George Frideric Handel: Alexander's Feast HWV 75, Ode for St. Cecilia's Day HWV 76


In England during the 17th and 18th centuries 22 November was observed as St. Cecilia’s Day with musical performances to honor this patron saint of church music. In 1736 and 1739, with his Alexander’s Feast and the Ode for St. Cecilia’s Day, based on texts by the poet John Dryden, Handel made important contributions to the festivities. Indeed, Handel took Purcell’s Cecilian odes as models, but through the use of recitatives, arias and large choruses he approached the oratorio. Both pieces were quickly recognized by contemporaries as outstanding works and already in 1739 Handel joined them together, whereby the Cecilian Ode served as the third part of Alexander’s Feast. In the years following, this practice was frequently maintained, however, beginning in the late 19th century this meaningful type of performance practice was increasingly forgotten. Carus has again joined the two works together in the present performance with Simone Kermes, the Kölner Kammerchor, and the Collegium Cartusianum, under the direction of Peter Neumann.


Compact Disc, 2 Ex., SACD

12,5 x 14 cm, CD, digipac
EUR29,90 / copies

Product information


2 Works Show


Peter Neumann Personal details


Collegium Cartusianum Personal details
Kölner Kammerchor Personal details

Soloist - soprano

Simone Kermes Personal details

Soloist - tenor

Virgil Hartinger Personal details

Soloist - bass

Konstantin Wolff Personal details


[...] In short, this recording is an outstanding contribution to the Handel anniversary celebrations.

George Pratt
BBC Music Magazine, September 2009

[...] Peter Neumann, inzwischen ein Händel-Spezialist unter den Dirigenten, macht hier die Musik des Jubilars ungemein lebendig. Da agiert ein Solistentrio mit der stimmlich und gestalterisch überragenden Sopranistin Simone Kermes, [...] Da begeistert der Kölner Kammerchor als Ensemble homogen gemischter, zugleich gut durchhörbarer Stimmen. Dazu musiziert das Collegium Cartusianum auf Originalinstrumenten sensibel, stiltreu und angenehm schlank. [...]

Karsten Blüthgen
Neue Chorzeit, September 2009


[...] Hörenswert sind das farbenreich eingesetzte Continuo mit Laute, Cembalo und Orgel und die hervorragenden Solisten: [...]

Musica Sacra, Heft 5/2009