The Handel Institute
The Handel Institute

The International Handel Recording Prize 2002


Arminio (HWV 36)

Arminio: Vivica Genaux
Tusnelda: Geraldine McGreevy
Sigismondo: Dominique Custer
Ramise: Manuela Custer
Varo: Luigi Petroni
Tullio: Syste Buwalda
Segeste: Riccardo Ristori
Il Complesso Barocco
Alan Curtis (conductor)
Virgin Veritas 5-45461-2 (2 CDs)

The 2002 International Handel Recording Prize has been awarded to Alan Curtis and Il Complesso Barocco for their recording of the opera Arminio (Virgin Veritas).

A sense of musicological value rarely contributes to significant awards, but the winner of the newly inaugurated Handel Recording Prize was chosen by a specialist panel, including Anthony Hicks (The Handel Institute and Early Music Review critic), Brad Leissa (The American Handel Society and co-producer of, Michael Pacholke (The Hallische Händel Ausgabe - the new scholarly edition of Handel's complete works produced in Halle, Germany), Stanley Sadie (editor of The New Grove Dictionary of Music and Gramophone critic), and David Vickers (co-producer of and Andante critic).

Full and equal consideration was given to both the quality of performances and the significance of their contribution to Handelian knowledge. 2001 was a year that demonstrated an impressive breadth and quality of Handel performances on disc, so it was especially crucial to nominate a worthy winner: the world premiere recording of Arminio - an opera often harshly criticised by Handel biographers - is a fine musically convincing performance that furthermore challenges preconceptions about Handel's operatic work in the late 1730s.

Stanley Sadie is convinced that Curtis' industrious and imaginative work "might change our views about the later operas". Musicologist Michael Pacholke expanded upon this, insisting that Curtis' committed interpretation "is very powerful evidence of the quality of an opera whose acceptance suffered very much under some devaluing descriptions by commentators who probably never heard or looked carefully at the music". Brad Leissa acknowledged that Curtis prepared the performing edition himself from manuscripts, but was keen to emphasise its "outstanding soloists and vivacious but controlled orchestral support".

The winner was selected from a shortlist of over 20 recordings of Handel's music commercially released during 2001. Reissues, compilations, and CDs featuring music by other composers were not eligible for contention. Rinaldo Alessandrini's Il Trionfo del Tempo e del Disinganno (Opus 111) was runner-up, and Emma Kirkby's Sacred Cantatas (BIS) was also nominated.

The candidate list (in no particular order) included the following recordings:

Handel Arias from Rinaldo & Orlando
Ewa Podles (contralto)
Moscow Chamber Orchestra (modern instruments)
Conductor: Constantine Orbelian
Delos DE 3253

Il Trionfo del Tempo e del Disinganno (HWV 46a)
La Bellezza
: Deborah York
Il Piacere: Gemma Bertagnolli
Il Disinganno: Sara Mingardo
Il Tempo: Nicholas Sears
Concerto Italiano (period instruments)
Director: Rinaldo Alessandrini
Opus 111 OP 30321

Acis and Galatea
The Scholars of London
Dorian Recordings DOR-93227
- A live recording from 1991.
(Same vocal soloists but different performance from Naxos' Acis and Galatea with "The Scholars Baroque Ensemble" - recorded in 1993: catalog 8.553188)

Sacred Cantatas
Salve regina (HWV 241); O qualis de coelo sonus (HWV 239); Trio Sonata in G minor (HWV 393); Coelestis dum spirat aura (HWV 231); Laudate pueri Dominum in F major (HWV 236)
Emma Kirkby (soprano)
London Baroque (period instruments)

