The English Concert - Handel: La Resurrezione - The Times
Classical recordings released around Easter generally include Bach’s Passion settings, but other options are always available. One of the most striking alternatives is Handel’s very individual oratorio La resurrezione, written in 1708 during four years spent in Italy. Indeed, its special qualities almost leap out and bite you in this recording of the second of Linn’s Handel series, in which Harry Bicket directs the splendid musicians of the English Concert. Witness the orchestra’s lively precision, rhythmic bounce and variegated colours: ideal tools for proper display of the endless imaginative subtleties woven into the instrumental score. As for the vocal forces — numbering five, with no Evangelist’s narration or choral commentary threaded through — I couldn’t detect a weak link. The icing on the cake is the intimate glow and vitality of Philip Hobbs’s sound recording, achieved at Sage Gateshead.