Contrasto Armonico

Handel Cantate 02

Price: € 19.95
Format: CD
Label: Ayros
UPC: 5902768283020
Catnr: AYHC 02
Release date: 19 June 2015
1 CD
✓ in stock
€ 19.95
Catalogue number
Release date
19 June 2015

""Contrasto Armonico" records Handel's complete, Italian cantatas, magnificent compositions with instrumental accompaniment by an ensemble, or only with basso continuo. An ambitious project from Ayros."

Stretto, 27-6-2019

About the album

Handel’s cantatas represent an important musical repertoire that until recently has been little known. Consisting of about 100 separate works, most were written over a period of a few years for private performance in Italy.

They range from musical miniatures containing only two arias connected by recitative and accompanied by continuo (a bass line typically realized by cello and harpsichord) to larger works with named characters, a dramatic story, and rich instrumental forces. Telling more often than not about the pangs of love, these are intimate works, with texts frequently written by (and sometimes about) members of the privileged audience for which they were composed. A number of Handel’s cantatas have texts by one of his important Italian patrons, Cardinal Benedetto Pamphilj.

The project of Marco Vitale to record all of Handel’s cantatas is thrilling. The continuo cantatas have never been recorded in full and many have never been recorded at all. Thus, this project will bring to life largely unknown music by one of the world’s greatest composers. Further, performance all the cantatas will place the larger, instrumental works in the musical context of their creation.

This project is the continuation of the ‘Handel Complete Cantatas’ series appeared recently on the market with four volumes issued. This is the second volume presented by the ayros recording label, as continuation of the series . This CD features the bass-baritone Mitchell Sandler, who worked in other CD productions of Contrasto Armonico (Aci, Galatea e Polifeo & La Resurrezione). The CDs contains also two trio-sonatas by Arcangelo Corelli.
Händels Kantaten gehören, auch wenn sie bis vor kurzem noch wenig bekannt waren, zu den wichtigsten Werken der Musikgeschichte. Die knapp 100 Werke komponierte er in wenigen Jahren für private Aufführungen in Italien. Hierbei reicht die musikalische Bandbreite hierbei von Miniaturen (zwei Arien verbunden durch ein Rezitativ und begleitet von einem continuo) bis hin zu größeren Werken mit dramatischer Handlung und reicher Instrumentierung. Es handelt sich hierbei um intime Werke des priviligierten Publikums: handelten die Texte doch von den Anwesenden oder waren gar von ihnen selbst verfasst worden - einige darunter von Cardinal Benedetto Pamphilj.

Das Projekt von Marco Vitale mit sämtlichen Händel Kantaten ist aufregend, viele wurden bisher nur in Teilen andere gar nicht aufgenommen. Diese Aufnahme ist der zweite Teil der vierteiligen Serie "Handel Complete Sonatas" auf Ayros.
Le Cantate di Handel costituiscono un’importante parte del repertorio musicale che fino solo recentemente è stato riscoperto. Un corpus composto da circa 100 opere distinte, la maggior parte composte in Italia, per esecuzioni nelle dimore private dei mecenati come Ruspoli ed Ottoboni. Si va da miniature musicali che contengono solo due arie collegate da recitativo e accompagnati da continuo (una linea di basso tipicamente realizzata da violoncello e clavicembalo) alle opere più grandi con personaggi, storia drammatica, ed accompagnamento strumentale (violini o oboi). Il più delle volte le cantate trattano di amore, con testi spesso scritti dai mecenati o persone molto vicine ad Handel, come il cardinale Benedetto Pamphilij. L’incisione dell’integrale delle cantate di Handel, portato avanti da Marco Vitale e Contrasto Armonico è innovativo ed unico nel suo genere. Le cantate per basso continuo non sono mai state incise come unico corpus. Il progetto darà finalmente vita ad una parte di repertorio (ad oggi ancora negletto) di uno dei più importanti compositori di musica vocale di tutti i tempi.
«Handel Cantate» è la continuazione della serie «Handel Complete Cantatas» già presente sul mercato con quattro volumi precedentemente pubblicati. Questo è il secondo volume presentato dalla casa discografica Ayros. Il CD si avvale della partecipazione del basso-baritono Mitchell Sandler, che ha già lavorato in altre prodzioni di Contrasto Armonico (Aci, Galatea e Polifemo e La Resurrezione). Il CD include anche due trio-sonate dall’Opera Quarta di Arcangelo Corelli.


"Contrasto Armonico" records Handel's complete, Italian cantatas, magnificent compositions with instrumental accompaniment by an ensemble, or only with basso continuo. An ambitious project from Ayros.
Stretto, 27-6-2019

Contrasto Armonico group together all four of Handel’s Italian cantatas for solo bass voice. A speculative hint of the context of the conversazioni hosted by the luminaries of the Roman Arcadian Academy is provided by two trio sonatas from Corelli’s Op 4. Mitchell Sandler sings with a perfectly shaded mixture of power and melancholic sensitivity, his vocal phrasing neatly dovetailing with the contrapuntal eloquence of the three violins and cello. The poetry in Dalla guerra amorosa (also probably written in Rome) compares Cupid’s shenanigans to warfare; the wistful observation that beauty is a flower that languishes and fades features judiciously realised accompaniment by harpsichordist Marco Vitale (‘La bellezza è com’un fiore’). The other two cantatas were both written in Naples in summer 1708, probably for the same phenomenal bass who sang the murderous cyclops in the contemporaneous serenata Aci, Galatea e Polifemo. Sandler is obliged to navigate sudden dramatic contrasts, vivid imagery and wide leaps across a range of more than two and a half octaves (from a low C sharp to a high top A) inNell’africane selve – no mean feat when the instruments are tuned to low ‘Roman’ pitch; he comes closer to dealing with the phenomenal demands of Handel’s writing during the sorrowful ‘Langue, trema, e prigioniero’ than many – and Pierre-Augustine Lay’s astutely melodic cello plays a crucial part in weaving musical coherence that has eluded many other performers of this notorious cantata. Cuopre tal volta il cielo is almost as extreme in its tempestuous imagery. Hitherto none of the handful of recordings that group together all four of Handel’s bass cantatas has managed to maintain the musical sophistication achieved consistently here.  
Gramophone Magazine

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