Monday, May 3, 2010

Handel on eMusic

File under "Just when I thought I was out..."

In early 2009, back when there used to be a Nereffid's Guide, I celebrated Handel Year by putting together a pretty darn thorough review digest for the Handel recordings available on eMusic. Now, in a hopefully not vain (in both senses of the word) attempt to support eMusic board regulars Kez and 1653 in their efforts to get a good Baroque Music thread going, I've revived Nereffid's Guide to Handel.
This guide will not be updated. Ever! It's a year out of date, if you're in the US then the information on number of tracks is often irrelevant, and none of the links to Gramophone and BBC Music Magazine reviews work any more (they've both changed their web sites), and I'm not going to fix them. I've just copied-and-pasted from the original file. That said, if anyone wants to contribute new information, comments are open.

The original introduction to the guide follows:

These are not all the Handel recordings on emusic! But I've tried to track down reviews of as many as I could. I've confined myself to albums where Handel is the sole composer, or occupies a large portion of the album. I've provided as many web links as I can, but some sites require that you are registered or (in the case of Fanfare) a subscriber. References to the Penguin Guide are specifically the 2005/6 edition and 2006/7 yearbook.

The works follow the same genre order as the list of works in the New Grove Dictionary, although within each genre I've gone with alphabetical order rather than date of composition. Discs of orchestral excerpts from operas and oratorios have been placed in the orchestral section. Pasticcios ("new" oratorios compiled by others after Handel's death) are included with the regular oratorios.

As usual, entries are of the form Work - Artists - Label - Number of tracks.

Warning: where there are multiple recordings of one work, I've tried to include comparisons made by reviewers, but this isn't always possible, or comprehensive. So if a reviewer says "this is the best recording", bear in mind that a handful of other recordings could have been made since that review was written.

I've split the one original file into separate blog posts:
Sacred vocal
Secular cantatas

(Or click on the "Handel on eMusic" label at the bottom of the post to get all posts)

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