The Occasional Songs
Airs français or 'Sans y penser' (HWV 155); Four Songs in different languages (HWV deest) -- includes Sans y penser, Quand on suit l'amoureuse loi, Der Mund spricht zwar, and Dicente mis ojos; The Dream or 'Beneath a shady willow' (HWV deest); The Beauteous Cloe or 'Cloe, you're witty' (HWV deest); Di godere ha speranza il mio core / Oh my dearest, my lovely creature (HWV 228.7); Strephon's Complaint of Love: Oh cruel Tyrant Love (HWV 228.14); Minuet in G major (HWV 530); Minuet in G minor (HWV 543); An Answer to Collin's Complaint: Ye winds to whome Collin complains (HWV 228.23); Charming Cloris: Ask not the cause / The poor Shepherd: The Sun was sunk beneath the Hills (HWV 228.2); Minuet in D major (HWV 506); Minuet in A major (HWV A 15.7); Yes, I'm in love (HWV 228.24); The unhappy Lovers: As Celia's fatal arrows flew (HWV 228.1); The Satyr's Advice to a Stock-Jobber: On the shore of a low ebbing sea / Ye Swains that are courting a Maid / Molly Mogg: Says my uncle, I pray you discover (HWV 228.15); The faithful Maid / The Melancholy Nymph: 'Twas when the seas were roaring (Ballad from The What d'ye Call It) (HWV 228.19); I like the am'rous youth that's free (Song from The Universal Passion) (HWV 228.11); Love's by the frailty of the mind (HWV 218); Hunting Song or 'The morning is charming' (HWV 226); Stand round, my brave boys (Song made for the Gentlemen Volunteers of the City of London) (HWV 228.18); March in G (HWV 418); From scourging rebellion or A Song on the Victory obtained over the Rebels by His Royal Highness the Duke of Cumberland (HWV 228.9).
Emma Kirkby (soprano)
Charles Daniels (baritone)
Andrew Carwood (tenor)
Simon Davies (tenor)
Adrian Butterfield (violin)
William Thorp (violin)
Katherine Sharman (violoncello)
David Miller (archlute/theorbo)
Paul Nicholson (harpsichord, director)
Somm CD 226

Concerti Grossi Op.3
Northern Sinfonia
Bradley Creswick (conductor)
Naxos 8.553457

: Vivica Genaux
Tusnelda: Geraldine McGreevy
Sigismondo: Dominique Custer
Ramise: Manuela Custer
Varo: Luigi Petroni
Tullio: Syste Buwalda
Segeste: Riccardo Ristori
Il Complesso Barocco (period instruments)
Alan Curtis (conductor)
Virgin Veritas 5-45461-2

Apollo e Dafne (HWV 122)
Incidental music from The Alchemist (HWV 43)
Olga Pasichnyk (soprano)
Robert Pomakov (bass)
European Union Baroque Orchestra (period instruments)
Roy Goodman (Conductor)
Naxos 8.555712

Harpsichord Works - Volume 2 (1720)
Suite No. 1 in A major; Suite No. 2 in F major; Suite No. 3 in D minor; Suite No. 4 in E minor; Suite No. 5 in E major.
Sophie Yates
Chandos Chaconne CHAN 0569

Arie & Lagrime - Operatic Arias & Trio Sonatas
Lascia ch'io pianga (Rinaldo), transposed; Sonata No. 1, Opus 5 (excerpt); Cara sposa (Rinaldo); Armati, oh core (Admeto); Sonata No. 2, Opus 5 (excerpt); Se il cor ti perde (Tolomeo), with Anne Cambier, soprano; Stille amare (Tolomeo); Sonata No. 5, Opus 5 (excerpt); Svegliatevi nel core (Giulio Cesare); Sonata No. 4, Opus 5 (excerpt); Pena tiranna (Amadigi); Sinfonia from Orlando; Tacero (Agrippina).
Pascal Bertin (countertenor)
Anne Cambier (soprano)
Mensa Sonora (period instruments)
Conductor: Jean Maillet
Pierre Verany PV700022

Cantates & Duos italiens
Quondo in calma ride il mare; Nell'africane selve; Che vai pensando; La Lucrezia; Giù nei Tartarei regni; Dalla guerra amorosa; Tacete ohime.
Sandrine Piau (soprano)
Jérôme Correas (bass)
Les Paladins (period instruments)
Conductor: Emmanuelle Haïm (harpsichord)
Arion ARN68505

Deidamia (HWV 42)
: Julianne Baird
Ulisse: Brenda Harris
Lycomede: John Clark
Achille: D'Anna Fortunato
Nera: Máire O'Brien
Fenice: Peter Castaldi
Palmer Singers
Brewer Chamber Orchestra (period instruments)
Conductor: Rudolph Palmer
Producer: John Ostendorf
Albany Records TROY 460

Recorder & Oboe Sonatas
Sonata in D minor (HWV 367a); Sonata in F major (HWV 363a); Sonata in A minor (HWV 362); Sonata in C major (HWV 365); Sonata in C minor (HWV 366); Sonata in F major (HWV 369); Sonata in G minor (HWV 360)
Héloïse Gaillard (recorder & oboe)
Ensemble Amarillis (period instruments)
Ambroisie AMB 9910

