Solomon' is partly religious, and partly secular, being somewhat graphic in its celebrations of sexual love. It embraces the man at the pinnacle of his powers and popularity, also emphasizing his wisdom, but hinting that his sexual proclivities may be his undoing. Yet in the end, with the arrival of the Queen of Sheba,it is pure choral spectacle. The Queen speaking of how much she has learned and will never forget after her stay with the great ruler.

The choruses are the pillars of the whole piece but their function is not primarily dramatic; except in the Queen of Sheba's masque in Act III. They are not actual participants in the drama, but they do set the mood for the development of the drama by means of the soloists and the orchestra. The chorus is divided into two four-part choirs and nearly always it is the strings and the trumpets and timpani which accompany the first choir, while the horns and woodwinds accompany the second choir.

It was the summer of 1748 Handel composed his oratorio 'Solomon' which depicts a wise and God-fearing ruler, with Solomon's court presenting the image of an ideal society. The central theme of the libretto originates from the Old Testament the book of Kings (lst kings 1-11) and Chronicles (2nd Chronicles 1-9).This oratorio is not distinguished with a dramatic plot, but rather juxtaposed pictures and scenes. With two choirs and seven eight-voice choir parts Handel makes use of all of the existing composition possibilities of that time.

One of the high points in the Oratorio is the scenario involving Solomon and the Two Harlots, who are claiming to be the Mother of the same baby. After hearing each woman's story, Solomon orders his guard to cut the babies in half, so that each Mother may have a share. In his wisdom, which the Bible describes in numerous ways, his strategy thus reveals that the real Mother is the First Harlot for she immediately speaks out in a distraught manner and tells him to give the baby to the other woman; whereas Solomon has determined the real Mother in this manner. Handel's

has never sounded as good as in this classic performance in Act II, Scene 2, featuring Carolyn Watkinson as Solomon, Joan Rodgers as the First Harlot and Della Jones (I love her voice!) as the Second Harlot. They all sing with exact precision and poignancy expressing beautifully the high drama of the scene.

This is a first-rate well-done production as one might expect when John Eliot Gardiner is at the helm. His Monteverdi singers are absolutely marvelous in this work: sonorous tone quality, good balance between the voice parts, clear and precise diction and good emotional investment. Gardiner's tempos are upbeat and even the slow selections have a buoyancy and a moving forward that many choirs, professional and otherwise often lack.

The soloists sang with great skill and the individual characterizaions are quite impressive, although as is true with many of Gardiner's masterpieces, the choir 'steals much of the show'. There has been some criticism of Gardiner's attitude that there is a lot of 'deadwood' in this work, and thus he has freely cut those pieces that seem less alive to him. Several of these being some important arias for Solomon and the Queen of Sheba. I can live with that, and though I would rather that he had kept them all, I will not enjoy this performance any less because of it.

The one thing that really bothered me throughout is the fact that a femele (Carolyn Watkinson-soprano) sang the role of Solomon. Not that she wasn't splendid vocally; in fact she was excellent. BUT there are 5 treble voices in this opera and being able to tell the difference between the charcters was somewhat challenging (and they were all good!) It was almost a relief to hear Zadok's (Anthony R.Johnson) voice who outdoes (in this role) most of his colleagues. Stephen Varcoe as 'A Levite' projects his character convncingly and strongly, as is usual for him. Nancy Argenta as Solomon's Queen was properly feminine and subdued and suitably awestricken in her role, and all with her lovely and tuneful voice. But it was Barbara Hendricks, as the Queen of Sheba, who gave one of her greatest performances ever, indeed one for the ages!

This impels me to mention the Maulbronn 'Solomon' under the direction of Jurgen Budday with Michael Chance as Solomon. But the Monteverdi Choir is difficult to beat! So I'll continue to enjoy both of them.

This is a remastering of the 1984 recording. The accompanying booklet includes pertinent information and the complete text is in German, French and English.
14 internautes sur 14 ont trouvé ce commentaire utile 
HASH(0x91b3a3cc) étoiles sur 5 A Classic Recording of Handel's Masterpiece 6 janvier 2008
Par Thomas H. Moody - Publié sur Amazon.com
Format: CD Achat vérifié
This recording is in a league of it's own. It's one of the finest recordings of any Handel oratorio. Gardiner is in top form both in exucution and in creating musical drama. The orchestra and the chorus are clean and direct and the soloists are all first rate.

Carolyn Watkinson, in the title role, has never sounded better. (History finds that this role was always intended by the composer to be sung by a mezzo/contralto.) The scene between Solomon and the two Harlots, in what must be considered the dramatic peak of the work, is brought vividly to life by the wonderful Joan Rodgers and Della Jones along with Watkinson. Here the singers, along with Gardiner and the orchestra, sucessfully create a scene of both pathos and spitfire vengeance - all at the same time. Rodgers brings heartbreaking sympathy to her character - the First Harlot and Jones delivers a truly stunning depiction of hatred and jealousy in her portrayal of the Second Harlot. This scene sizzles (unlike the recent McCreesh recording).

