Handel: Italian Cantatas (1)

Handel: Italian Cantatas (1)
Composer George Frideric Handel
Artist Carlotta Colombo soprano
Maria Dalia Albertini soprano
Marta Fumagalli contralto
Fantazyas
Roberto Balconi harpsichord & conductor
Format 1 CD
Cat. number 96478
EAN code 5028421964782
Release June 2022

Buy online

  • Buy at Amazon

Other buying options

About this release

Four little-known pastoral cantatas by the young Handel in new and stylishly Italianate recordings.

In 1706, 21-year-old Handel arrived in Italy as a prodigious celebrity, already having caught the eye and won the patronage of the Medici family in Florence. Further honours and rewards were heaped on him when he moved to Rome the following year and came under the sponsorship of the most cultured and influential of the city’s noble families. It was for them that he wrote a string of secular cantatas, on time-honoured and popular themes of arcadian and amorous bliss.

These Roman cantatas have received more attention from scholars and performers in recent years, but the four presented here are still relatively unfamiliar, beginning with the brief, hunting-themed Diana cacciatrice HWV79. This cantata’s striking feature is an aria with echo soprano and trumpet solo, while Alpestre monte is an anguished tale of betrayal and suicide, including a pair of ravishing arias (again for soprano).
Faithfulness is once more the vexed question posed by the album’s best-known cantata, Tu fedel? Tu costante? The searing purity of Carlotta Colombo’s soprano makes her a worthy successor to distinguished early-music specialists who have taken on the work, including Emma Kirkby. Conceived on a grander scale, Olinto pastore arcade alle glorie del Tebro is scored for three solo singers, to present an allegorical discussion between the shepherd Olinto, the river Tiber and the embodiment of Glory, concerning how the humble shepherd (a veiled allusion to Handel’s patron at the time) will restore Rome to her ancient greatness.

The singer and conductor Roberto Balconi founded Fantazyas in 2000 as a flexible ensemble of instruments and voices specialising in Italian music of the 17th and 18th centuries. They have toured across Europe and Japan.

Georg Frideric Handel (1685-1759) had probably encountered Gian Gastone de’ Medici, son of the Grand Duke of Tuscany, in Hamburg at some point before heading south to Italy, where he arrived in August 1706, staying in Florence as a guest of Ferdinando de’ Medici. Keen to acquire new creative inspiration, the following year the composer decided to visit Rome, where a number of powerful patrons chose to support him, including Cardinals Benedetto Pamphilj and Pietro Ottoboni. It was in Rome that Handel first composed oratorios. In the summer of 1707, he returned briefly to Florence to stage his first Italian opera, Rodrigo. He was soon back in Rome, however, finding the atmosphere there particularly stimulating for the production of his secular cantatas.
Handel’s numerous cantatas on Italian librettos largely use one, two or three voices with basso continuo and instrumental accompaniment. Many of them embody elements relating to dramatic structure that were to characterize the arias and scenes of the grand operas he staged during his career in England. The subjects of the Rome cantatas tend to be pastoral, Arcadian, amorous or on occasions celebrative.
This new recording presents the cantatas Diana Cacciatrice HWV79, Alpestre Monte HWV81, Tu fedel? Tu costante? HWV171 and Olinto pastore, Tebro fiume, Gloria HWV143. Music of great power, charm and drama, blessed with Handel’s melodic genius.
Sung by three excellent Italian singers Carlotta Colombo (soprano), Maria Dalia Albertini (soprano) and Marta Fumagalli (contralto). Roberto Balconi directs the ensemble Fantazyas, playing on authentic instruments. The same forces already recorded for Brilliant Classics works by Duni, Ghizzolo and Caccini, which was nominated for the prestigious Preis der deutschen Schallplattenkritik.

