One of the most grown-up review sites around
One of the most grown-up review sites around

Search MusicWeb Here


International mailing

Up to 40% off

  Founder: Len Mullenger


Some items
to consider

Yes we are selling
Acte Prealable again!
£11 post-free

we also sell Skarbo

and Oboe Classics


with Eggebrecht we get all the excitement we can handle

Book 1 Book 2 Book3
Mota The Triptych: -Website

Asmik Grigorian

Breathtaking Performance
controversial staging
Review Westbrook
Review Hedley
Every lover of Salome should see this recording
Mullenger interpretation

Vraiment magnifique!

Quite splendid

Winning performances

Mahler Symphony 8
a magnificent disc

a huge talent

A wonderful disc

Weinberg Symphonies 2 & 21
A handsome tribute!

Roth’s finest Mahler yet

Mahler 9 Blomstedt
Distinguished performance


alternatively Crotchet



Georg Frideric HANDEL (1685-1759) Music for the Chapel Royal
Let God Arise HWV256b (1725-26) [12:32]
I will magnify thee HWV250b (1723-24) [18:11]
As pants the hart HWV251d (1720-22) [11:54]
O Sing unto the Lord HWV249a (1713-14) [11:19]
Two movements from As pants the hart HWV251a (1712-13) [6:59]
Choir of the Chapel Royal
Musicians Extra-ordinary/Andrew Gant
rec. Chapel Royal, St Jamess Palace, London, July 2005
NAXOS 8.557935 [60:55]


Handel began writing for the Chapel Royal essentially both a collection of people and a building towards the end of 1712. The first anthem written was As pants the hart and its unique amongst the pieces in this disc in not having been composed for a ceremonial event rather it was for use in ordinary services. In 1717 he retuned to the anthem and added an orchestra. Seven years later he raided his own larder yet again and produced another version HMV251d, and then produced yet another, the fourth and final version, confusingly numbered HMV251c. On this disc we have the third, orchestral -d version and also two movements from the -a.

Its a compact twelve-minute setting with a sextet, an alto solo, a duet for two altos, bass recitative and two choruses. As with the remainder of the programme it would be hard to argue that this is top-drawer Handel but one hears nevertheless how adept and how adaptable Handel was in his commissions. Especially noteworthy here is the balance of the sextet and the alto/quartet balance in the second movement Tears are my daily food. This applies equally to the organ. One notes as well how well the two altos Michael McGuire and yes, hes now a Gentleman-in-Ordinary James Bowman blend their tones in their fine duet Why so full of grief.

I will magnify thee and Let God arise began life as anthems for the Duke of Chandos at Cannons. After mutational work the former anthem has its first and last movements essentially intact though re-written. The middle four movements derive from three other separate Cannons anthems, showing this inventive self-borrowing at its most vividly intense. Once more we find buoyant rhythms and a fine orchestral and choral balance. Let God arise has only four movements two choruses and two duets for bass and alto. We hear from two basses Maciek OShea who sings with directness but whose voice is lighter than Andrew Ashwin; to trade off Ashwin is a touch weak at the top of his range. Lest one should overlook the orchestral contribution - a mistake as the band plays with real verve and sensitivity one can listen in particular to the splendid oboe playing in the opening movement of the anthem O Sing unto the Lord where Bowman takes the first solo.

We dont find out who comprise the Musicians Extra-ordinary but it would be nice to know. They sound like an expert group of specialists. They and the chorus, so adeptly directed by Andrew Gant are especially felicitous. None of the soloists are outstanding but they all acquit themselves well. There are first class and unusually lengthy notes by Gant necessary for elucidating the sometimes tortuous compositional history of the anthems. And the authentic setting of the Chapel Royal is a final fillip.

Jonathan Woolf 

see also Review by Max Kenworthy



We are currently offering in excess of 51,800 reviews

Advertising on

Donate and keep us afloat


New Releases

Naxos Classical

Nimbus Podcast

Obtain 10% discount

Special offer 50% off
15CDs £83 incl. postage

Musicweb sells the following labels

Altus 10% off
Atoll 10% off
CRD 10% off
Hallé 10% off
Lyrita 10% off
Nimbus 10% off
Nimbus Alliance
Prima voce 10% off
Red Priest 10% off
Retrospective 10% off
Saydisc 10% off
Sterling 10% off

Follow us on Twitter

Subscribe to our free weekly review listing

Sample: See what you will get

Editorial Board
MusicWeb International
Founding Editor
Rob Barnett
Editor in Chief
John Quinn
Seen & Heard
Editor Emeritus
   Bill Kenny
MusicWeb Webmaster
   David Barker
Jonathan Woolf
MusicWeb Founder
   Len Mullenger


Return to Review Index

Untitled Document

Reviews from previous months
Join the mailing list and receive a hyperlinked weekly update on the discs reviewed. details
We welcome feedback on our reviews. Please use the Bulletin Board
Please paste in the first line of your comments the URL of the review to which you refer.