Complete Violin Sonatas
Sonata in D major, Op.1 No. 13 (HWV 371); Sonata in F major - Walsh's edition of Op. 1 No. 12; Sonata in D minor (HWV 359a); Sonata in A major, Op. 1 No. 3 (HWV 361); Sonata in G minor, Op. 1 No. 6 (HWV 364a); Sonata in A major - "Roger's" edition of Op. 1 No.10; Sonata in E major - "Roger's" edition of Op. 1 No. 12; Sonata in G major (HWV 358); Andante in A minor (HWV 412); Allegro in C minor (HWV 408).
Andrew Manze (violin) & Richard Egarr (harpsichord)
Harmonia mundi - HMU 907259

Coronation Anthems (HWV 258-61)
Ode for the Birthday of Queen Anne (HWV 74)
Susan Gritton (soprano)
Robin Blaze (countertenor)
Michael George (bass)
Choir of King's College, Cambridge
Academy of Ancient Music (period instruments)
Conductor: Stephen Cleobury
EMI Classics 7243 5 57140 2 2

Dettingen Te Deum (HWV 283)
Te Deum in A major (HWV 282 - premiere recording)
Dorothee Mields (soprano)
Ulrike Andersen (alto)
Mark Wilde (tenor)
Chris Dixon (bass)
Alsfelder Vokalensemble (Bremen, Germany)
Concerto Polacco (Warsaw, Poland; period instruments)
Conductor: Wolfgang Helbich
Naxos 8.554753

Messiah (HWV 56)
Lynne Dawson (soprano)
Nicole Heaston (soprano)
Magdalena Kozena (mezzo-soprano)
Charlotte Hellekant (contralto)
Brian Asawa (countertenor)
John Mark Ainsley (tenor)
Russell Smythe (baritone)
Brian Bannatyne-Scott (bass)
Choeur des Musiciens de Louvre
Les musiciens du Louvre-Grenoble (period instruments)
Conductor: Marc Minkowski
DG/Archiv 471 341-2 AH

Belshazzar (HWV 61)
Belshazzar, King of Babylon
: Markus Brutscher (tenor)
Nitocris, his mother: Simone Kermes (soprano)
Cyrus, Prince of Persia: Christopher Robson (countertenor)
Daniel, a Jewish Prophet: Patrick van Goethem (countertenor)
Gobrias, an Assyrian Nobleman: Franz-Josef Seelig (bass)
Collegium Cartusianum (period instruments)
Kölner Kammerchor
Conductor: Peter Neumann
MDG 332 1079-2

Complete Flute Sonatas
Sonata in D major (HWV 378); Sonata in E minor (HWV 379); Sonata in B minor (HWV 367b); Sonata in G major (HWV 363b); Sonata in E minor (HWV 359b)
Konrad Hünteler (traverso)
Rainer Zipperling (violoncello)
Carsten Lohff (harpsichord)
MDG 311 1078-2

Crude Furie degli orridi abissi - Evil Arias
Arias from Admeto, Serse, Amadigi di Gaula, Faramondo, Alessandro, Rodrigo, Partenope, Teseo, Siroe, and Tamerlano.
Angelo Manzotti (sopranist)
Ensemble Rocinante (period instruments)
Conductor: Tito Ceccherini
Callisto Records CLS 0102 (PC & Mac compatible "multimedia booklet", including scores)

Deborah (HWV 51)
: Elizabeth Scholl
Jael: Natacha Ducret
Barak: Lawrence Zazzo
Sisera: Ewa Wolak
Canaanite Herald: Knut Schoch
Abinoam / Priest: Jelle S. Draijer
Junge Kantorei
Barockorchester Frankfurt (period instruments)
Conductor: Joachim Carlos Martini
Naxos 8.554785-7

Lynne Dawson
Guillemette Laurens
Charles Daniels
Antonio Abete
Coro della Radio Svizzera
I Barocchisti (period instruments)
Conductor: Diego Fasolis
ARTS 47627-2

The International Handel Recording Prize was inspired by The American Handel Society's Recording Prize. The AHS Recording Prize was awarded on an annual basis between 1991-1998.

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Last updated: August 30, 2020  · Site design: Duncan Fielden, Matthew Gardner and David Vickers