℗ 2008 BIS Records Records
 

Handel in Italy: Solo Cantatas, HWV 110, 113, 142, 173

Emma Kirkby, London Baroque

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Notte placida e cheta, HWV 142  
1
Recitative: Notte placida e cheta - Aria: Zeffiretti, deh venite
George Frideric Handel; Emma Kirkby; London Baroque
6:22
2
Recitative: Momento fortunato - Aria: Per un istante
George Frideric Handel; Emma Kirkby; London Baroque
2:30
3
Accompagnato: Ma gia sento che spande - Aria: Luci belle, vaghe stelle
George Frideric Handel; Emma Kirkby; London Baroque
3:38
4
Accompagnato: Oh delizie d'amor satie mie voglie - Aria: Che non si da
George Frideric Handel; Emma Kirkby; London Baroque
2:34
Un'alma innamorata, HWV 173  
5
Recitative: Un' alma innamorata - Aria: Quel povero core
George Frideric Handel; Emma Kirkby; London Baroque
6:34
6
Recitative: E pur benche egli veda - Aria: lo godo, rido e spero
George Frideric Handel; Emma Kirkby; London Baroque
5:12
7
Recitative: In quanto a me ritrovo - Aria: Ben impari come se ama
George Frideric Handel; Emma Kirkby; London Baroque
1:40
Concerto a 4 in D Major (attrib. G.F.Telemann)  
8
I. Con contento
George Frideric Handel; London Baroque
1:40
9
II. Allegro
George Frideric Handel; London Baroque
1:27
10
III. Largo
George Frideric Handel; London Baroque
1:34
11
IV. Presto
George Frideric Handel; London Baroque
1:00
Figlio d'alte speranze, HWV 113  
12
Recitativo: Figlio d'alte speranze - Aria: Troppo costa ad un' alma
George Frideric Handel; Emma Kirkby; London Baroque
4:40
13
Recitativo: Era conforto il suo penar - Aria: Sia guida sua stella
George Frideric Handel; Emma Kirkby; London Baroque
2:39
14
Recitativo: In cosi dir previde - Aria: Brillava protetto
George Frideric Handel; Emma Kirkby; London Baroque
2:41
Dunque sara pur vero, HWV 110, "Agrippina condotta a morire"  
15
Recitative: Dunque sara ur vero
George Frideric Handel; Emma Kirkby; London Baroque
0:54
16
Aria: Orrida, oscura, l'etra si renda
George Frideric Handel; Emma Kirkby; London Baroque
3:02
17
Recitative: Ma pria che d'empia morte
George Frideric Handel; Emma Kirkby; London Baroque
0:48
18
Aria: Renda cenere il tiranno
George Frideric Handel; Emma Kirkby; London Baroque
2:26
19
Recitative: Si, si, del gran tiranno
George Frideric Handel; Emma Kirkby; London Baroque
1:00
20
Aria and Recitative: Come, o Dio! - Forsenneta … - Si, si … - Incanta … - Cada lacero … - Sparga quel … - Come, o Dio!
George Frideric Handel; Emma Kirkby; London Baroque
5:28
21
Aria: Se infelice al mondo vissi! - Ma vendetta almen faro
George Frideric Handel; Emma Kirkby; London Baroque
5:03
22
Recitative: Trema l'ingrato figlio
George Frideric Handel; Emma Kirkby; London Baroque
0:56
23
Aria: Su lacerate il seno
George Frideric Handel; Emma Kirkby; London Baroque
1:57
24
Recitative: Ecco a morte gia corro
George Frideric Handel; Emma Kirkby; London Baroque
0:25
Digital Booklet
Total Playing Time    66:10
"Outstanding."
- International Record Review

As a young and aspiring composer, Handel spent 1706-1710 in Italy. These were years that would prove decisive for him, as he met with excellent opportunities to expand and perfect his skills, especially in the genre of vocal music. Based in Rome, where opera was banned by papal decree, Handel only composed two works in this most Italian of genres during his stay. Instead, following the example of other composers in the Holy City, he opted for another genre which incorporated similar dramatic and expressive qualities – the cantata. During his Italian years, it is believed that Handel may have written as many as 150 such works, including a number of so-called cantate con stromenti for one or more solo voices plus additional instruments.

The four cantatas on this album feature the standard combination for such works: soprano, two violins and basso continuo. Thematically, they can be grouped in pairs: Notte placida e cheta (Calm and Placid Night) and Un’ alma innamorata (A Soul in Love) tell of unhappy love and contain elements from Classical mythology against a pastoral backdrop. By contrast, Figlio d’alte speranze (Son of High Hopes) and Agrippina condotta a morire (Agrippina Led to Her Death) tell tales of power, and of its use and abuse. Each cantata presents a small drama in its own right, and can be seen as a preliminary study in the field of opera, in which Handel thoroughly explores the best ways of using the expressive means at his disposal.

This exciting programme is presented by Emma Kirkby and London Baroque, household names in the sphere of ‘early music’ and beyond, and certainly no new-comers to the works of Handel. Indeed, when they last joined forces in a Handel programme the website MusicWeb International called the performances ones that ‘make one wish that all Handel music making could be of this order’, while the reviewer in BBC Music Magazine wrote ‘I've seldom been as moved by a recording, both music and performance’.
44.1 kHz / 24-bit PCM – BIS Studio Masters

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