Track list

Disk 1

  1. George Frideric Handel: Diana Cacciatrice in D Major, HWV 79: I. La marche
  2. George Frideric Handel: Diana Cacciatrice in D Major, HWV 79: II. Recitativo - Alla caccia, alla caccia
  3. George Frideric Handel: Diana Cacciatrice in D Major, HWV 79: III. Aria - Foriera la tromba
  4. George Frideric Handel: Diana Cacciatrice in D Major, HWV 79: IV. Coro - Alla caccia, alla caccia
  5. George Frideric Handel: Diana Cacciatrice in D Major, HWV 79: V. Arietta - Di questa selva, tra dubbie vie
  6. George Frideric Handel: Diana Cacciatrice in D Major, HWV 79: VI. Coro - Alla caccia, alla caccia
  7. George Frideric Handel: Alpestre monte in C Minor, HWV 81: I. Accompagnato - Alpestre monte e solitaria selva
  8. George Frideric Handel: Alpestre monte in C Minor, HWV 81: II. Aria largo e staccato - Io so ben ch’il vostro orrore
  9. George Frideric Handel: Alpestre monte in C Minor, HWV 81: III. Recitativo - Quindi me n’vengo a voi per cercar morte
  10. George Frideric Handel: Alpestre monte in C Minor, HWV 81: IV. Aria (Adagio) - Almen dopo il fato mio
  11. George Frideric Handel: Tu fedel? Tu costante? in G Minor, HWV 171: I. Sonata
  12. George Frideric Handel: Tu fedel? Tu costante? in G Minor, HWV 171: II. Recitativo - Tu fedel? Tu costante? Ah, non è vero!
  13. George Frideric Handel: Tu fedel? Tu costante? in G Minor, HWV 171: III. Aria un poco allegro - Cento belle ami, fileno
  14. George Frideric Handel: Tu fedel? Tu costante? in G Minor, HWV 171: IV. Recitativo - L’occhio nero, vivace
  15. George Frideric Handel: Tu fedel? Tu costante? in G Minor, HWV 171: V. Aria - Se licori, filli ed io
  16. George Frideric Handel: Tu fedel? Tu costante? in G Minor, HWV 171: VI. Recitativo - Ma se non hai più d’un sol cuore in petto
  17. George Frideric Handel: Tu fedel? Tu costante? in G Minor, HWV 171: VII. Aria - Se non ti piace amarmi
  18. George Frideric Handel: Tu fedel? Tu costante? in G Minor, HWV 171: VIII. Recitativo - Ma il tuo genio incostante
  19. George Frideric Handel: Tu fedel? Tu costante? in G Minor, HWV 171: IX. Aria - Sì, crudel, ti lascerò
  20. George Frideric Handel: Olinto pastore arcade alle glorie del tebro, HWV 143: I. Sonata
  21. George Frideric Handel: Olinto pastore arcade alle glorie del tebro, HWV 143: II. Aria (Andante), Olinto - Oh! Come chiare e belle
  22. George Frideric Handel: Olinto pastore arcade alle glorie del tebro, HWV 143: III. Recitativo, Olinto & Tebro - Ma quel che più d’ogn’altro
  23. George Frideric Handel: Olinto pastore arcade alle glorie del tebro, HWV 143: IV. Aria (Largo), Tebro - Chi mi chiama, or che non sono
  24. George Frideric Handel: Olinto pastore arcade alle glorie del tebro, HWV 143: V. Recitativo, Olinto & Tebro - Dell’arcadi foreste
  25. George Frideric Handel: Olinto pastore arcade alle glorie del tebro, HWV 143: VI. Aria (Allegro), Tebro - Più non spero di lauro Guerriero
  26. George Frideric Handel: Olinto pastore arcade alle glorie del tebro, HWV 143: VII. Recitativo, Olinto & Tebro - Per te non più rubella
  27. George Frideric Handel: Olinto pastore arcade alle glorie del tebro, HWV 143: VIII. Aria (Adagio), Gloria - Caro Tebro, amico fiume
  28. George Frideric Handel: Olinto pastore arcade alle glorie del tebro, HWV 143: IX. Recitativo, Gloria - Sì, la Gloria son io
  29. George Frideric Handel: Olinto pastore arcade alle glorie del tebro, HWV 143: X. Aria, Gloria - Tornami a vagheggiar
  30. George Frideric Handel: Olinto pastore arcade alle glorie del tebro, HWV 143: XI. Recitativo, Olinto - Tebro, tu non rispondi?
  31. George Frideric Handel: Olinto pastore arcade alle glorie del tebro, HWV 143: XII. Aria, Olinto - Al suon che destano belliche squille
  32. George Frideric Handel: Olinto pastore arcade alle glorie del tebro, HWV 143: XIII. Recitativo, Tebro & Gloria - Di stupor, di diletto
  33. George Frideric Handel: Olinto pastore arcade alle glorie del tebro, HWV 143: XIV. Aria (Allegro), Tebro - Io torno a sperare
  34. George Frideric Handel: Olinto pastore arcade alle glorie del tebro, HWV 143: XV. Recitativo, Gloria - Di sì giuste speranze
  35. George Frideric Handel: Olinto pastore arcade alle glorie del tebro, HWV 143: XVI. Aria, Gloria - Astro clemente
  36. George Frideric Handel: Olinto pastore arcade alle glorie del tebro, HWV 143: XVII. Recitativo, Olinto & Tebro - Tebro, ti dissi il vero
  37. George Frideric Handel: Olinto pastore arcade alle glorie del tebro, HWV 143: XVIII. Aria, Olinto - Alle voci del bronzo Guerriero
  38. George Frideric Handel: Olinto pastore arcade alle glorie del tebro, HWV 143: XIX. Coro, Olinto, Gloria & Tebro - Viva un astro sì bello