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Le Cantate Per Il Cardinal Pamphili - Handel / Invernizzi


Release Date: 09/26/2006 
Label:  Glossa   Catalog #: 921521   Spars Code: DDD 
Composer:  George Frideric Handel
Performer:  Elena TalòDavid PlantierCaterina Dell'AgnelloRoberta Invernizzi,   ... 
Conductor:  Fabio Bonizzoni
Orchestra/Ensemble:  La Risonanza
Number of Discs: 1 
Recorded in: Stereo 
Length: 1 Hours 6 Mins. 

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Notes and Editorial Reviews



HANDEL Tra le fiamme. Pensieri notturni di Filli. Il delirio amoroso. Figlio d’alte speranze Roberta Invernizzi (sop); Fabio Bonizzoni (hpd), cond; La Risonanza (period instruments) GLOSSA 921521 (66:14 & )


The news that Glossa is to undertake a complete survey of Handel’s cantatas with instrumental accompaniment, some 30 works in all, is welcome indeed. While a relatively small proportion has entered the canon, others remain neglected. Equally Read more as important, the cantatas that are performed pose challenges of interpretation that are often not adequately met, and here one might take Il delirio amoroso , one of the most frequently recorded, as a typical case in point. Over the past few years, I’ve reviewed three versions for Fanfare (Kožená, 24:5; Ann Murray, 29:1; and Dessay, 29:5), all of which fall short of ideal in one way (or ways) or another. So the other good news here is Roberta Invernizzi, who, on this opening disc of the series, provides a set of vividly communicative performances that comfortably excel most of her rivals.


Most of Handel’s Italian cantatas were, of course, composed during the youthful years he spent in Italy (1706–1710), a prodigiously brilliant period that established him as one of the brightest stars in the musical firmament. All four of those included on this opening disc come from the early part of the composer’s sojourn. It is subtitled “The Cantatas for Cardinal Pamphili,” a reference to the powerful ecclesiastical prince who was one of Handel’s most influential supporters during his early days in Rome. In fact only the first and third of the cantatas sung by Invernizzi have definite connections with Pamphili, and then very strong ones, since they were not only composed for him, but he also wrote the texts.


By way of contrast, the rarely heard Figlio is probably one of the first cantatas, possibly written in Venice in 1706, while the circumstances of the composition of Pensieri notturni are equally obscure, neither the author of its text nor date (1707?) being known. The latter is in every way the smallest of the four, consisting of only two brief arias prefaced by equally succinct recitatives, and having just a solo recorder in addition to continuo for accompaniment. It’s a charmingly intimate piece that tells of the dreams of her lover that disturb Filli in her sleep. Invernizzi sings it with just the right lightness of touch, and an acute response to text in both recitative and aria that informs her singing throughout the disc. Figlio , which has string accompaniment, has a near impenetrable text ostensibly concerning the fortunes of King Abdolonymus of Sidon, who, having been humbled in status, was restored to his throne by Alexander the Great in 332 BC. As Ellen Harris writes in an excellent note, the story may have had some now obscure contemporary resonance, but we are left today with the music, three alternating recitatives and arias, the first of which is a fine aria in agitato style, propelled by insistent string figuration that gives a sense of urgent forward momentum. The final aria is a brilliant coloratura showpiece of the kind with which Handel dazzled his Italian audiences, here dispatched by Invernizzi with a nonchalant ease that disguises her formidable technique.


If these two cantatas are relatively modest works, the two Pamphili cantatas can be numbered firmly among Handel’s Italian masterpieces. Tra le fiamme draws a moral from the story of the ill-fated Icarus, warning that those who attempt to fly too high other than in their thoughts will meet with a similar end. It might well be thought of as Handel’s “caprice drawn with the point of a needle,” to borrow the felicitous phrase with which Berlioz described his opera Béatrice et Bénédict , owning to an irresistible scherzo-like quality. It is captured to perfection by Invernizzi’s deliciously witty performance, which seizes the manifold opportunities offered to the singer, subtly coloring the word “t’inganna” (“deceives you”) in the opening aria (which has a splendid obbligato cello part), and giving wondrous flight to the opening words of the third aria, “Voli per l’aria” (“Fly through the air”).