Barbara Hendricks is stately, regal and exotic in the role of the Queen of Sheba. Her performance of "Will the Sun Forget to Streak" is a gem. Not only is the aria truly gorgeous, but Hendricks' delivery is straightforward and her diction is incredibly clear and precise. This aria is definitely one of the highpoints of the oratorio and reminds the listener of what is to be learned from the great deeds of Solomon. Appearing near the end of the work, it's pivitol to the summation of the entire composition.

In other roles, the always lovely voiced Nancy Argenta sings an exquisite Solomon's Queen, while Anthony Rolfe Johnson and Stephen Varcoe splendidly sing the roles of Zadok and "a Levite" respectively.

Purists will quibble with some of the cuts Gardiner has made, but in listening to the McCreesh performance, which is complete, one can see why Gardiner cuts what he does (perhaps with the exception of Sheba's first aria)and what he was trying to achieve by doing so. This is a recording that every serious classical music lover should not be without.
6 internautes sur 6 ont trouvé ce commentaire utile 
HASH(0x91b3a390) étoiles sur 5 An almost complete first-class recording 9 décembre 2009
Par Filippo Secondo (aka AB) - Publié sur Amazon.com
Format: CD
Reviewing a PG Rosette recording in detail after more than two decades would be superfluous. This being my first SOLOMON, I confess that I didn't find much of the score entirely memorable at the beginning, but those gems revealed themselves on repeated hearings; however, my all-time favourite Handel oratorio is still THEODORA. Though I can't find fault with its performative and sonic qualities, this classic recording has to lose a star on account of Gardiner's fatal decision to eliminate five arias: in the accompanying booklet, JEG defends sanctioning the cuts, arguing (unconvincingly for me) that they were composed for specific singers (aren't many of those singer requests masterpieces?), and that they hold up the action (if this were the case, the arias could have been recorded as an appendix, but honestly how many Handel arias - notably those lengthy ones - do not freeze the drama, which develops mostly during the recitatives?). Those who (like me) strive for completeness should look elsewhere, notably if they want only one SOLOMON, to which (in all fairness) this version should be an excellent supplement. Its current super-bargain price (at least for the time being) is unbeatable, not to mention a handsome packaging (two articles and the libretto, both in three languages), a truly inspired orchestra (English Baroque Soloists), chorus (Monteverdi Choir), and cast (C. Watkinson, N. Argenta, B. Hendricks, J. Rogers, D. Jones, A. Rolfe-Johnson, and S. Varcoe). So, no need to hesitate if the cuts don't bother you: once those discs start spinning, you'd want to re-hear them over and over again (I heard mine four times on the day the set arrived!).
1 internautes sur 1 ont trouvé ce commentaire utile 
HASH(0x91b3a96c) étoiles sur 5 SOLOMON IN MOST OF HIS GLORY 9 avril 2012
Par DAVID BRYSON - Publié sur Amazon.com
Format: CD
Like Beecham's famous recording of Solomon, Gardiner's does not include every item that Handel wrote for it, and there are very good reasons why that should worry nobody. Solomon has a plot certainly, but not a narrative plot. Its theme is Aspects of Monarchy, and its intended audience was mainly the Monarch himself, at this stage George II. In Act I we are presented with a king who is on the one hand pious and on the other devoted to and adored by his loving queen - only one queen, in case you are recalling the pleistogamous Solomon of the Book of Kings. Act II gives us the famous Judgment of Solomon, when he pretends to be about to divide the child between the two soi-disantes mothers, thus exhibiting wisdom and justice of some high order. In the final act there is a visit from the Queen of fabled Sheba, whose function is to be impressed by the material and cultural opulence of Solomon's kingdom. It is not quite crude enough to be called allegory, but it is crude enough as parallelism in all conscience.

Well, it was all nothing new. In ancient times Pindar and Horace were toweringly great poets, but they turned out sycophancy to leave this in the shade. The great thing about setting it to music is that royal pomp and circumstance are prime material for good music, and here we have the composer probably uniquely gifted to produce music of this kind. Handel's Solomon is a kind of musical pageant, even without staging or costumes. It consists of what I might call detachable modules that lend themselves to selection and rearrangement. Gardiner's choices are not the same as Beecham's, and why should they be? At least Gardiner gives us the episode of the two women and the child, and I welcome that for offering me the one sequence in Solomon that can properly be called dramatic. The first act is mainly lyrical, and Zadok and the Levite are only tenor and bass soloists with names, contrasted indeed but in the sense that they sing contrasted solos not in the sense of being individuals in a play or opera. The final act is again largely lyrical, containing perhaps the most beautiful solos out of what is a very strong field of candidates for that distinction.

