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Track(s) taken from CDA67737

My song shall be alway 'Chandos Anthem No 7', HWV252

between August 1717 and summer 1718
author of text
Psalm 89: 1, 5-9, 12, 15, 16, 18

Trinity College Choir Cambridge, Academy of Ancient Music, Stephen Layton (conductor)
Recording details: July 2008
Trinity College Chapel, Cambridge, United Kingdom
Produced by Adrian Peacock
Engineered by David Hinitt
Release date: May 2009
Total duration: 19 minutes 54 seconds

Cover artwork: The Court of Trinity College, Cambridge by William Westall (1781-1850)
Private Collection / The Stapleton Collection / Bridgeman Art Library, London


'Soloists and chorus alike excel in three of Handel's Chandos Anthems … the 40 members of the Choir of Trinity College, Cambridge, sing with flexibility and lightness … Emma Kirkby shows her stylistic intelligence and masterful communication of text in the opening of HWV252. It is enjoyable to hear some of Handel's lesser-known and more intimate church music performed with such elegant restraint and skill' (Gramophone)

'There is vintage Handel to be gleaned here … Layton offers luxury casting, Iestyn Davies and Neal Davies on particularly commanding form … the only thing missing on this disc are the words 'Vol. 1'. Such 'Handel with care' deserves nothing less' (BBC Music Magazine)

'Stephen Layton is on a roll … his inspirational direction and choice of top soloists makes this a welcome addition to earlier recordings. The choir sings with their usual purity of tone and clear diction whle the Academy of Ancient Music plays with convincing vigour in the sprightly double-dotted passages' (The Observer)

'The choir's firm tone and tightly disciplined singing, coupled with the Academy's polished ensemble and phrasing, are a considerable improvement on The Sixteen and O'Reilly's sometimes raw and slightly untidy performances … Emma Kirkby's contributions are unfailingly masterful. Her solo, backed by the choir, in HWV252's lyrical opening movement and in HWV254's gentle soprano aria, 'God's tender mercy', are high points of these performances, easily outclassing Christopher's two sopranos … the young countertenor Iestyn Davies also sings impressively' (International Record Review)

'Very good performances … Emma Kirby sings with beauty and authority … much to enjoy here' (Fanfare, USA)

'Emma Kirkby's voice has only improved with age; her tone is warmer and rounder, and her interpretive instincts, always sound, are fully on display here. The other three soloists are equally strong … this choir always is a pleasure to hear—singers this well trained and intelligent don't put a foot wrong anywhere—and the orchestra needs no confirmation of its baroque-music-playing credentials. Conductor Stephen Layton seems to be popping up everywhere these days—and we're all the luckier for that' (Classics Today)

'Der Choir of Trinity College überzeugt mit klarem Stimmfokus, hoher Koloratursicherheit und exzellenter Aussprache … Nuancen bringen die vier Solisten nahezu optimal zur Geltung' (Fono Forum, Germany)
The opening Sonata of My song shall be alway will probably be immediately familiar, as it was used in its entirety in the Concerto grosso in G major, Op 3 No 3. (The second section is based on an idea from Handel’s Birthday Ode to Queen Anne.) In the first vocal number (all the texts are selected from Psalm 89) Handel ingeniously combines two ideas from earlier works: the orchestral introduction is taken from a chorale setting in the Brockes Passion, while the choral intonation in octaves on the words ‘The heav’ns shall praise thy wondrous works’ is derived from the ‘De torrente’ movement in Dixit Dominus. The solo tenor enters with an accompanied recitative, of which there are only a few examples in the anthems, and continues with a more orthodox solo dominated by angular rhythms in the accompaniment. This, and two other movements of the anthem, are reworkings of movements in the ‘Caroline’ Te Deum in D major (HWV280) of 1714. (In some sources of the anthem a trio follows at this point, but it is almost certainly an interpolation by another composer.) Handel sets ‘The heav’ns are thine’ as a contemplative duet for alto and bass, perhaps surprisingly, but it has an appropriate sense of awe and makes an excellent contrast to the rhythmic vigour of the chorus ‘Righteousness and equity’ that follows. The last solo, ‘Blessed is the people’, and the short concluding chorus are the other movements derived from the Te Deum.

