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George Frideric Händel – Agrippina

George Frideric Händel – Agrippina

About the Opera:
Agrippina (HMV 6) is an opera seria in three acts by George Frideric Handel, set to a libretto by Cardinal Vincenzo Grimani. The opera tells the story of Agrippina, the mother of Nero, as she plots the downfall of the Roman Emperor Claudius and the installation of her son as emperor. Agrippina premiered in Venice some time in December 1709 or January 1710; the date is usually given as the 26 December 1709. The cast consisted of some of the leading singers of the time in Northern Italy, such as Antonio Carli in the lead bass role. Stars Margherita Durastanti, who had recently sung the role of Mary Magdalene in Handel’s La Resurrezione; and Diamante Scarabelli, whose great success at Bologna in the 1697 pasticcio Perseo inspired the publication of a volume of eulogistic verse entitled La miniera del Diamante, also performed. Written when Handel was just 24, Agrippina was one of his first operas, and demonstrated his assimilation of the Italian style of opera, after his time spent in Rome composing Italianate cantatas and absorbing the influence of Alessandro Scarlatti, whom he had met in the city.
In early eighteenth century Europe, Italy’s reputation as a centre of music was unsurpassed, and it was customary for ambitious musicians with sufficient funds to go there to enhance their musical education. Handel visited Italy primarily for this reason, and he succeeded not only in this aim but also in securing his financial future. While in Italy, he learned to compose opera in the Italian style, and to set Italian words to music. Other works from this period include his well-known Dixit Dominus, and the dramatic cantata, written in Naples, Aci, Galatea e Polifemo. At this time there was little difference save increasing length between cantata, oratorio, and opera, as all depended on the alternation of secco recitative and aria da capo.
Agrippina proved extremely popular, and established Handel’s international reputation. The opera opened with a run of 27 successive nights of performance in Venice at the Teatro San Giovanni Grisostomo, which was an extraordinarily long run at that time. It was Handel’s last opera to be written in Italy and is believed by some to be the last composition of his time there. The opera was revised significantly before and possibly during its run. For example, during the run, Poppea’s “Ingannata” was replaced with an aria of extreme virtuosity, either to emphasise Poppea’s new-found resolution at this juncture of the opera or, as is thought more likely, to flatter Scarabelli by giving her further opportunity to show off her vocal abilities.
In the composition of Agrippina Handel borrowed extensively from his earlier oratorios and cantatas; the overture and all but five of some fifty arias, choruses, and trios are based on material from earlier in his career, though they were thoroughly reworked. Lucifer’s aria from La Resurrezione, “O voi dell’Erebo”, itself borrowed from Reinhard Keiser’s Octavia, returns as Pallas’s “Col raggio placido”. Agrippina’s “Non ho che cor amarti” was taken over, almost entirely unadapted, from Hero’s aria “Se la morte non vorrà” in Handel’s earlier dramatic cantata Qual ti reveggio, oh Dio. Narcissus’s “Spererò” is an adaptation of the aria “Sai perchè” from the composer’s cantata Clori, Tirsi e Fileno. This was common practice at the time, but the extent of borrowing in Agrippina is greater than in the vast majority of the composer’s other major dramatic works.  Handel did not only borrow musical ideas from himself: some of the arias derive from the works of composers such as Arcangelo Corelli and Jean-Baptiste Lully. Grimani’s ironic libretto was written specifically for the opera and avoided the moralizing tone of the later opera seria libretti by Metastasio and Zeno. The libretto has received much praise among Handel’s dramatic output: Sawyer describes it as “among the most convincing of all the composer’s dramatic works”. All the characters, with the sole exception of Claudius’s servant Lesbus, are historical, and the broad outline of the libretto draws heavily upon Tacitus’s Annals and Suetonius’ Life of Claudius. It has been suggested that the comical, amatory character of the Emperor Claudius is a caricature of Pope Clement XI, to whom Grimani was politically opposed

