Alexander's Feast

2 CD set
£16 plus P&P

Sophie Bevan soprano
Ed Lyon tenor
William Berger bass
Richard Neville-Towle conductor

Handel's musical illustration of Dryden's Alexander's Feast, first performed in 1736, was a critical and popular success. A day after the premiere, the London Daily Post reported:

'Never was upon the like Occasion so numerous and splendid an Audience at any Theatre in London, there being at least 1300 Persons present'.

Twice a year some of the UK's finest baroque players and young vocal soloists come together in Edinburgh's Canongate Kirk to give sell-out concerts of the great works of Bach and Handel. Ludus Baroque's appearances are unmissable events in Edinburgh's calendar. Now for the first time listeners from further afield can experience the vibrancy of their Festival-fuelled performances in this their debut recording. Alexander's Feast is the perfect showpiece for the vitality and abandon of Ludus Baroque and their rising-star soloists.

Track listing

Part One (disc 1)

  1. Ouverture
  2. Recitative (tenor) ‘Twas at the royal feast
  3. Air (soprano / tenor) and Chorus Happy, happy, happy pair!
  4. Recitative (tenor) Timotheus, plac’d on high
  5. Recitative (soprano) The song began from Jove
  6. Chorus The list’ning crowd admire the lofty sound
  7. Air (soprano) With ravish’d ears the monarch hears
  8. Recitative (tenor) The praise of Bacchus
  9. Air (bass) and Chorus Bacchus, ever fair and young
  10. Recitative (tenor) Sooth’d with the sound, the king grew vain
  11. Recitative (soprano) He chose a mournful Muse
  12. Air (soprano) He sung Darius, great and good
  13. Recitative (soprano) With downcast looks the joyless victor sate
  14. Chorus Behold Darius great and good
  15. Recitative (tenor) The mighty master smil’d to see
  16. Arioso (soprano) Softly sweet in Lydian measures
  17. Air (tenor) War, he sung, is toil and trouble
  18. Chorus The many rend the skies with loud applause
  19. Air (soprano) The prince, unable to conceal his pain

Part Two (disc 2)

  1. Recitative (tenor) and Chorus Now strike the golden Lyre again
  2. Air (bass) Revenge, Timotheus cries
  3. Recitative (tenor) Give the vengeance due
  4. Air (tenor) The princes applaud with a furious joy
  5. Air (soprano) and Chorus Thais led the way
  6. Recitative (tenor) Thus, long ago
  7. Grand Chorus At last divine Cecilia came
  8. Recitative (tenor / bass) Let old Timotheus yield the prize
  9. Chorus Let old Timotheus yield the prize
  10. Chorus Your voices tune, and raise them high