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Handel: Arias / Angelika Kirchschlager


Release Date: 11/14/2006 
Label:  Sony   Catalog #: 88952   Spars Code: n/a 
Composer:  George Frideric Handel
Performer:  Angelika Kirchschlager
Conductor:  Laurence Cummings
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Basel Chamber Orchestra
Number of Discs: 1 
Recorded in: Stereo 
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Notes and Editorial Reviews


Handel arias are favorite recital territory for mezzo-sopranos (and altos and countertenors), and there are plenty of excellent recordings in the catalog (Stephanie Blythe, Vivica Genaux, Marie-Nicole Lemieux, Andreas Scholl, David Daniels...). Not surprisingly there duplications of some of the more popular arias, but on this first-rate recording, mezzo Angelika Kirchschlager has managed to include quite a few that we don't usually hear.

Perhaps the most famous is "Scherza infida" from Ariodante, but Kirchschlager sings it with such pervasive heartfelt passion and truly natural expression and inflection that we believe this to be her own song, her own emotions, her own
Read more words--and we don't care how many other times we've heard it. Her range of expressive technique and her ability to make the most subtle changes in color and dynamics are what world-class singing is about. Handel provides a good singer plenty of dramatic and vocal material, and Kirchschlager knows exactly how to take advantage of it.

Right from the opening "Qui d'amor" from Ariodante, she perfectly captures the gentleness of mood, exploiting the richness and beauty of the melody, ornamented with easy turns and effortless leaps. If I had to find a fault, it would be with her tendency at times to articulate the notes of fast runs with an "h" sound--but this is a matter of taste and it isn't usually distracting.

Nevertheless, you can't do better than these performances for knowing interpretation and sheer vocal appeal. And Kirchschlager is fortunate to have the superb conducting of Laurence Cummings and the spirited yet always sensitive and very focused playing of the Basel Chamber Orchestra to support, accompany, and bring everything harmoniously together. Just as Handel should be. The sound is vibrant and clear, presenting the well-matched ensemble instruments in perfect balance with the voice. Outstanding!

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

1.
Ariodante, HWV 33: Qui d'amor by George Frideric Handel
Performer:  Angelika Kirchschlager (Mezzo Soprano)
Conductor:  Laurence Cummings
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Basel Chamber Orchestra
Period: Baroque 
Written: 1734-1735; London, England 
Date of Recording: 08/2006 
Venue:  Landgasthof, Riehen, Basel, Switzerland 
Length: 2 Minutes 23 Secs. 
Language: Italian 
2.
Ariodante, HWV 33: Con l'ali di costanza by George Frideric Handel
Performer:  Angelika Kirchschlager (Mezzo Soprano)
Conductor:  Laurence Cummings
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Basel Chamber Orchestra
Period: Baroque 
Written: 1734-1735; London, England 
Date of Recording: 08/2006 
Venue:  Landgasthof, Riehen, Basel, Switzerland 
Length: 7 Minutes 8 Secs. 
Language: Italian 
Notes: This selection begins with "T'amerň dunque..." 
3.
Ariodante, HWV 33: Scherza infida, in grembo al drudo by George Frideric Handel
Performer:  Angelika Kirchschlager (Mezzo Soprano)
Conductor:  Laurence Cummings
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Basel Chamber Orchestra
Period: Baroque 
Written: 1734-1735; London, England 
Date of Recording: 08/2006 
Venue:  Landgasthof, Riehen, Basel, Switzerland 
Length: 9 Minutes 28 Secs. 
Language: Italian 
4.
Ariodante, HWV 33: Dopo notte by George Frideric Handel
Performer:  Angelika Kirchschlager (Mezzo Soprano)
Conductor:  Laurence Cummings
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Basel Chamber Orchestra
Period: Baroque 
Written: 1734-1735; London, England 
Date of Recording: 08/2006 
Venue:  Landgasthof, Riehen, Basel, Switzerland 
Length: 6 Minutes 41 Secs. 
Language: Italian 
5.
Giulio Cesare, HWV 17: Svegliatevi nel core by George Frideric Handel
Performer:  Angelika Kirchschlager (Mezzo Soprano)
Conductor:  Laurence Cummings
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Basel Chamber Orchestra
Period: Baroque 
Written: 1724; London, England 
Date of Recording: 08/2006 
Venue:  Landgasthof, Riehen, Basel, Switzerland 
Length: 3 Minutes 59 Secs. 
Language: Italian 
6.
Giulio Cesare, HWV 17: Cara speme, questo core by George Frideric Handel
Performer:  Angelika Kirchschlager (Mezzo Soprano)
Conductor:  Laurence Cummings
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Basel Chamber Orchestra
Period: Baroque 
Written: 1724; London, England 
Date of Recording: 08/2006 
Venue:  Landgasthof, Riehen, Basel, Switzerland 
Length: 4 Minutes 55 Secs. 
Language: Italian 
7.
Giulio Cesare, HWV 17: L'angue offeso mai riposa by George Frideric Handel
Performer:  Angelika Kirchschlager (Mezzo Soprano)
Conductor:  Laurence Cummings
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Basel Chamber Orchestra
Period: Baroque 
Written: 1724; London, England 
Date of Recording: 08/2006 
Venue:  Landgasthof, Riehen, Basel, Switzerland 
Length: 5 Minutes 8 Secs. 
Language: Italian 
8.
Arianna in Creta, HWV 32: Sdegnata sei con me by George Frideric Handel
Performer:  Angelika Kirchschlager (Mezzo Soprano)
Conductor:  Laurence Cummings
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Basel Chamber Orchestra
Period: Baroque 
Written: 1721/1734; London, England 
Date of Recording: 08/2006 
Venue:  Landgasthof, Riehen, Basel, Switzerland 
Length: 5 Minutes 55 Secs. 
Language: Italian 
9.
Arianna in Creta, HWV 32: Sol ristoro de' mortali... Salda quercia in erta balza by George Frideric Handel
Performer:  Angelika Kirchschlager (Mezzo Soprano)
Conductor:  Laurence Cummings
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Basel Chamber Orchestra
Period: Baroque 
Written: 1721/1734; London, England 
Length: 9 Minutes 54 Secs. 
Language: Italian 
Notes: This selection begins with "O patria!" 
10.
Arianna in Creta, HWV 32: Qual leon che fere irato by George Frideric Handel
Performer:  Angelika Kirchschlager (Mezzo Soprano)
Conductor:  Laurence Cummings
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Basel Chamber Orchestra
Period: Baroque 
Written: 1721/1734; London, England 
Date of Recording: 08/2006 
Venue:  Landgasthof, Riehen, Basel, Switzerland 
Length: 5 Minutes 27 Secs. 
Language: Italian 
11.
Arianna in Creta, HWV 32: Ove son, qual orrore?...Qui ti sfido, o mostro infame! by George Frideric Handel
Performer:  Angelika Kirchschlager (Mezzo Soprano)
Conductor:  Laurence Cummings
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Basel Chamber Orchestra
Period: Baroque 
Written: London, England 
Date of Recording: 08/2006 
Venue:  Landgasthof, Riehen, Basel, Switzerland 
Length: 5 Minutes 57 Secs. 
Language: Italian 

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