Saul is a magnificent work. Indeed, it is one of Handel's best works, even if less well known than the more static Messiah or his incidental orchestral or organ music. In this new recording, to top it off, the best case is made for a work already so exciting . Paul McCreesh and his authentic instrument troupe, the Gabrieli Consort & Players—just back from a stunning Bach St. Matthew Passion—get into it with their typical freshness and joviality that will have you get the jitterbug. The orchestral forces are quite big, for Handel at any rate, and diverse. Organ, timpani (plenty!), carillon* (yay!), harp, and lots of other things. In fact, it's already as big as if Otto Klemperer himself had re-orchestrated it. The complete thing, on three discs, lasting over two and a half fun hours, has the superb singing of countertenor Andreas Scholl (David), as well as Neal Davies (Saul), Susan Gritton (Merab), et al., and comes with the usual informative booklet and libretto in French, English, and German. A vocal baroque delight par excellence and not to be missed.
G. F. Handel, Saul,
J. S. Bach, St. Matthew Passion,
From medieval Latin quadrillionem, which refers to four stationary bells commonly used in France to indicate the time. Three high-pitched bells chimed the quarter-hours, while a fourth and deeper-toned one tolled the hour.
A set of cast bronze bells arranged in chromatic order and so tuned as to be capable of concordant harmony. They are normally played from a clavier of wooden keys and pedals but may also be played from an ivory keyboard with electric action.