Handel: Italian Cantatas

Handel: Italian Cantatas

by Lea Desandre Lea Desandre
Handel: Italian Cantatas

Handel: Italian Cantatas

by Lea Desandre Lea Desandre


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Handel's Italian cantatas date from early in his career, with few exceptions (none on display here). As a group they are less well-known than his operas, but they're equally virtuosic, and performances of the cantatas whole, as with the three here, are a bit more satisfying than with the operas. The cantatas were composed for parties among powerful Roman cardinals, and they catch the young Handel at the peak of his first success, as Roman audiences hailed him as "il caro Sassone" (the dear Saxon). The arias are fancy and a bit brash, and one key to a good performance is to catch this quality. Both the singers here, French soprano Sabine Devieilhe and French-Italian mezzo Lea Desandre, are up-and-comers, and they offer fine, dramatically enthusiastic performances. The highlight is perhaps the first cantata of the set, "Aminta e Fillide, HWV 83," where the contrast between the sparkling Devieilhe and the silvery-voiced Desandre is a pleasure in itself. This is a pastoral where the long-suffering shepherd gets the girl, for a change, even though she dismisses Cupid's charms (sample Desandre in "Fu scherzo, fu gioco," with its quiet high notes). The second and third works are solo cantatas, one for each singer, and Desandre effectively changes gears for subtle interactions with an active continuo cello. Both singers are aided superbly by Le Concert d'Astrée under Emmanuelle Haïm, a veteran group by this time but one that sounds entirely fresh in this delightful vocal program.

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Product Details

Release Date: 11/23/2018
Label: Erato
UPC: 0190295633622
catalogNumber: 584338
Rank: 97972


  1. Aminta E Fillide (Arresta il Passo), cantata for 2 sopranos, strings & continuo, HWV 83

    1. Introduzione - Recitativo: Arresta, arresta il passo
    2. Aria: Fermati, non fuggir!
    3. Recitativo: Questa sol volta almeno
    4. Aria: Fiamma bella ch'al ciel s'invia
    5. Recitativo: Credi a' miei detti, Aminta
    6. Aria: Forse ch'un giorno
    7. Recitativo: Invano, invan presumi
    8. Aria: Fu scherzo, fu gioco
    9. Recitativo: Libero piè fugga dal laccio
    10. Aria: Se vago rio fra sassi
    11. Recitativo: D'un incognito foco gia sento
    12. Aria: Sento ch'il Dio bambin
    13. Recitativo: Felicissimo punto
    14. Aria: A dispetto di sorte crudele
    15. Recitativo: Vincesti, Aminta
    16. Aria: È un foco quel d'amore
    17. Recitativo: Gloria bella di Aminta
    18. Aria: Chi ben ama non paventi
    19. Recitativo: E pur, Filli vezzosa
    20. Aria: Non si può dar un cor sì felice in amor
    21. Recitativo: O felice in amor dolce tormento
    22. Duetto: Per abbatter il rigore

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