Delirio amoroso is a very different matter, a quasi-dramatic scena planned on a grand scale, with an extensive opening sinfonia and orchestration including oboe and recorder in addition to strings. It really is an extraordinary work in which the young tyro not only triumphantly trumpets his grasp of the Italian idiom but also interpolates a French entrée and an ariette in minuet form. More than any I’ve previously heard, Invernizzi’s wonderful performance clearly suggests the increasingly delirious state of the abandoned Chloris as she finds herself rejected by her lover in death as well as in life. That she does so within stylistic bounds, without extraneous exaggeration, only serves to make Invernizzi’s performance the more unforgettable. A few details must suffice. In the opening recitative, one notes Invernizzi’s qualities as a riveting narrator. The first aria, with its florid violin solo conveying the singer’s rising thoughts (superbly played by David Plantier, although he’s not the first to let himself down with an over-complex cadenza) is, among other things, notable for the impeccably sustained control on the long-held word “pace,” while the animated B section includes some mightily impressive chest notes. The exquisitely lovely “Per te lasciai” inspires some ravishing cantabile singing and entrancing mezza voce from Invernizzi, while the minuet is sung with an affecting simplicity that barely disguises Chloris’s distraught state of mind.


No problems? Well, I suppose Invernizzi’s familiar habit of singing more loudly the higher she gets, producing in the process some explosive top notes on ascending leaps, has to be mentioned. But in the context, I feel less inclined to make as much of that as I might with a lesser artist. Other distinct pluses are the outstanding work of La Risonanza, which happily will be involved throughout the series, and Glossa’s splendid engineering and presentation. This joins the very rarefied band of Handel cantata recordings to warrant virtually unreserved recommendation. An absolute treasure of a disc.


FANFARE: Brian Robins
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Works on This Recording

1.
Tra le fiamme, HWV 170 by George Frideric Handel
Performer:  Elena Talò (Violin), David Plantier (Violin), Caterina Dell'Agnello (Viola da gamba),
Caterina Dell'Agnello (Cello), Roberta Invernizzi (Soprano), Rebeca Ferri (Cello),
Vanni Moretto (Violone), Fabio Bonizzoni (Harpsichord), Emiliano Rodolfi (Oboe),
Emiliano Rodolfi (Recorder), Gianni de Rosa (Viola), Isabel Lehmann (Recorder),
Olivia Centurioni (Violin)
Conductor:  Fabio Bonizzoni
Orchestra/Ensemble:  La Risonanza
Period: Baroque 
Written: Italy 
Date of Recording: 2005 
Venue:  Brescia, Italy 
Language: Italian 
2.
Nel dolce dell'oblio, HWV 134 (Pensieri notturni di Filli) by George Frideric Handel
Performer:  Roberta Invernizzi (Soprano), Gianni de Rosa (Viola), Elena Talò (Violin),
David Plantier (Violin), Rebeca Ferri (Cello), Vanni Moretto (Violone),
Isabel Lehmann (Recorder), Emiliano Rodolfi (Recorder), Fabio Bonizzoni (Harpsichord),
Emiliano Rodolfi (Oboe), Olivia Centurioni (Violin), Caterina Dell'Agnello (Cello),
Caterina Dell'Agnello (Viola da gamba)
Conductor:  Fabio Bonizzoni
Orchestra/Ensemble:  La Risonanza
Period: Baroque 
Written: circa 1707-1710; Italy 
Date of Recording: 2005 
Venue:  Brescia, Italy 
Language: Italian 
3.
Da quel giorno fatale, HWV 99 "Il delirio amoroso" by George Frideric Handel
Performer:  Caterina Dell'Agnello (Cello), David Plantier (Violin), Fabio Bonizzoni (Harpsichord),
Vanni Moretto (Violone), Emiliano Rodolfi (Oboe), Emiliano Rodolfi (Recorder),
Gianni de Rosa (Viola), Isabel Lehmann (Recorder), Olivia Centurioni (Violin),
Elena Talò (Violin), Roberta Invernizzi (Soprano), Caterina Dell'Agnello (Viola da gamba),
Rebeca Ferri (Cello)
Conductor:  Fabio Bonizzoni
Orchestra/Ensemble:  La Risonanza
Period: Baroque 
Written: circa 1707-1710; Italy 
Date of Recording: 2005 
Venue:  Brescia, Italy 
Language: Italian 
4.
Figlio d'alte speranza, HWV 113 by George Frideric Handel
Performer:  David Plantier (Violin), Gianni de Rosa (Viola), Emiliano Rodolfi (Recorder),
Emiliano Rodolfi (Oboe), Roberta Invernizzi (Soprano), Rebeca Ferri (Cello),
Vanni Moretto (Violone), Fabio Bonizzoni (Harpsichord), Olivia Centurioni (Violin),
Elena Talò (Violin), Caterina Dell'Agnello (Cello), Caterina Dell'Agnello (Viola da gamba),
Isabel Lehmann (Recorder)
Conductor:  Fabio Bonizzoni
Orchestra/Ensemble:  La Risonanza
Period: Baroque 
Date of Recording: 2005 
Venue:  Brescia, Italy 
Language: Italian 

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