Track List:
cd1
01. Act I. Sinfonia (3:53)
02. Act I. Recitative: Nerone, amato, figlio! (2:25)
03. Act I. Aria: Col saggio tuo consiglio (5:03)
04. Act I. Recitative: Per cosí grande impresa (3:26)
05. Act I. Aria: La mia sorte fortunata (3:07)
06. Act I. Recitative: Or che Palante è vinto (2:20)
07. Act I. Aria: Volo pronto, e lieto il core (3:18)
08. Act I. Recitative/Aria: Quanto fa, quanto puote (2:57)
09. Act I. Arioso/Recitative: Qual piacere a un cor pietoso (2:36)
10. Act I. Recitative: Amici, al sen vi stringo (1:30)
11. Act I. Recitative/Quartet: Voi, che dell´alta Roma (1:52)
12. Act I. Recitative/Arietta: Ma qual di liete trombe (2:18)
13. Act I. Recitative: Alle tue piante, o Augusta (3:26)
14. Act I. Aria: Tu ben degno (5:17)
15. Act I. Recitative/Aria: L´ultima del gioir mèta gradita (4:15)
16. Act I. Aria: Vaghe perle, eletti fiori (4:34)
17. Act I. Recitative: Otton, Claudio, Nerone (2:52)
18. Act I. Aria: È un foco quel d’amore (1:55)
19. Act I. Recitative: Ma qui Agrippina viene (2:48)
20. Act I. Aria: Ho un non so nel cor (2:26)
21. Act I. Recitative/Aria: Cieli, quai strani casi (2:37)
22. Act I. Recitative: Non veggo alcun (0:21)
23. Act I. Aria: Pur ritorno a rimirarvi (4:12)
24. Act I. Recitative: Ma, oh ciel, mesta e confusa (3:38)
25. Act I. Arietta: Vieni, o cara (1:32)
cd2
01. Act I. Recitative/Trio: Che mai farò! (2:13)
02. Act I. Aria: Non ho cor che per amarti (5:02)
03. Act I. Recitative/Aria: Se Ottone m’ingannò (4:01)
04. Act II. Recitative: Dunque noi siam traditi? (0:46)
05. Act II. Aria: Coronato il crin d’alloro (3:49)
06. Act II. Recitative: Ecco il superbo (1:30)
07. Act II. Chorus: Di timpani e trombe (1:42)
08. Act II. Recitative/Aria: Nelle Brittania vinta (4:45)
09. Act II. Recitative: Signor, quanto il mio core (2:16)
10. Act II. Arietta: Nulla sperar da me (4:36)
11. Act II. Recitative: Otton, qual portentoso fulmine (1:14)
12. Act II. Aria: Voi che udite il mio lamento (5:13)
13. Act II. Aria: Bella pur del mio diletto (3:49)
14. Act II. Arioso: Vaghe fonti (7:04)
15. Act II. Aria: Ti vo’ giusta e non pietosa (2:27)
16. Act II. Recitative: Di quali ordite trame (1:45)
17. Act II. Recitative: Pur al fine ti ritrovo! (2:35)
18. Act II. Aria: Col peso del tuo amor (3:59)
19. Act II. Recitative/Aria: Qual bramato piacere (3:32)
20. Act II. Aria: Pensieri, voi mi tormentate! (7:08)
21. Act II. Recitative: Se ben nemica sorte (1:11)
22. Act II. Aria: Col raggio placido (2:53)
cd3
01. Act II. Recitative: Di giunger non dispero al mio desire (1:03)
02. Act II. Aria: Spererò, poi che mel dice (2:51)
03. Act II. Recitative: Per dar la pace al core (4:00)
04. Act II. Aria: Basta sol che tu chieda (2:09)
05. Act II. Recitative/Aria: Favorevol la sorte oggi m’arride (4:58)
06. Act III. Recitative: Il caro Ottone al precipizio io spinsi (1:37)
07. Act III. Aria: Tacerò, tacerò (4:50)
08. Act III. Recitative: Attendo qui Nerone e Claudio ancora (1:27)
09. Act III. Aria: Coll’ardor del tuo bel core (2:21)
10. Act III. Recitative: Amico ciel, seconda il mio disegno (6:33)
11. Act III. Aria: Io di Roma il Giove sono (2:50)
12. Act III. Recitative: Pur al fin se ne andò (1:48)
13. Act III. Aria: Pur ch’io ti stringa al sen (2:56)
14. Act III. Recitative/Aria: Piega pur del mio cor (2:02)
15. Act III. Recitative: Cotanto osò Poppea? (1:22)
16. Act III. Aria: Come nube che fugge dal vento (3:38)
17. Act III. Recitative: Evvi donna più empia? (2:39)
18. Act III. Recitative: Adorato mio sposo (5:50)
19. Act III. Aria: Se vuoi pace, o volto amato (2:05)
20. Act III. Recitative: Ecco la mia rivale (4:04)
21. Act III. Chorus: Lieto il Tebro increspi l’onda (1:24)
22. Act III. Recitative/Aria: D’Otton e di Poppea sul grande innesto (3:10)
23. Act III. Ballo (3:18)

The Artists:

mp3, 320 kbps, cd ripping, 3 hours 16 minutes
Covers, info & synopsis included.

Part1 —–  Part2 —–  Part3 —–  Part4 —– Part5 —–  Part6

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