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Handel: Italian Cantatas / Bonizzoni, La Risonanza


Release Date: 07/19/2019 
Label:  Glossa   Catalog #: GCD921528  
Composer:  George Frideric Handel
Performer:  Yetzabel Arias FernandezRoberta InvernizziRomina BassoElena Talò,   ... 
Conductor:  Fabio Bonizzoni
Orchestra/Ensemble:  La Risonanza
Number of Discs: 7 
Back Order: Usually ships in 2 to 3 weeks.  

Notes and Editorial Reviews


There’s nothing more heartbreaking in surveying the current state of the classical music industry than the knowledge that, amidst the constant flow of useless dreck hitting the market daily, there are wonderful sets such as this one that will never receive the acclaim (and financial success) that they deserve because they will simply get lost in the shuffle, or be too difficult to source, or disappear from the active catalog in record time. Really, it’s infuriating. So I’m going to break one of my usual rules and recommend this set urgently by “writing long,” in this case adapting some of the copy that I included in my recent book on Handel for Amadeus Press.

Between roughly 1706 and
Read more 1710, Handel composed twenty-eight cantatas with instrumental accompaniment, out of about a hundred in all from the same period. Twenty-two are included in this box, which claims to be “complete,” but never mind. No one knows for sure the exact number that Handel wrote; every now and then a new one still turns up. Clori, Tirsi e Fileno,for instance, only appeared complete in 1960. The rest are for solo voice and continuo, and only one of those, La Lucrezia(HWV145), has achieved anything like wider exposure, at least on disc. On the other hand, some of the instrumental cantatas are making their way into the consciousness of connoisseurs, even if they remain all but unknown to the wider public. We need to fix that. These are gems.

The cantatas with instruments come in every possible shape and size, from simple songs to mini-operas. Later in the century the solo cantata, in the hands of Alessandro Scarlatti (Domenico’s dad), became relatively standardized as a short piece containing two recitative/aria pairs, and some of Handel’s do that as well, but there is no hard and fast rule. In these works he was demonstrating a newly acquired mastery of his craft. He enjoyed total freedom in creating them, writing with love and evident care for his Italian patrons, many of whom wrote the poems. Handel took arias, or bits of them, from all of these pieces and incorporated them into later works. They constitute his musical “savings account,” and the fact he was still mining them decades later should be taken as the strongest possible indication of their high quality and musical value.

Although the instrumentation ranges from solo guitar or flute, to a few violins, to what is effectively a full orchestral complement, this really is vocal chamber music. Even if we are familiar with a particular number from a later setting, there’s a very special freshness and intimacy in hearing the original settings. For example, the aria “Ogni vento” from Agrippina, involves the full string orchestra with oboes in the opera. Scored for just two violin parts plus continuo as the aria “Bella fiamma” in the cantata Aminta e Fillide, the music has a distinctive rhythmic clarity and bounce (sound clip), especially as sung here by soprano Nuria Rial. Both versions are delightful; neither is inherently preferable.

Many of the cantatas involve characters that we have come to know. Armida, of Rinaldo fame, gets to vent her misery all over again in Armida abbandonata. The legendary story of Hero and Leander takes center stage in Qual ti riveggio. Apollo e Dafne tells the familiar tale of the god’s pursuit of the nature-loving Daphne, and her subsequent transformation into a laurel tree. The participants in Echeggiate, festeggiate, Numi eterni are all Roman gods and goddesses, while the fickle shepherdess Clori turns up on more than one occasion. Clori, Tirsi e Fileno, a pastoral comedy, is the longest of the instrumental cantatas. It has two parts, or acts, and it serves as a lighthearted counterpart in serenata form to Aci, Galatea e Polifemo (which these forces also recorded but which is not included in this set, from some reason).

I have a special affection for Diana cacciatrice (Diana the Huntress), with its virtuoso writing for soprano and trumpet, here sung by the splendid Roberta Invernizzi (sound clip), with an additional soprano voice offstage “in echo”. But then, all of the singers are excellent and they deserve individual mention. Aside from Invernizzi and Nuria Rial, there are sopranos Emanuela Galli, Raffaela Milanesi, Maria Granzia Schiavo, Yetzabel Arias Fernández; alto Romino Basso; and basses Thomas E. Bauer, Furio Zanasi, and Salvo Vitale. The instrumentalists of La Risonanza play beautifully under the direction of Fabio Bonizzoni, and the sonics are just about perfect.

I do wish that Aci had been included, as well as the Chamber Duets and Trios also issued in this superb series, but we already have more than eight hours here of first-rate, quasi-unknown Handel. These discs will provide countless moments of pure joy. and they belong in every serious collection. The booklet contains multilingual notes and Italian-only texts, but on disc seven you can find PDFs of all of the original booklets with texts and translations in English, German, Spanish, and French. Essential, this, and not just for opera fans or Handel lovers. This gorgeous, lyrical, intimate, warmly humane music is for everyone.

