Handel - Marriner - The Decca Legacy [19CD]

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Handel - Neville Marriner - The Decca Legacy

Limited edition 19CD set

A unique collection of L'Oiseau-Lyre, Argo, Decca and Philips albums in original covers, showcasing both the genius of Handel and the musicianship of the classic ASMF/Marriner pairing at its most stylish - LIMITED EDITION.

Even while a member of the London Symphony Orchestra in the early 1950s, Neville Marriner had made recordings for L'Oiseau-Lyre as a violinist in the Jacobean Ensemble. Accordingly he took a tape of a concerto grosso to the label's legendary owner, Louise Hanson-Dyer. The artists on it were his new ensemble, the Academy of St. Martin in the Fields. This modest demonstration tape ultimately led to more than 500 recordings, and the success of the Academy with Marriner as the world's most recorded partnership.

Handel was an integral part of the Academy's work firstly for L'Oiseau-Lyre, then for Argo, finally for the Dutch label Philips. (Marriner and the Academy also recorded music by Handel for EMI.) Without including later duplicate versions, this box compiles for the first time all the ASMF/Marriner albums made for the Decca family of labels as well as Philips between 1961 and 1997, amounting to a comprehensive survey of the composer's orchestral music, ornamented with Acis and Galatea, Messiah, Jephtha and the Coronation Anthems.

Critics from the outset praised not just the energy of the Academy and Marriner in Handel's Concerti grossi, but also their polish, at a time when period-instrument versions were technically unreliable. Soloists such as the oboist Roger Lord emerged naturally from an ensemble of soloists in the first place. A succession of keyboard players pays testament to the determination of Marriner to find a degree of authenticity in 18th-century music that worked practically for him and his colleagues. Thurston Dart, who researched the sources for much of the music played here, and the mercurial choir director and harpsichordist George Malcolm. In a later generation came Andrew Davis and Christopher Hogwood, the organist on the Argo Messiah which was recorded using his edition.


Eloquence 19CD Set