Handelby Renée Fleming
Renée Fleming is no newcomer to Handel, having starred in an acclaimed recording of Alcina, but it's still a treat to hear her creamy soprano lavished on a program of the composer's exquisite, tuneful arias. Those who swear by the pure, almost ascetic approach taken by Baroque specialists may be shocked by the richness of Fleming's voice. But Fleming doesn't sing this music the same way she sings Verdi or Massenet. In fact, there's a lightness and intimacy here that's disarming, as if the microphones captured Fleming singing to herself. This is true even in the fast, virtuosic selections, like "Scoglio d'immota fronte" from Scipione, where she keeps her instrument in check. Runs and roulades are nimble and articulate, yet what impresses most is the sheer musicality of her interpretations, reminding us that Handel was one of the creators of the bel canto style. And, surely, the old master would have swooned to hear his music sung with such graceful expressiveness and tonal beauty. The Orchestra of the Age of Enlightenment, playing on period instruments, produce a warm, transparent sound, providing elegant and characterful support. In a word: gorgeous.
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- Semele, oratorio, HWV 58: Oh sleep, why dost thou leave me?
- Semele, oratorio, HWV 58: Endless pleasure
- Scipione (Publio Cornelio Scipione), opera, HWV 20: Scoglio d'immota fronte
- Orlando, opera, HWV 31: Quando spieghi i tuoi tormenti
- Serse (Xerxes), opera, HWV 40: Ombra mai fù
- Samson, oratorio, HWV 57: To fleeting pleasures make your court
- Rinaldo, opera, HWV 7: Lascia ch'io pianga
- Rinaldo, opera, HWV 7: Dunque, i lacci d'un volto...Ah! crudel
- Samson, oratorio, HWV 57: Let the bright Seraphim
- Giulio Cesare in Egitto, opera, HWV 17: V'adoro, pupille
- Giulio Cesare in Egitto, opera, HWV 17: Da tempeste il legno infranto
- Rodelinda, regina de' Langobardi, opera, HWV 19: Ritorna, o caro e dolce mio tesoro
- Lotario, opera, HWV 26: Sommo rettor del cielo...D'una torbida sorgente
- Agrippina, opera, HWV 6: Pensieri, voi mi tormentate
- Agrippina, opera, HWV 6: Bel piacere è godere fido amor!
- Alexander Balus, oratorio, HWV 65: Calm thou my soul...Convey me to some peaceful sho
Performance CreditsRenée Fleming Primary Artist
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