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Handel: Opera Arias & Duets / Piau, Mingardo, Alessandrini, Concerto Italiano


Release Date: 04/28/2009 
Label:  Naive   Catalog #: 30483   Spars Code: n/a 
Composer:  George Frideric Handel
Performer:  Sandrine PiauSara Mingardo
Conductor:  Rinaldo Alessandrini
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Concerto Italiano
Number of Discs: 1 
Recorded in: Stereo 
Length: 1 Hours 12 Mins. 

CD not available: This title is currently only available as an MP3 download.  


Notes and Editorial Reviews


Handel's opera arias have been very well treated on disc; the duets not so generously. This collection should adjust the balance for a couple of reasons. One, the intelligent programming, which features selections not found on its closest competition--the excellent 2004 Virgin Classics release with Joyce DiDonato and Patrizia Ciofi; and two, the first-rate singing that not only captures the full measure of Handel's theatrical writing but shows how two distinctly different voices can combine to make scintillating, greater-than-the-sum-of-its-parts performances. The opening duets from Poro, Orlando, and Radamisto make solid, stand-alone concert numbers, and soprano Sandrine Piau makes a strong
Read more technical/stylistic impression in her first solo aria ("Mà chi punir desio", from Flavio). Not so impressive is contralto Sara Mingardo's subsequent turn in her Tamerlano aria, where her "ha-ha-ha" melismatic articulation is a distracting turn-off. Some listeners won't mind, but this kind of lazy technique just makes me cringe.

Fortunately, this is all forgotten when we come to the heart of the recital where Mingardo loses the "ha-ha-ha" affect and makes really memorable music with Piau in the duet from Rinaldo, while a few minutes later she delivers the most moving, heart-rending "Pena tiranna" (from Amadigi di Gaula) ever recorded. Meanwhile, Piau contributes her own stunning performances of solo arias from Alessandro and Ezio.

While it's easier to accept a solo aria as a performance piece without necessarily having to know much--or anything--about its context in the opera (not that such information doesn't help our appreciation), the contextual details of a duet are even more crucial to a listener because here we have an interaction between two characters whose motivation is essential to understanding both the musical and dramatic cues. Piau and Mingardo are masters of character and of setting the dramatic mood, and conductor Rinaldo Alessandrini and his Concerto Italiano are ideal partners, whether in setting proper tempos or providing steady rhythmic support, or in laying down a vibrant, richly-colored instrumental foundation for one or both voices. This is exceptional music-making, and an important addition to the Handel opera catalog.

--David Vernier, ClassicsToday.com
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Works on This Recording

