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Between Heaven And Earth - Handel / Sandrine Piau


Release Date: 09/29/2009 
Label:  Naive   Catalog #: 30484   Spars Code: n/a 
Composer:  George Frideric Handel
Performer:  Sandrine PiauTopi Lehtipuu
Conductor:  Stefano Montanari
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Accademia Bizantina
Number of Discs: 1 
Recorded in: Stereo 
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Notes and Editorial Reviews

French soprano Sandrine Piau is a singer with formidable technique and exceptional musical sensibility. She’s proven this on many previous recordings, but if you’re in doubt, just listen to the way she dispatches the insanely fast roulades in the opening aria “Disserratevi, o porte d’Averno” from the oratorio La Resurrezione. Yes, the speed may be a little excessive and “show-off-y”, but Piau manages it with seeming ease, turning what could have been just an impressive but musically pointless theatrical stunt into a thrilling four-and-a-half-minute study of unadorned, honest vocal virtuosity.

The rest of this thoughtfully programmed Handel recital is designed to show various and varied examples of the composer’s treatment of
Read more the soprano voice in both oratorio and ode, and Piau and her very capable partners (including on one track, tenor Topi Lehtipuu, and on several others oboist Molly Marsh—both memorable names, to be sure) leave us impressed and satisfied in both the musical substance and outstanding musicianship exhibited, from the most obscure recitative (“Calm thou my soul”, from Alexander Balus) to the best-known aria (“Rejoice greatly”, from Messiah—the marvelous yet rarely-heard 12/8 version, no less!). While this is far from a “greatest hits” collection—most of these pieces are not frequently heard or recorded—that will in no way dampen this disc’s appeal for true lovers of Handel’s soprano arias or for fans of Sandrine Piau (and who isn’t one of those?).

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

1.
La resurrezione, HWV 47: Disserratevi, o porte d'Averno by George Frideric Handel
Performer:  Sandrine Piau (Soprano)
Conductor:  Stefano Montanari
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Accademia Bizantina
Period: Baroque 
Written: circa 1708; Italy 
2.
Theodora, HWV 68: With Darkness deep by George Frideric Handel
Performer:  Sandrine Piau (Soprano)
Conductor:  Stefano Montanari
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Accademia Bizantina
Period: Baroque 
Written: 1749-1750; London, England 
3.
Ode for St Cecilia's Day, HWV 76: What passion cannot Music raise by George Frideric Handel
Performer:  Sandrine Piau (Soprano)
Conductor:  Stefano Montanari
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Accademia Bizantina
Period: Baroque 
Written: 1739; London, England 
4.
Messiah, HWV 56: Rejoice greatly, o daughter of Zion by George Frideric Handel
Performer:  Sandrine Piau (Soprano)
Conductor:  Stefano Montanari
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Accademia Bizantina
Period: Baroque 
Written: 1742; London, England 
5.
Alexander Balus, HWV 65: O take me from this hateful light by George Frideric Handel
Performer:  Sandrine Piau (Soprano)
Conductor:  Stefano Montanari
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Accademia Bizantina
Period: Baroque 
Written: 1748; England 
6.
Alexander Balus, HWV 65: Convey me to some Peaceful shore by George Frideric Handel
Performer:  Sandrine Piau (Soprano)
Conductor:  Stefano Montanari
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Accademia Bizantina
Period: Baroque 
Written: 1748; England 
7.
Joseph and his Brethren, HWV 59: Prophetic raptures swell my breast by George Frideric Handel
Performer:  Sandrine Piau (Soprano)
Conductor:  Stefano Montanari
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Accademia Bizantina
Period: Baroque 
8.
L'Allegro, il Penseroso ed il Moderato, HWV 55: Sweet bird, that shun'st the noise of folly by George Frideric Handel
Performer:  Sandrine Piau (Soprano)
Conductor:  Stefano Montanari
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Accademia Bizantina
Period: Baroque 
Written: by 1740; London, England 
9.
L'Allegro, il Penseroso ed il Moderato, HWV 55: As steals the morn upon the night by George Frideric Handel
Performer:  Topi Lehtipuu (Tenor), Sandrine Piau (Soprano)
Conductor:  Stefano Montanari
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Accademia Bizantina
Period: Baroque 
Written: by 1740; London, England 
10.
Solomon, HWV 67: Arrival of the Queen of Sheba by George Frideric Handel
Conductor:  Stefano Montanari
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Accademia Bizantina
Period: Baroque 
Written: by 1749; London, England 
11.
Samson, HWV 57: Let the bright Seraphim by George Frideric Handel
Performer:  Sandrine Piau (Soprano)
Conductor:  Stefano Montanari
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Accademia Bizantina
Period: Baroque 
Written: by 1743; London, England 
12.
Il trionfo del tempo e del disinganno, HWV 46a: Tu del ciel ministro eletto by George Frideric Handel
Performer:  Sandrine Piau (Soprano)
Conductor:  Stefano Montanari
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Accademia Bizantina
Period: Baroque 
Written: 1707 
13.
Concerti grossi (6), Op. 3: no 2 in B flat major, HWV 313 - 2nd movement, Largo by George Frideric Handel
Conductor:  Stefano Montanari
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Accademia Bizantina
Period: Baroque 
Written: circa 1715-1717; London, England 

Featured Sound Samples

Theodora: "With darkness deep"
Joseph and His Brethren: "Prophetic raptures swell my breast"

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