Album: Ludus Baroque, Handel: Song for St. Cecilia's Day (Delphian)

 

Following up their debut recording of Alexander's Feast, the Scottish period ensemble Ludus Baroque present another Handel piece, the composer's setting of Dryden's celebration of the patron saint of musicians, "A Song for St Cecilia's Day".

The opening "Ouverture" showcases the group's vivacity and verve, before the poised tenor of Ed Lyon enters in "From Harmony, from Heav'nly Harmony" to express how music rescues nature from "underneath a heap of jarring atoms", an extraordinary image for the period. Elsewhere, the warmth of the cello sonorities illuminates Mary Bevan's delivery of "What Passion Cannot Music Raise and Quell?", before her soprano is aptly paired with the breathy subject of "The Soft Complaining Flute".

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