from notes by Anthony Hicks © 2009

La sonate initiale de My song shall be alway semblera peut-être immédiatement familière, car elle a été intégralement utilisée dans le Concerto grosso en sol majeur, op. 3 no 3. (La seconde section repose sur une idée de l’Ode pour l’anniversaire de la reine Anne de Haendel.) Dans le premier numéro vocal (tous les textes sont tirés du Psaume 89), Haendel allie ingénieusement deux idées d’œuvres antérieures: l’introduction orchestrale est empruntée à un choral de la Brockes Passion, alors que l’intonation chorale en octaves sur les paroles «The heav’ns shall praise thy wondrous works» provient du «De torrente» du Dixit Dominus. Le ténor solo entre avec un récitatif accompagné, dont on ne trouve que de rares exemples dans les anthems, et se poursuit avec un solo plus orthodoxe dominé par un accompagnement aux rythmes angulaires. Ce mouvement et deux autres de l’anthem sont des remaniements de mouvements du Te Deum «Caroline» en ré majeur (HWV280) de 1714. (Dans certaines sources de l’anthem, il y a ensuite un trio à cet endroit, mais il s’agit sûrement d’une interpolation d’un autre compositeur et il ne figure pas ici.) Sur «The heav’ns are thine», Haendel compose un duo contemplatif pour alto et basse, ce qui est peut-être surprenant, mais il s’en dégage un sentiment de crainte mêlée d’admiration et il offre un excellent contraste à la vigueur rythmique du chœur suivant «Righteousness and equity». Le dernier solo, «Blessed is the people», et le bref chœur final sont aussi dérivés du Te Deum.

extrait des notes rédigées par Anthony Hicks © 2009
Français: Marie-Stella Pâris

Die Eröffnungssonata von My song shall be alway kommt dem Hörer wahrscheinlich gleich bekannt vor, da Händel es in vollständiger Form in seinem Concerto grosso in G-Dur op. 3 Nr. 3 wiederverwendete. (Der zweite Teil basiert auf einem Motiv aus Händels Birthday Ode to Queen Anne.) In der ersten Gesangsnummer (alle Texte stammen aus Psalm 89) kombiniert Händel in genialer Weise zwei Motive aus früheren Werken: die Orchestereinleitung geht auf einen Choral aus der Brockes-Passion zurück, während der in Oktaven gesetzte Chorsatz bei den Worten „The heav’ns shall praise thy wondrous works“ aus dem Satz „De torrente“ aus dem Dixit Dominus stammt. Der Solotenor setzt mit einem begleiteten Rezitativ ein, wovon es in den Anthems nur wenige gibt, und fährt dann mit einem konventionelleren Solo fort, das sich durch eckige Rhythmen in der Begleitung auszeichnet. Dieser und auch zwei weitere Sätze des Anthems sind Bearbeitungen von Sätzen aus dem „Caroline“-Te Deum (HWV280) von 1714. (In anderen Abschriften des Anthems folgt an dieser Stelle ein Trio, doch handelt es sich dabei höchstwahrscheinlich um einen Einschub eines anderen Komponisten und ist auf der vorliegenden Aufnahme nicht zu hören.) Händel setzt „The heav’ns are thine“ als nachdenkliches Duett für Alt und Bass, was möglicherweise überraschend wirkt, doch kommt hier eine passende Stimmung der Ehrfurcht zum Ausdruck und bildet so einen hervorragenden Kontrast zu der rhythmischen Kraft des folgenden Chorsatzes „Righteousness and equity“. Das letzte Solo, „Blessed is the people“, und der kurze Schlusschor sind wiederum Bearbeitungen von Sätzen aus dem Te Deum.

aus dem Begleittext von Anthony Hicks © 2009
Deutsch: Viola Scheffel

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