– ClassicsToday (David Hurwitz) Read less

Works on This Recording

1.
Clori, Tirsi e Fileno, HWV 96 by George Frideric Handel
Performer:  Yetzabel Arias Fernandez (Soprano), Roberta Invernizzi (Soprano), Romina Basso (Mezzo Soprano)
Conductor:  Fabio Bonizzoni
Orchestra/Ensemble:  La Risonanza
Period: Baroque 
Written: Germany 
2.
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 
3.
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 
4.
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 
5.
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 
6.
Dietro l'orme fuggaci, HWV 105 "Armida abbandonata" by George Frideric Handel
Performer:  Emanuela Galli (Soprano)
Conductor:  Fabio Bonizzoni
Orchestra/Ensemble:  La Risonanza
Period: Baroque 
Written: 1707; Italy 
7.
Diana cacciatrice, HWV 79 by George Frideric Handel
Performer:  Emanuela Galli (Soprano), Roberta Invernizzi (Soprano)
Conductor:  Fabio Bonizzoni
Orchestra/Ensemble:  La Risonanza
Period: Baroque 
Written: 1707; Italy 
8.
Tu fedel?, tu constante?, HWV 171 by George Frideric Handel
Performer:  Emanuela Galli (Soprano)
Conductor:  Fabio Bonizzoni
Orchestra/Ensemble:  La Risonanza
Period: Baroque 
Written: circa 1706-1707; Italy 
9.
Notte placida e cheta, HWV 142 by George Frideric Handel
Performer:  Emanuela Galli (Soprano)
Conductor:  Fabio Bonizzoni
Orchestra/Ensemble:  La Risonanza
Period: Baroque 
Written: circa 1707-1710; Italy 
10.
Un alma innamorata, HWV 173 by George Frideric Handel
Performer:  Emanuela Galli (Soprano)
Conductor:  Fabio Bonizzoni
Orchestra/Ensemble:  La Risonanza
Period: Baroque 
Written: by 1707 
11.
Qual ti riveggio, oh Dio, HWV 150 "Ero e Leandro" by George Frideric Handel
Performer:  Raffaella Milanesi (Soprano), Salvo Vitale (Bass)
Conductor:  Fabio Bonizzoni
Orchestra/Ensemble:  La Risonanza
Period: Baroque 
Written: circa 1707-1710; Italy 
12.
No se emenderá jamás, HWV 140 by George Frideric Handel
Performer:  Salvo Vitale (Bass), Raffaella Milanesi (Soprano)
Conductor:  Fabio Bonizzoni
Orchestra/Ensemble:  La Risonanza
Period: Baroque 
Written: 1707 
13.
Spande ancor il mio dispetto, HWV 165 by George Frideric Handel
Performer:  Salvo Vitale (Bass), Raffaella Milanesi (Soprano)
Conductor:  Fabio Bonizzoni
Orchestra/Ensemble:  La Risonanza
Period: Baroque 
Written: 1707-1709; Italy 
14.
Ah! crudel, nel pianto mio, HWV 78 by George Frideric Handel
Performer:  Salvo Vitale (Bass), Raffaella Milanesi (Soprano)
Conductor:  Fabio Bonizzoni
Orchestra/Ensemble:  La Risonanza
Period: Baroque 
Written: circa 1707; Italy 
15.
Arresta il passo, HWV 83 "Aminta e Fillide" by George Frideric Handel
Performer:  Nuria Rial (Soprano), Maria Grazia Schiavo (Soprano)
Conductor:  Fabio Bonizzoni
Orchestra/Ensemble:  La Risonanza
Period: Baroque 
Written: 1708; Italy 
16.
Clori, mia bella Clori, HWV 92 by George Frideric Handel
Performer:  Maria Grazia Schiavo (Soprano), Nuria Rial (Soprano)
Conductor:  Fabio Bonizzoni
Orchestra/Ensemble:  La Risonanza
Period: Baroque 
Written: 18th Century 
17.
O! come chiare e belle, HWV 143 by George Frideric Handel
Performer:  Organ] Fabio Bonizzoni [Harpsichord (Harpsichord)
Conductor:  Fabio Bonizzoni
Orchestra/Ensemble:  La Risonanza
Period: Baroque 
Written: circa 1708; Italy 
Date of Recording: 06/2008 
Venue:  Saint Michel en Thiérache, France 
Length: 30 Minutes 7 Secs. 
18.
Amarilli vezzosa, HWV 82 "Il duello amoroso" by George Frideric Handel
Performer:  Organ] Fabio Bonizzoni [Harpsichord (Harpsichord)
Conductor:  Fabio Bonizzoni
Orchestra/Ensemble:  La Risonanza
Period: Baroque 
Written: 1708; Italy 
Date of Recording: 06/2008 
Venue:  Saint Michel en Thiérache, France 
Length: 19 Minutes 49 Secs. 
19.
Alpestre monte, HWV 81 by George Frideric Handel
Performer:  Organ] Fabio Bonizzoni [Harpsichord (Harpsichord), Yetzabel Arias Fernandez ()
Conductor:  Fabio Bonizzoni
Orchestra/Ensemble:  La Risonanza
Period: Baroque 
Written: Italy 
Date of Recording: 06/2008 
Venue:  Saint Michel en Thiérache, France 
Length: 12 Minutes 11 Secs. 
20.
La terra è liberata, HWV 122 "Apollo e Dafne" by George Frideric Handel
Performer:  Furio Zanasi (Baritone), Roberta Invernizzi (Soprano), Thomas E. Bauer (Baritone)
Conductor:  Fabio Bonizzoni
Orchestra/Ensemble:  La Risonanza
Period: Baroque 
Written: circa 1708; Italy 
21.
Dunque sarà pur vero, HWV 110 "Agrippina condotta a morire" by George Frideric Handel
Performer:  Furio Zanasi (Baritone), Roberta Invernizzi (Soprano), Thomas E. Bauer (Baritone)
Conductor:  Fabio Bonizzoni
Orchestra/Ensemble:  La Risonanza
Period: Baroque 
Written: circa 1708; Italy 
22.
Cuopre tal volta il cielo, HWV 98 by George Frideric Handel
Performer:  Furio Zanasi (Baritone), Roberta Invernizzi (Soprano), Thomas E. Bauer (Baritone)
Conductor:  Fabio Bonizzoni
Orchestra/Ensemble:  La Risonanza
Period: Baroque 
Written: 1707-1709; Rome, Italy 

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