Signum Records are proud to present the debut orchestral recording from Grace Davidson, one of the UK’s leading British sopranos specialising in Baroque music. She is joined by some of Europe’s leading Baroque musicians from the Academy of Ancient Music to perform a selection of works by Handel and Vivaldi, with performances led by violinist Bojan Čičić under artistic director Joseph Crouch.
Grace won the Early Music Prize while studying singing at London’s Royal Academy of Music. Since then, she has worked with the leading Baroque ensembles of our day, singing under the batons of Sir John Eliot Gardiner, Paul McCreesh, Philippe Herreweghe and Harry Christophers. Her discography includes a decade of albums with The Sixteen, many of which feature her as soloist – Handel’s Jeptha (as Angel), Dixit Dominus, Monteverdi’s Vespers of 1610, Pianto della Madonna, and the Lutheran Masses of Bach.
Een genot om deze opname te maken met dit orkestGrace Davidson: “Het was een groot genoegen om deze glorieuze geestelijke werken op te nemen na ze zo vaak voor publiek te hebben uitgevoerd. En een genot om een opname te maken met zo’n prachtig orkest in de parelachtige akoestiek van de All Hallows’ Church, Gospel Oak. Ik hoop dat je deze gevoelens zult delen als je het resultaat hoort.”
Grace Davidson is an English soprano who specialises in the performance and recording of Baroque music. Winner of the prestigious Early Music Prize whilst studying singing at London’s Royal Academy of Music, she has since carved a successful international career working with the leading Baroque vocal ensembles of our day under the batons of Sir John Eliot Gardiner, Paul McCreesh, Philippe Herreweghe and Harry Christophers. As a Baroque soloist Grace has appeared on many of the world’s most famous stages, from Purcell’s Come Ye Sons of Art at London’s Barbican to his Ode to St Cecilia and Bach’s Magnificat at the Amsterdam Concertgebouw to Bach’s St Matthew Passion at the Lincoln Centre, New York. Her discography includes a decade of CDs with The Sixteen, many of which feature her as a soloist: Handel’s Jephtha (as “Angel”) and Dixit Dominus, Monteverdi’s 1610 Vespers and Pianto Della Madonna and the Lutheran Masses of Bach; she is also the soloist for a recording of Faure?’s Requiem by Tenebrae and the LSO: “Grace Davidson made Pie Jesu the simplest and most precious of gifts.” The Times.
Future solo performing engagements include a UK tour of Monteverdi’s Vespers with Harry Christophers, and performances of Purcell’s King Arthur in France and Germany for Paul McCreesh. Recording projects include Handel’s Silete Venti and Gloria for Signum Records plus a recording of Dowland lute songs.
Georg Frideric Handel was a composer from the Baroque period. Handel wrote primarily music-dramatic works: 42 operas, 29 oratorios, more than 120 cantatas, trios and duets, which comes to a total amount of almost 2000 arias! Furthermore, he composed English, Italian and Latin sacred music, serenades and odes. Among his instrumental music are several organ concertos, concerti grossi, overtures, oboe sonatas and violinsonates, along with many solo works for harpsichord and organ.
Together with Johann Sebastian Bach, who was born in the same year (1685), Handel is viewed as one of the greatest composers of his time. He was extremely prolific and wrote in total more than 610 works, many of which are still performed today.
Compared to his contemporaries Bach, Telemann and Scarlatti, Handel was by far the most cosmopolitan. When Handel was a child, his father, who was a surgeon at the court of Saxe-Weissenfels, imagined a juridical career for him. But his musical talents did not go unnoticed at the court, which forced the father to let him study music. In Hamburg, Handel befriended Mattheson. Together they visited Buxtehude, the greatest organ player of his time, in 1703 (two years before Bach did). At that time, Handel was already an excellent musician, but it wasn't until his stay in Italy - the land of opera - that his talents and skills truly started to flourish. Back in Germany, he received a position at the court of Hannover, where the noblemen had a connection to the British throne. Thanks to these connections, Handel decided to move to London, after which a puzzling history of intrigues and political games started. For example, it is unclear what the exact political message of his famous Water Music is, which was composed for a boat ride on the river Thames by King George. Initially, Handel focused on Italian opera during his stay in London, but from the 1730s onwards he started composing English spoken oratorios, with the celebrated Messiah at its peak.