Coll'ardor del tuo bel cor (Nerone) sung by Alexander Young
Aria from act 3 of Handel's opera Agrippina.
Conducted by Sir Charles Mackerras
Orchestre Symphonique de la R.T.B.F.
Radio Broadcast from 1966
'The tenor Alexander Young adorned both the stage and the concert platform with his skills as a tenor and an interpreter. For more than 20 years he was in demand in opera as a Handelian, Mozartian and Rossinian of distinction. On the oratorio circuit he sang in all the major works from Bach to Britten, his innate musicianship and reliability seconding his silvery, keenly produced tenor
His credentials as an interpreter of 20th-century music were established when he sang Tom Rakewell in the first performance in Britain of The Rake's Progress, on a BBC Third Programme broadcast in 1953. Eventually, he took the role on stage, when it was presented at Sadler's Wells in 1962, with Colin Davis in the pit. Subsequently, Stravinsky chose Young to sing the title part when he recorded the work. Young caught both the raffish, and then the pathetic, side of the role in a beautifully sung and executed account. He under- took it again, for Scottish Opera, at the 1967 Edinburgh Festival.
At Sadler's Wells, he was a noted Orpheus in both Monteverdi's and Gluck's operas based on the legend, not to forget Offenbach's. In the Gluck work, he easily encompassed the high tenor part predicated by the composer's French version of his opera. In Mozart, he sang the taxing part of Belmonte, in The Seraglio, with ease and elegance. His Handel readings included Jupiter and Xerxes with the Handel Opera Society at the Wells. But nothing there suited him better than the part of Rossini's Count Ory. His amusing, deftly sung portrayal of the libidinous Ory was a delight from start to finish. Hardly less admirable were two other Rossini parts, his Count Almaviva and his Ramiro (which he always sang opposite Patricia Kern's delightful Cinderella).
Young's sweet tone and comprehensive technique were deployed in a variety of Handel oratorios on both the concert platform and disc. In choral works by Bach, Haydn, Mozart and Beethoven, and eventually as Elgar's Gerontius, Young was always to the fore with his keen, fine and clear diction. That was also a feature of his interpretation of song. He had a large repertory of British works, many of which he committed to disc, and was also accomplished in lieder.
In retirement, Young became head of vocal studies of the Royal Northern College of Music'