George Frideric Händel – Arias for Cuzzoni, Durastani, Senesimo & Montagnana

George Frideric Händel – Arias for Cuzzoni, Durastani, Senesimo & Montagnana

Recorded between November 1986 and October 1991 in California.

About these works:
This bargain-priced box set is a must-have for anyone who loves Handel’s operas. Whilst Nicholas McGegan has had his critics over some of his Goettingen recordings, it cannot be denied that he has rescued some of Handel’s finest arias and operas from the dustbin of History. And here (87 arias later), he has a fine cast of singers all re-living the repertoire of some of the best singers of the 18th century – Lisa Saffer sings arias by Cuzzoni, Drew Minter arias by Senesino, David Thomas arias for Montagnana, and Lorraine Hunt Lieberson arias by Durastanti.
The excellent Philharmonia Baroque Orchestra provide superb accompaniment for each singer, and the sound quality is very good across all four discs. The whole comes with a very informative and exhaustive booklet containing introductory essays for each singer, as well as full libretti.
Highlights include Lisa Saffer’s ravishing account of Falsa Imagine (Ottone) which Cuzzoni allegedly refused to sing as it was too plain – until Handel threatened to throw her out of the window..! Lorraine Hunt’s re-enaction of Durastanti’s Sesto role from Giulio Cesare sees a committed ‘L’angue offenso mai riposa’. Drew Minter’s coppery and languid countertenor gives delight in little-known arias from Riccardo Primo (Agitato da fiere tempeste) and Tolomeo (Stille Amare). Whilst David Thomas’ cavernous bass voice ranges across opera and oratorio roles for Montagnana.
In all this is a superb collection that illustrates what a genius Handel was at characterisation and word-painting. No Handel lover will want to miss it.

The Artists:

Track List:

01. Spietati (Rodelinda) (4:17)
02. Ombre, piante, urne funeste! (Rodelinda) (4:46)
03. Il volo cosi fido (Riccardo Primo) (5:10)
04. Se pieta di me non senti (Giulio Cesare) (10:56)
05. Piangero la sorte mia (Giulio Cesare) (6:03)
06. Da tempeste il legno infranto (Giulio Cesare) (6:17)
07. Scoglio d’immota fronte (Scipione) (5:27)
08. False immagine (Ottone) (7:17)
09. Affani del pansier (Ottone) (7:34)
10. Se non mi vuol amar (Tamerlano) (7:14)
11. L’Amor che per te sento (Alessandro) (4:42)
12. Amante stravagante (Flavio) (4:24)
01. Ogni vento (Agrippina) (5:21)
02. Pensieri, voi mi tormentate (Agrippina) (4:47)
03. Ombra cara di mia sposa (Radamisto) (8:02)
04. Qual nave (Radamisto) (6:16)
05. Dimmi, crudele Amore (Muzio Scevola) (6:30)
06. Vieni, o figlio (Ottone) (7:55)
07. Svegliatevi nel core (Giulio Cesare) (5:12)
08. Cara speme (Giulio Cesare) (4:54)
09. L’angue offeso mai riposa (Giulio Cesare) (5:47)
10. L’aure che spira (Giulio Cesare) (5:17)
11. La giustizia (Giulio Cesare) (4:22)
12. Mirami altero in volto (Arianna) (3:54)
13. Qual leon (Arianna) (5:56)
01. Va tacito (Giulio Cesare) (6:17)
02. Non e vago e bello (Giulio Cesare) (3:02)
03. Vivi, tiranno (Rodelinda) (5:33)
04. Che piu si tarda omai (Tolomeo) (6:36)
05. Nube che il Sole (Riccardo Primo) (6:14)
06. Agitato da fiere tempeste (Orlando) (4:38)
07. Ah Stigie larve! (Orlando) (7:50)
08. Gia per la man (Orlando) (5:45)
09. T’ubbidiro, crudele (Orlando) (3:35)
10. E queste la Mercede (Orlando) (5:04)
11. Amor, nel mio penar (Flavio) (6:06)
01. Se un bell’ardire (Ezio) (3:29)
02. Nasce al bosco (Ezio) (5:39)
03. Già risonar (Ezio) (5:37)
04. Fra l’ombre e gli orrori (Sosarme) (5:07)
05. Sento il cor (Sosarme) (5:05)
06. Tiene Giove (Sosarme) (3:06)
07. Pluck root and branch (Esther) (2:26)
08. Turn not, O Queen (Esther) (2:35)
09. How art thou fall’n (Esther) (4:21)
10. Ferito son d’Amore (Acis & Galatea) (3:47)
11. Piangi pur (Tolomeo) (2:34)
12. Lascia Amor (Orlando) (4:10)
13. Sorge infausta una procella (Orlando) (6:42)
14. Awake the ardour (Deborah) (3:33)
15. Swift inundation (Deborah) (3:26)
16. Tears, such as tender fathers shed (Deborah) (2:39)
17. Ah, canst thou but prove me! (Athalia) (3:23)

Stereo, DDD, mp3, 320 kbps, 240:35 minutes, 756.19 Mb (music) + 97.22 Mb (scans). Full info included.

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