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Murder in the Dark

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Armonico: Handel Dixit Dominus

February 3rd 7:30 pm

 

HANDEL DIXIT DOMINUS – F SCARLATTI DANIELE

HANDEL DIXIT DOMINUS – F SCARLATTI DANIELE

In one of the bible’s most epic and incredible stories, Scarlatti brings to life a tale of betrayal, courage, faith, and love. The story of Daniel in the Lion’s Den lay hidden in a library for centuries. Unearthed by Armonico Consort, this treasure is one of the most dramatic oratorios ever set to music. Le Figaro (Paris) claimed that our last Scarlatti discovery was ‘the greatest classical find of the century’. We think this World Premiere is even greater and one not to be missed.

To finish the programme, we present one of Handel’s greatest and most dramatic choral works – Dixit Dominus. Handel was also a European who, like Francesco, lived and worked in England, so it seems fitting to honour them both in this way.

This performance is generously supported by Hilary Eldridge, member of the Conductor’s Circle

FRANCESCO SCARLATTI
DANIELE (World Premiere)

FRANCESCO SCARLATTI
MISERERE MEI

GEORGE FRIDERIC HANDEL
DIXIT DOMINU

ARMONICO CONSORT
DIRECTOR | CHRISTOPHER MONKS

Details

Date:
February 3rd
Time:
7:30 pm
Event Categories:
,

Other

Price:
£35.84, £32.48, £29.12
Bronze discount applies
Prices include 12% booking fee
Show Times:
Saturday 3rd February at 7.30pm

Event Reviews

  • Fairy Powered Productions - Courie Amado Juneau

    Armonico Consort return with another triumphant blast of Baroque splendour with two works by Scarlatti coupled with a piece from the ever popular Handel.

    Daniele – lost for several centuries – is basically a non-staged opera. A myriad of very interesting musical textures are cunningly woven through the piece including soloists, duets, trios and it’s bookended by a robust chorus. Drama and passion in the best tradition of the Baroque era; this is certainly a magnificent find which I’m sure will earn Armonico (and Scarlatti) many more fans – especially as they are about to record the work for Xmas release.

    The chorus (AC Academy Warwick and Scholars) were a force of nature with tons of power and an impressively sonorous sound. The Baroque Players were simply thrilling! A period correct trumpet (no valves) and strings using what sounded like gut gave the orchestra a gorgeously mellow sound compared to modern, brasher strings. Also, with so few players (just 2 each of first and second violins, violas and lower strings) it really was a chamber orchestra. These smaller forces gave the scoring a refreshing clarity which can be lost in the larger modern orchestral forces. All the more impressive also that the balance of singers vs instrumentalists was so well defined given the quantity of singers. This is a testament to the expert conducting of Director Christopher Monks, giving us a tastefully authentic reading that imbued these 18th Century works with an electric, youthful energy which made the music sound thoroughly modern and alive.

    Double bassist Andrew Durban and cellist Hetti Price leapt all over the fretboard and were incredibly tight as a unit in a mesmerising display. Like listening to one instrument playing double stops an octave apart! For me, the organ and cello duet sections really stood out in a sumptuous combination that transported the senses, giving me my absolute favourite moments of the night.

    The ladies who played Darius and Angel and the chap who played the Dragon Demon were special standouts among the vocalists (though the entire ensemble were fantastic) but I cannot name them in person as the programme didn’t list who was playing who.

    Speaking of which, the libretto was very difficult to follow and I’m not even sure that the Miserere Mei was included in full. Many operas sung in foreign languages are enhanced with surtitles on stage – which would have been fantastically helpful for those of us in the audience who didn’t speak fluent Latin.

    In the second half we were thoroughly entertained by Scarlatti’s Miserere Mei and Handel’s Dixit Dominus – the Handel was especially thrilling for me. We lost the trumpets power in the second half and the orchestra looked tiny but you’d never have known it. The strings really dug in and their florid runs were scintillating. We had even more vocal soloists than in Daniele, giving us a widened pallet of colours to enjoy – genius scoring by Handel (as always).

    If you haven’t seen the Armonico Consort you will have the chance to rapidly remedy that unfortunate situation as they return to Malvern Theatres in both April and June this year. Tonight was yet another wonderful feast of musical perfection. Bravo!


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