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Handel: Arias - Love And Madness / Johannette Zomer, Bart Schneemann, Musica Amphion


Release Date: 11/10/2009 
Label:  Channel Classics   Catalog #: 29209   Spars Code: DDD 
Composer:  George Frideric Handel
Performer:  Johannette ZomerBart Schneemann
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Musica Amphion
Number of Discs: 1 
Recorded in: Multi 
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Notes and Editorial Reviews

While I'm not sure how the idea for this recording was formulated, the result shows the rewards achieved when two compatible and musically accomplished artists collaborate on a project that makes programmatic sense and suits their respective expressive personalities. Although the catalog is not wanting for fine recordings of Handel arias, this one focuses on works that include obbligato oboe, which gives us both some frequently heard selections and a few pieces that we don't often find on typical compilations, including "Chi t'intende?" from Berenice, "Morirò" from Teseo, and "Caro, vieni a me" from Riccardo Primo, and a cantata fragment "Languia di bocca lusinghiera".

Soprano
Read more Johannette Zomer, a frequent presence on Channel Classics recordings, begins most impressively with Berenice's aria, displaying solid, centered tone and confident expressive character in a piece that also requires significant dialog with the oboe--which she and Bart Schneemann execute with engaging charm and remarkable timing. There's even more drama to come in Medea's aria from Teseo, "Morirò" (I shall die! But I shall die avenged...), and here Zomer shows her ability to command the opera stage, allowing us without any visual cues to experience the song's full emotional impact, enlivened by the virtuosic support of the Musica Amphion orchestra.

Although Zomer doesn't shy away from the challenges of Handel's more fast and florid creations, she's really at her best in the slower arias--indeed, her "Lascia ch'io pianga" is among the best-ever recorded versions--as are her "Scherza infida!" and "Mi palpita il cor", which rank with Handel's most popular and most-frequently performed arias. In the past I've had my issues with Zomer's voice--but I have no such reservations here, especially regarding the exceptionally well-controlled tonal modulations that she uses to great expressive effect, a mastery of technique that wasn't always present on several of her previous recordings.

Zomer and Schneemann (who also contributes a couple of instrumental works to the program) work very well together--two special voices, unique in timbre but united in interpretive style and concept. And the sound is Channel Classics' usual first-class production. If we're lucky these two superb musicians will find another good excuse to get together--and Channel Classics will be there to record it.

--David Vernier, ClassicsToday.com
Read less

Works on This Recording

1.
Berenice, Regina d'Egitto, HWV 38: Chi t'intende by George Frideric Handel
Performer:  Johannette Zomer (Soprano), Bart Schneemann (Oboe)
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Musica Amphion
Period: Baroque 
Written: 1737; London, England 
2.
Teseo, HWV 9: Moriró, ma vendicata by George Frideric Handel
Performer:  Johannette Zomer (Soprano), Bart Schneemann (Oboe)
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Musica Amphion
Period: Baroque 
Written: by 1712; London, England 
3.
Rinaldo, HWV 7: Lascia ch'io pianga by George Frideric Handel
Performer:  Johannette Zomer (Soprano), Bart Schneemann (Oboe)
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Musica Amphion
Period: Baroque 
Written: by 1711; London, England 
4.
Amadigi di Gaula, HWV 11: Ah! spietato by George Frideric Handel
Performer:  Johannette Zomer (Soprano), Bart Schneemann (Oboe)
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Musica Amphion
Period: Baroque 
Written: by 1715; London, England 
5.
Languia di bocca lusinghiera by George Frideric Handel
Performer:  Johannette Zomer (Soprano), Bart Schneemann (Oboe)
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Musica Amphion
Period: Baroque 
6.
Teseo, HWV 9: Dolce riposo, ed innocente pace by George Frideric Handel
Performer:  Johannette Zomer (Soprano), Bart Schneemann (Oboe)
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Musica Amphion
Period: Baroque 
Written: by 1712; London, England 
7.
Il trionfo del tempo e del disinganno, HWV 46a: Io sperai by George Frideric Handel
Performer:  Johannette Zomer (Soprano), Bart Schneemann (Oboe)
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Musica Amphion
Period: Baroque 
Written: 1707 
8.
Ariodante, HWV 33: Scherza infida, in grembo al drudo by George Frideric Handel
Performer:  Johannette Zomer (Soprano), Bart Schneemann (Oboe)
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Musica Amphion
Period: Baroque 
Written: 1734-1735; London, England 
9.
Mi palpita il cor, HWV 132 by George Frideric Handel
Performer:  Johannette Zomer (Soprano), Bart Schneemann (Oboe)
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Musica Amphion
Period: Baroque 
Written: circa 1707-1710; Italy 
10.
Da quel giorno fatale, HWV 99 "Il delirio amoroso": Introduction by George Frideric Handel
Performer:  Johannette Zomer (Soprano), Bart Schneemann (Oboe)
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Musica Amphion
Period: Baroque 
Written: 1707-1710; Italy 
11.
Riccardo Primo, HWV 23: Caro, vieni a me by George Frideric Handel
Performer:  Johannette Zomer (Soprano), Bart Schneemann (Oboe)
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Musica Amphion
Period: Baroque 
Written: by 1720; London, England 
12.
Concerto for Oboe no 3 in G minor, HWV 287 by George Frideric Handel
Performer:  Bart Schneemann (Oboe)
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Musica Amphion
Period: Baroque 
Written: 1703-1705; Hamburg, Germany 

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