Handel: Alexander's Feast (Alexanderæs Feast Or The Power Of Musick) (Frankfurt Baroque Orchestra/ Joachim Carlos Martini) (Naxos: 8.572224)
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First performed in London in 1736 to an admiring audience of 1,300 people, and enjoying considerable success thereafter, Handel's setting of John Dryden's 1697 poem Alexander's Feast evokes the power of music to stir the soul to acts of love and war, revenge and revels.
This splendid oratorio, set at Alexander the Great's victory celebrations for his conquest of Persia, culminates in an apotheosis to 'divine Cecilia', the patron saint of music whom Handel also praises in his Ode for St Cecilia's Day of 1739 (Naxos 8.554752).
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