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Handel in Italy: Cantatas, Arias, Serenata (14 CDs)

$ 45.49 $ 49.99

This extensive set showcases works from Handel's short but astonishingly productive time in Italy in his twenties, just before he settled in London. His travels around the country provided him with the opportunity to meet a number of influential contemporaries, and the results of this compositional flourishing are wide-ranging, from opera via instrumental music to secular cantatas. This release focuses particularly on the latter, affording the listener a fascinating glimpse into the first appearance of many melodic ideas which would later resurface in Handel's mature dramatic works. Indeed, listeners might well feel as though they are listening to scenes from operas – cantatas were a means, at the time, of circumventing the ban on opera in Rome. The familiar theme of the joys and sorrows of love pervades much of the music, but the pieces are richly varied, particularly in their scoring: we hear flutes, recorders, oboes, bassoons, trumpets and the full contingent of strings, including viola da gamba, in numerous different combinations. Often, the orchestral forces for a particular piece are modest, but the emotional depth that Handel draws out is always striking. A high-calibre, international roster of soloists and ensembles performs the works, with many of the compositions for soprano sung by Stefanie True, whose "vocal agility, accurate intonation and stylish ornamentation are spot-on in this repertoire" (Music Web International). Meanwhile, early music specialists Contrasto Armonico bring "soft and warm sonorities" to the set (Gramophone).

Handel:
Il delirio amoroso, HWV 99
Stefanie True (soprano)
Contrasto Armonico
Ditemi, o piante, HWV 107
Stefanie True (soprano)
Contrasto Armonico
Care selve, aure grate, HWV 88
Stefanie True (soprano)
Contrasto Armonico
Allor ch'io dissi: Addio, HWV 80
Stefanie True (soprano)
Contrasto Armonico
Un' alma inamorata HWV 173
Stefanie True (soprano)
Contrasto Armonico
O lucenti, o sereni occhi HWV 144
Stefanie True (soprano)
Contrasto Armonico
Aure soavi e liete HWV 84
Stefanie True (soprano)
Contrasto Armonico
Tra le fiamme, HWV170
Stefanie True (soprano)
Contrasto Armonico
Aminta e Fillide (Arresta il passo) HWV 83
Stefanie True (Fillide), Klaartje van Veldhoven (Aminta)
Contrasto Armonico
Clori, mia bella Cloria HWV 92
Stefanie True (soprano)
Contrasto Armonico
Sans y penser (Cantate française) HWV 155
Klaartje van Veldhoven (soprano)
Contrasto Armonico
Clori, vezzosa Clori HWV 95
Stefanie True (soprano)
Contrasto Armonico
Pensieri notturni di Filli (Nel dolce dell'oblio), HWV 134
Klaartje van Veldhoven (soprano)
Contrasto Armonico
Lungi n’andò Fileno HWV 128
Stefanie True (soprano)
Contrasto Armonico
Mira Lilla gentile
Valentina Varriale (soprano)
La caduta di Icaro
Valentina Varriale (soprano)
Tra le fiamme, HWV170
Valentina Varriale (soprano)
The Alchymist HWV 43: Incidental music
Musica ad Rhenum
Apollo e Dafne, HWV 122
Tom Sol (Apollo), Nicola Wemyss (Dafne)
Musica ad Rhenum
Ah, che pur tropo e vero, HWV 77
Recondita Armonia Ensemble
Sonata in D minor for recorder and continuo, HWV367a, Op. 1 No. 9a 'Fitzwilliam III'
Recondita Armonia Ensemble
Dolc'e pur d'amor l'affanno, HWV109a
Recondita Armonia Ensemble
Oboe Sonata in f major, HWV 363a
Recondita Armonia Ensemble
Care selve, aure grate, HWV 88
Recondita Armonia Ensemble
Dolce mio ben, s'io taccio, HWV 108
Anna Korondi (soprano), Rezso Pertorini (cello), Judit Péteri (harpsichord)
Il Gelsomino, HWV 164a
Anna Korondi (soprano), Rezso Pertorini (cello), Judit Péteri (harpsichord)
Partì, l'idolo mio, HWV 147
Anna Korondi (soprano), Rezso Pertorini (cello), Judit Péteri (harpsichord)
Chi rapì la pace al core, HWV 90
Anna Korondi (soprano), Rezso Pertorini (cello), Judit Péteri (harpsichord)
Stelle, perfide stelle, HWV 168
Anna Korondi (soprano), Rezso Pertorini (cello), Judit Péteri (harpsichord)
Notte placida e cheta, HWV 142
Mária Zádori (soprano), Ralf Popken (counter-tenor)
Capella Savaria
Ero e Leandro, HWV 150
Mária Zádori (soprano), Ralf Popken (counter-tenor)
Capella Savaria
Amarilli vezzosa, HWV 82
Mária Zádori (soprano), Ralf Popken (counter-tenor)
Capella Savaria
Crudel tiranno Amor, HWV97
Mária Zádori (soprano)
Concerto Armonico
Agrippina condotta a morire, HWV 110
Mária Zádori (soprano)
Concerto Armonico
Armida abbandonata, HWV 105
Veronika Winter (soprano)
Das kleine Konzert
Figlio d'alte speranze, HWV 113
Veronika Winter (soprano)
Das kleine Konzert
Splenda l’alba in oriente, cantata, HWV 166
Jochen Kowalski (alto)
Akademie für alte Musik Berlin
Figli del mesto cor, HWV 112
Jochen Kowalski (alto)
Akademie für alte Musik Berlin
Mi palpita il cor (HWV 132c)
Jochen Kowalski (alto)
Akademie für alte Musik Berlin
Vedendo amor, HWV 175
Jochen Kowalski (alto)
Akademie für alte Musik Berlin
Aci, Galatea e Polifemo
Stefanie True (Aci), Luciana Mancini (Galatea), Mitchell Sandler (Polifemo)
Contrasto Armonico, Marco Vitale