Handel in Italy: Solo Cantatas | BIS BISSACD1695

Handel in Italy: Solo Cantatas


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Label: BIS

Cat No: BISSACD1695

Barcode: 7318599916958

Format: Hybrid SACD

Number of Discs: 1

Release Date: 28th July 2008

Penguin Guide 4 stars



During his years in Italy (1706-1710), it is believed that Handel may have written as many as 150 cantatas, 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 the use and abuse of power.

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’.

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