Cecilia Music by George Frideric Handel in Arrangements by Wolfgang Amadé Mozart
It is the power of music itself, transcending all earthly powers, that George Frideric Handel staged in sound with the greatest possible Baroque splendour in his cantata Alexander's Feast, completed in 1736. Like the Ode for St. Cecilia's Day, the work, based on a text by John Dryden in honour of the patron saint of (church) music, is about a feast held by Alexander the Great after the conquest of the Persian city of Persepolis, during which the musician Timotheus, like St. Cecilia, is able to excite and calm the great general's mind at will with his singing and playing. In 1790, none other than Wolfgang Amadé Mozart orchestrated Das Alexander-Fest - and at the same time also the Ode on St. Caecilia - on the basis of the German translation by Karl Wilhelm Ramler, creating the version in which the work was widely disseminated until the 20th century.
Under the direction of Heinz Ferlesch, the choir Ad Libitum and the original sound ensemble Barucco, together with three radiant solo voices, bring to life these congenial versions, which are rarely heard today, in which Handel's masterful music can be experienced, as it were, through Mozart's eyes.
Georg Friedrich Händel (1685–1759)/Wolfgang Amadé Mozart (1756–1791)
The Alexander feast. Cantata in two parts for soloists, mixed choir and orchestra, HWV 75/KV 591 (1735–36/1790)
Ode on St. Cecilia for soloists, mixed choir and orchestra, HWV 76/KV 592 (1739/1790)
Yeree Suh | Soprano
Mario Lerchenberger | Tenor
Yannick Debus | Baritone
Chor Ad Libitum
Heinz Ferlesch | Conductor