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George Frideric Händel – Imeneo

George Frideric Händel – Imeneo

Recorded in 1986.

About this opera:
Imeneo (Hymen, HWV 41) is an opera seria in three acts by George Frideric Handel. The Italian-language libretto was adapted from Silvio Stampiglia’s Imeneo. Handel had begun composition in September 1738, but did not complete the score until 1740. The opera received its first performance at the Lincoln’s Inn Fields in London on 22 November 1740, and received another performance on 13 December. Handel then revised the score, and this revised version received concert performances in Dublin, on 24 and 31 March 1742. The first modern production was in Halle on 13 March 1960. The work was soon after performed in Birmingham in 1961, under the direction of Anthony Lewis. Lewis also led the first London revival of the opera since Handel’s time, in 1972 at the Royal Academy of Music. Lewis has prepared a performing edition of the opera.

The opera opens with Tirinto’s lamentation of his lost love, Rosmene, to barbaric pirates. Another girl has been abducted, Clomiri. Together he grieves with Clomiri’s father, Argenio. But they learn that a brave, strong man named Imeneo had killed every pirate while they were sleeping. Everyone rejoices, and Imeneo, along with the rest of the country and Rosmene’s parents, expects Rosmene to marry him, though her true feelings are for Tirinto. Thus Rosmene is caught in a painfully awkward love triangle. Additionally, Clomiri has amorous feelings for Imeneo. Clomiri helps Imeneo realize that Rosmene is hesitant because of her relationship with Tirinto, and that she is putting his contentment before hers. When Imeneo, who insists that Rosmene is ungrateful, and Tirinto, who calls her unfaithful, tell her to decide who she will marry, she feigns a nervous breakdown in front of the characters. Eventually, she marries Imeneo. She learns that true love is not as important as honor and duty. Rosmene asks Tirinto to be happy for her. Her decision leaves Clomiri and Tirinto to cry at the end. The chorus at the end of the opera restates that one must not bow down to one’s desire, but to reason; one must not follow true feelings and fidelity, but gratitude and honor.

The Artists:
Brewer Chamber Orchestra
Rudolph Palmer: conductor
John Ostendorf: Imeneo
Julianne Baird: Rosmene
D’Anna Fortunato: Tirinto
Beverly Hoch: Clomiri
Jan Opalach: Argeno

Track List:
1. Act I, Overture/Prelude (5:17)
2. Act I, Scene 1 (12:06)
3. Act I, Scene 2 (10:31)
4. Act I, Scenes 3-4 (9:05)
5. Act I, Scenes 5-6 (11:54)
6. Act II, Scene 1 (8:54)
1. Act II, Scenes 2-3 (9:13)
2. Act II, Scenes 4-5 (8:36)
3. Act II, Scene 6 (8:22)
4. Act III, Scenes 1-2 (7:51)
5. Act III, Scenes 3-6 (9:43)
6. Act III, Conclusion (11:07)

Stereo, DDD, mp3, 320 kbps, 295.42 Mb, 82:39 minutes. Covers & info included.



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