However the most important participants are probably the chorus. This is Handel after all. Beecham in his foreword to the Messiah claims that no choral writing since Handel's time even distantly rivals his, and for my own part I take Beecham literally because I agree with what he says literally. The chorus that Gardiner uses is appropriately quite large in most of the numbers, because Handel deploys a full orchestra in Solomon. We get the full benefit of all of them in Gardiner's final chorus here, the kind of grandiose wind-up that in my opinion no 19th century composer ever even approached for sheer effect. As for the orchestral players, they use period instruments as you would expect, but there are plenty of them this time, except of course where Handel directs otherwise, something his autograph specifies in surprising detail. The solo singers cover themselves with distinction, with the part of Solomon taken by a mezzo soprano, apparently as Handel intended. The two Harlots are splendid in their short scena, but pleased as I am to have this from Gardiner after being denied it by Beecham for many years I still treasure the lyrical stretches most, and the beauty of the vocal tone is an unalloyed pleasure from start to finish.

The recorded sound (originally 1985) is excellent, and the Decca production is a full-dress effort in three languages. There is a very interesting interview with Gardiner as well as a detailed essay by Winton Dean, and if you tune your ear carefully you may detect, or think you detect, slight differences between Gardiner's respective attitudes to Handel and Bach. He is a Bach man basically, I believe, which makes for interesting comparisons with Beecham, who was a Handel devotee through and through, largely indifferent to Bach. I suppose there is a certain extra warmth to Beecham's account that is not entirely accounted for by his modern orchestration. All the same, I can't with any sense of justice deny Gardiner a fifth star. Comparisons with Beecham are a hopeless undertaking because Beecham did his own thing and bears direct comparison with nobody. In just one minor matter I wish this production had followed Beecham's in avoiding the title `Arrival of the Queen of Sheba' for the famous sinfonia at the start of the third act. All Handel called this was what I just called it - `sinfonia'. It is not representational in any way and it is just an entr'acte, a piece of incidental music. If that is the only real complaint I have, then I have nothing much to worry me. Indeed I do not, and I can recommend this fine set wholeheartedly.
5 internautes sur 7 ont trouvé ce commentaire utile 
HASH(0x91b3ab88) étoiles sur 5 Brisk, competent and rather charmless 1 août 2010
Par Ralph Moore - Publié sur Amazon.com
Format: CD
I made comparison between this, John Eliot Gardiner's Rosette-winning 1984 recording and Beecham's made in the mid 50's. In so many points Beecham seems to me to be superior, despite what might seem to us to be his almost absurdly anachronistic and cavalier treatment of this oratorio. Before anyone complains that side-by-side comparison of Beecham and Gardiner is like comparing apples with oranges, I would point out that Gardiner is equally arbitrary in omitting five arias which he felt slowed the action. As the "plot" of "Solomon" is in any case virtually non-existent, it being essentially a static, celebratory masque, I do not see that Gardiner can claim the moral, musicological high ground as he has simply exercised his judgement as did Beecham, each according to his own era and lights. As is so often the case with Gardiner, many of his tempi are jaunty and inflexible; there is nothing remotely sensuous about his account of the sublime duet between Solomon and his queen, "Welcome as the dawn of day"; it just jogs along about as sexily as a pensioner in a shell-suit. I defy anyone to compare it favourably with the way Beecham has the two voices and melody entwine around each other. Of course, Beecham heretically rearranged Solomon's part for a baritone and I certainly think that Carolyn Watkinson's smoky alto - more like a counter-tenor in timbre than any other female voice I know - matches better in this music with the soprano as Handel intended, but Beecham's Elsie Morison, with her flickering vibrato and richer tone, has an intrinsically more vibrant, sensuous voice than Nancy Argenta's rather small, pale sound and John Cameron sings elegantly. Gardiner's Monteverdi Choir is certainly not inspired to reach the emotional heights achieved by the Beecham Choral Society; it sounds so polite and pusillanimous alongside Beecham's chorus. Just listen to the way Beecham's tenors sing out, responding to the conductor's request for commitment. Both sets feature fine solo voices; Gardiner, in addition to the noble and stately Carolyn Watkinson has the mellifluous tenor of the late lamented Anthony Rolfe Johnson, but Alexander Young for Beecham is neat and characterful and I often feel that Gardiner's brisk, metronomic approach undermines his singers' expressivity. Many have praised Barbara Hendricks' Queen of Sheba; for me, as much as I like her she has the wrong vocal personality: too vampish and not regal but she is undoubtedly alluring.

Beecham's decision to omit the whole "whose baby?" episode could rule it out for many, but he retained several of the choruses which would otherwise have been lost, repositioning them perfectly effectively in his two Act version, but omitting the only real event in the plot removes one of the few possibilities of any dramatic tension and inevitably refocuses our attention on the purely musical virtues of the celebratory and erotic passages, and here Gardiner scores by presenting an engaging account of the famous judgement scene.

I realise that adumbrating my disenchantment here with the widely praised, multiply decorated Gardiner set is tantamount to my pinning a "Kick me" sign to my backside - but that's how I hear it. I hear no affection for this great work in Gardiner's treatment of it; just brisk efficiency. To me, the famous "Entry of the Queen of Sheba" sounds simply hectic, not imposing. If you love this grandest of Handel's oratorios, you might like to own both sets under discussion here as they are so different - but I wish Gardiner's direction were more sympathetic and involved.
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