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With the participation of: Polish Radio Choir, Carolyn Sampson, Ian Bostridge

Recorded during this year’s Misteria Paschalia Festival in Poland, Dunedin Consort’s performance of Handel’s Ode for St Cecilia’s Day sees them joined for the first time by tenor Ian Bostridge and soprano Carolyn Sampson. Bostridge demonstrates the technical mastery and vocal precision that has seen him win all the major international record prizes in his twenty-five year career. Highly sought-after for her refined Baroque sensibilities and pure intonation, Sampson’s lyric soprano is ideally suited to Handel. Led by John Butt, with singers from the Polish Radio Choir, this rich and colourful tribute to music’s patron saint is the latest in their much-lauded Handel discography, which includes Messiah, Acis & Galatea and Esther, each recording having won widespread acclaim. The recording is completed by Handel’s Concerto Grosso in A minor Op. 6 No. 4, in which Dunedin Consort’s exceptional instrumentalists take centre stage.

"The work packs a powerful punch in these hands, and nowhere more so than when Bostridge combines with the chorus in the aria hymning "the double, double, double beat/Of the thund'ring drum"."
The Herald, 9 October 2018
"Disc of the Week: Of course, the big stars in any performance of the Ode to St Cecilia are the solo soprano and tenor, and here this recording hits gold. The other star is Butt himself: as ever, he shapes the music in an unforced, surefooted unmissable recording."
Europadisc, 5 October 2018
"5* - This is yet another Baroque tour de force from Butt, who has a simple knack of turning highly informed intelligence and curiosity into performances fired by spontaneous combustion."
The Scotsman, 9 October 2018
"It’s one of the greatest moments in all of Handel, superbly realised by Carolyn Sampson and the Dunedin Consort under John Butt..."
The Observer, 29 October 2018
" Handel lover is likely to be disappointed with a disc whose attractions are enhanced by a vivid performance of the A minor Concerto grosso (its opening movement truly affettuoso) and Butt's own superb, wide-ranging booklet essay."
Gramophone, December 2018
"With its dramatic and colourful sound values, this recording of Handel's ever-popular choral piece bids fair to be the most impressive reading of the piece in years - and one that at a stroke becomes the definitive available version."
CD Choice, 22 October 2018
"Editor's Choice: ...this full-blooded reading of Handel’s great hymn to the patron saint of music plays out on a larger scale than we’re perhaps used to from Butt and his Dunedin forces, to powerful and frequently moving effect."
Presto Classical, 31 October 2018
"4* - The Dunedin Consort’s interpretation of Handel’s Ode...brings the work to life with enthusiasm, charm, and wit."
Classical Source, 31 October 2018
"What could be more wonderful for lovers of Handel’s music and of Carolyn Sampson: delectable music, delectably sung...[a] very recommendable new release."
MusicWeb International, 15 November 2018
"This fine account of a noble work joins the very best available."
MusicWeb International, 10 December 2018
"Butt’s reading with the Dunedins and the Polish choir has irresistible sweetness, with the tenor Ian Bostridge and the soprano Carolyn Sampson on top form."
The Sunday Times, 11 November 2018
"4.5* - ...the Ode is given a crisp performance by John Butt and the Dunedin Consort, with soprano Carolyn Sampson and tenor Ian Bostridge as vocal soloists and the Polish Radio Choir providing spirited renditions of the choruses."
All Music, 23 November 2018
"4* - Everything is at once graceful and uplifting...Soprano Carolyn Sampson and tenor Ian Bostridge are engaging soloists..."
Financial Times, 9 November 2018
"Carolyn Sampson and Ian Bostridge contribute greatly to the success of the performance...In addition to the ode, the disc includes a very fine performance of the Concerto grosso, op. 6, no. 4."
Early Music Review, 2 December 2018
"5* - ...a lovelier, more joyful performance seems unimaginable."
Choir & Organ, Jan/Feb 2019
"Performance 4* / Recording 4* - should catch Carolyn Sampson, Ian Bostridge and the Dunedin in this Handel masterpiece. They glide through the score in utterly ravishing ways that transcend rival incandescent performance."
BBC Music Magazine, Xmas 2018
"Some fantastically colourful instrumental playing obviously, they really bring that to life don’t they?"
BBC Radio 3 'Record Review', 24 November 2018
"An outstanding performance crammed with vitality and colour...which I find both inspiring and compelling. The tenor Ian Bostridge sounds magnificent...the soprano Carolyn Sampson makes a significant impression, too."
MusicWeb International