Over-reverberant Handel

The talent of soloists Wilde and Mields and the control of Helbich and the ensembles are hidden behind the acoustics on the record

Composer: Handel
Repertoire: Ode for St Cecilia’s Day
Artists: Mark Wilde (tenor), Dorthee Mields (soprano), Alsfelder Vokalensemble; Concerto Polacco/Helbich
Genre: Orchestral/Vocal
Label: Naxos 8.554752

The large amount of reverberation on the recording takes a great deal away from the playing and singing – a pity given Wolfgang Helbich’s sensitive, rhythmically astute interpretation and the imaginative singing of Mark Wilde and Dorthee Mields. The period instruments are largely defeated by the venue and flabby sound but they survive in the opening section of the trumpet’s loud clangour, heroically delivered by Wilde. Trevor Pinnock’s Archiv recording remains the best deal.