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Handel in Italy - solo cantatas

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Label
Catalogue numberBIS-SACD-1695
Release date2008-06-30
Discs1
Orig. sample rate44100Hz

BBC Music Magazine: Choice of the Month; International Record Review: outstanding.

As a young and aspiring composer, Handel spent 1706-1710 in Italy. These were years that would prove decisive for him, as he met with excellent opportunities to expand and perfect his skills, especially in the genre of vocal music. Based in Rome, where opera was banned by papal decree, Handel only composed two works in this most Italian of genres during his stay. Instead, following the example of other composers in the Holy City, he opted for another genre which incorporated similar dramatic and expressive qualities – the cantata. During his Italian years, it is believed that Handel may have written as many as 150 such works, including a number of so-called cantate con stromenti for one or more solo voices plus additional instruments. The four cantatas on this disc feature the standard combination for such works: soprano, two violins and basso continuo. Thematically, they can be grouped in pairs: Notte placida e cheta (Calm and Placid Night) and Un’ alma innamorata (A Soul in Love) tell of unhappy love and contain elements from Classical mythology against a pastoral backdrop. By contrast, Figlio d’alte speranze (Son of High Hopes) and Agrippina condotta a morire (Agrippina Led to Her Death) tell tales of power, and of its use and abuse. Each cantata presents a small drama in its own right, and can be seen as a preliminary study in the field of opera, in which Handel thoroughly explores the best ways of using the expressive means at his disposal.

This exciting programme is presented by Emma Kirkby and London Baroque, household names in the sphere of ‘early music’ and beyond, and certainly no new-comers to the works of Handel. Indeed, when they last joined forces in a Handel programme (BIS-CD-1065) the website MusicWeb International called the performances ones that ‘make one wish that all Handel music making could be of this order’, while the reviewer in BBC Music Magazine wrote ‘I've seldom been as moved by a recording, both music and performance’.
 
Extra material for download
 
 
  Composer: Händel, Georg Friedrich
  Notte placida e cheta, HWV142 15:04
01 Recitativo: Notte placida e cheta – Aria: Zeffiretti, deh!
venite
06:22 $ 1.34 USD
02 Recitativo: Momento fortunato – Aria: Per un istante 02:30 $ 0.53 USD
03 Accompagnato: Ma già sento che spande – Aria: Luci belle,
vaghe stelle
03:38 $ 0.76 USD
04 Accompagnato: Oh delizie d’amor – Aria: Che non si dà 02:34 $ 0.54 USD
 
 
  Composer: Händel, Georg Friedrich
  Un’ alma innamorata, HWV173 13:26
05 Recitativo: Un’ alma innamorata – Aria: Quel povero core 06:34 $ 1.38 USD
06 Recitativo: E pur benche egli veda – Aria: Io godo, rido e
spero
05:12 $ 1.09 USD
07 Recitativo: In quanto a me ritrovo – Aria: Ben impari come
se ama
01:40 $ 0.35 USD
 
 
  Composer: Händel, Georg Friedrich
  Concerto a Quattro in D major 05:41
08 I. Con contento 01:40 $ 0.35 USD
09 II. Allegro 01:27 $ 0.30 USD
10 III. Largo 01:34 $ 0.33 USD
11 IV. Presto 01:00 $ 0.21 USD
 
 
  Composer: Händel, Georg Friedrich
  Figlio d’alte speranze, HWV113 10:00
12 Recitativo: Figlio d’alte speranze – Aria: Troppo costa
ad un’ alma
04:40 $ 0.98 USD
13 Recitativo: Era conforto il suo penar – Aria: Sia guida
sua stella
02:39 $ 0.56 USD
14 Recitativo: In così dir previde – Aria: Brillava protetto 02:41 $ 0.56 USD
 
 
  Composer: Händel, Georg Friedrich
  Agrippina condotta a morire (Dunque sarà pur vero), HWV110 21:59
15 Recitativo: Dunque sarà pur vero 00:54 $ 0.19 USD
16 Aria: Orrida, oscura 03:02 $ 0.64 USD
17 Recitativo: Ma pria che d’empia morte 00:48 $ 0.17 USD
18 Aria: Renda cenere il tiranno 02:26 $ 0.51 USD
19 Recitativo: Si, si, del gran tiranno 01:00 $ 0.21 USD
20 Scena: Come, o Dio! bramo la morte 05:28 $ 1.15 USD
21 Aria: Se infelice al mondo vissi 05:03 $ 1.06 USD
22 Recitativo: Trema l’ingrato figlio! 00:56 $ 0.20 USD
23 Aria: Su lacerate il seno 01:57 $ 0.41 USD
24 Recitativo: Ecco a morte già corro 00:25 $ 0.09 USD
 
  Album total 66:10
SopranoKirkby, Emma
EnsembleLondon Baroque
ComposerHändel, Georg Friedrich

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