Dunedin Consort - Handel: Ode for St Cecilia's Day - The Scotsman
Music that celebrates music; we have John Dryden to thank for the 17th century poem that honours music’s patron saint Cecilia, but it was Handel who turned these words, and their exquisite allusions to the powers of the marshal trumpet, complaining flute, frantic violins and scared organ, into the musical marvel that is his Ode for Saint Cecilia. Here is a performance that draws every ounce of emotive symbolism and sublime inference from Handel’s poetically refined score. It features John Butt’s excitingly precise Dunedin Consort, whose instrumentalists are idiomatically stylish to the last, and whose core singers are augmented by the homogeneously matching Polish Radio Choir. Ian Bostridge (tenor) and Carolyn Sampson (soprano) bring illustrative colour to the arias. This is yet another Baroque tour de force from Butt, who has a simple knack of turning highly informed intelligence and curiosity into performances fired by spontaneous combustion.