1.
Poro, Rè dell'Indie, HWV 28: Sinfonia by George Frideric Handel
Conductor:  Rinaldo Alessandrini
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Concerto Italiano
Period: Baroque 
Written: 1731; London, England 
Length: 3 Minutes 21 Secs. 
2.
Poro, Rè dell'Indie, HWV 28: Caro amico amplesso! by George Frideric Handel
Performer:  Sandrine Piau (Soprano), Sara Mingardo (Alto)
Conductor:  Rinaldo Alessandrini
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Concerto Italiano
Period: Baroque 
Written: 1731; London, England 
Length: 2 Minutes 47 Secs. 
3.
Orlando, HWV 31: Finchè prendi ancora il sangue by George Frideric Handel
Performer:  Sandrine Piau (Soprano), Sara Mingardo (Alto)
Conductor:  Rinaldo Alessandrini
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Concerto Italiano
Period: Baroque 
Written: by 1733; London, England 
Length: 3 Minutes 7 Secs. 
4.
Radamisto, HWV 12: Se teco vive il cor by George Frideric Handel
Performer:  Sara Mingardo (Alto), Sandrine Piau (Soprano)
Conductor:  Rinaldo Alessandrini
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Concerto Italiano
Period: Baroque 
Written: 1712/1720; London, England 
Length: 3 Minutes 16 Secs. 
5.
Flavio, Rè di Longobardi, HWV 16: Mà chi punir desio by George Frideric Handel
Performer:  Sandrine Piau (Soprano)
Conductor:  Rinaldo Alessandrini
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Concerto Italiano
Period: Baroque 
Written: by 1723; London, England 
Length: 6 Minutes 58 Secs. 
6.
Tamerlano, HWV 18: Più di una tigre altero by George Frideric Handel
Performer:  Sara Mingardo (Alto)
Conductor:  Rinaldo Alessandrini
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Concerto Italiano
Period: Baroque 
Written: by 1724; London, England 
Length: 4 Minutes 8 Secs. 
7.
Tamerlano, HWV 18: Vivo in te by George Frideric Handel
Performer:  Sara Mingardo (Alto), Sandrine Piau (Soprano)
Conductor:  Rinaldo Alessandrini
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Concerto Italiano
Period: Baroque 
Written: by 1724; London, England 
Length: 7 Minutes 51 Secs. 
8.
Ezio, HWV 29: Misera, dove son!...Ah! non son io che parlo by George Frideric Handel
Performer:  Sandrine Piau (Soprano)
Conductor:  Rinaldo Alessandrini
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Concerto Italiano
Period: Baroque 
Written: by 1732; London, England 
Length: 7 Minutes 13 Secs. 
9.
Rinaldo, HWV 7: Scherzando sul tuo volto by George Frideric Handel
Performer:  Sara Mingardo (Alto), Sandrine Piau (Soprano)
Conductor:  Rinaldo Alessandrini
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Concerto Italiano
Period: Baroque 
Written: by 1711; London, England 
Length: 3 Minutes 26 Secs. 
10.
Alessandro, HWV 21: Overture by George Frideric Handel
Conductor:  Rinaldo Alessandrini
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Concerto Italiano
Period: Baroque 
Written: 1726; London, England 
Length: 5 Minutes 36 Secs. 
11.
Alessandro, HWV 21: No, più soffrir non voglio by George Frideric Handel
Performer:  Sandrine Piau (Soprano)
Conductor:  Rinaldo Alessandrini
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Concerto Italiano
Period: Baroque 
Written: 1726; London, England 
Length: 3 Minutes 43 Secs. 
12.
Alessandro, HWV 21: Da un breve riposo by George Frideric Handel
Performer:  Sara Mingardo (Alto)
Conductor:  Rinaldo Alessandrini
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Concerto Italiano
Period: Baroque 
Written: 1726; London, England 
Length: 4 Minutes 47 Secs. 
13.
Amadigi di Gaula, HWV 11: Pena tiranna by George Frideric Handel
Performer:  Sara Mingardo (Alto)
Conductor:  Rinaldo Alessandrini
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Concerto Italiano
Period: Baroque 
Written: by 1715; London, England 
Length: 6 Minutes 0 Secs. 
14.
Ottone, HWV 15: A teneri affetti by George Frideric Handel
Performer:  Sara Mingardo (Alto), Sandrine Piau (Soprano)
Conductor:  Rinaldo Alessandrini
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Concerto Italiano
Period: Baroque 
Written: by 1723; London, England 
Length: 3 Minutes 55 Secs. 

Sound Samples

Poro, re dell'Indie, HWV 28: Ouverture
Poro, re dell'Indie, HWV 28: Act I: Duetto: Caro! Dolce! Amico amplesso
Orlando, HWV 31: Act I: Piu non fuggir portrai, Perfida Falerina
Orlando, HWV 31: Act III: Finche prendi ancor il sangue
Radamisto, HWV 12: Act II: O, di per me felice! Quanto mai piu credea di rimirarti
Radamisto, HWV 12: Act III: Se teco vive il cor
Flavio, re di Longobardi, HWV 16: Act II: Oh Numi! Ei cade esangue!
Flavio, re di Longobardi, HWV 16: Act II: Aria: Ma chi punir desio
Tamerlano, HWV 18: Act II: Se Asteria mi tradisce
Tamerlano, HWV 18: Act II: Aria: Piu d'una tigre altero
Tamerlano, HWV 18: Act III: Duetto: Vivo in te mio caro bene
Ezio, HWV 29: Act III: Misera, dove son! L'aure del Tebro
Ezio, HWV 29: Act III: Aria: Ah, non son io che parlo
Rinaldo, HWV 7: Act I: Recitative: Adorato mio sposo
Rinaldo, HWV 7: Act I: Duet: Scherzano sul tuo volto
Alessandro, HWV 21: Ouverture
Alessandro, HWV 21: Act I: Ah, Lisaura tradita!
Alessandro, HWV 21: Act I: No, piu soffrir non voglio
Alessandro, HWV 21: Act I: Fra gli uomini e fra i Numi
Alessandro, HWV 21: Act I: Aria: Da un breve riposo
Amadigi di Gaula, HWV 11: Act II: Recitative: D'un sventurato amante
Amadigi di Gaula, HWV 11: Act II: Aria: Pena tiranna io sento al core
Ottone, re di Germania, HWV 15: Act III: Frena, crudel, la disperata
Ottone, re di Germania, HWV 15: Act III: A' teneri affetti

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