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Endless Pleasure - Handel & Mozart Arias / Swenson, Mackerras


Release Date: 11/03/1998 
Label:  Emi Classics   Catalog #: 56672   Spars Code: DDD 
Composer:  George Frideric HandelWolfgang Amadeus Mozart
Performer:  Ruth Ann SwensonAnthony RobsonLisa BeznosiukMargaret Faultless,   ... 
Conductor:  Sir Charles Mackerras
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Orchestra of the Age of Enlightenment
Number of Discs: 1 
Recorded in: Stereo 
Length: 1 Hours 8 Mins. 

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This CD is reissued by ArkivMusic.

Notes and Editorial Reviews

Ruth Ann Swenson made something of a sensation with her brilliantly sung and vivaciously acted Semele at the last Covent Garden revival, under Sir Charles Mackerras, and her success is happily recaptured on the opening tracks here, beginning, aptly enough, with ‘Endless pleasure’. This piece is charmingly done, with neat timing and fluent ornamental singing, and ‘Myself I shall adore’ is deftly phrased, with some lovely light coloratura. But in the Sleep Song there is no want of sensuality – nor indeed in ‘V’adoro pupille’, the song where the disguised Cleopatra lures Julius Caesar; no one could fail to be seduced by this, though possibly the ornamentation in the da capo suggests that she is trying a little too hard. I have heard Cleopatras Read more express grief and passion more powerful than Swenson’s in ‘Se pieta’, but this performance, almost as if she was resigned to her fate, is very poised and very beautiful. The Handel numbers end with an agile and spirited account of Cleopatra’s song at her moment of triumph.

The voice itself is large, bright and musical. It occasionally hardens a little in the upper register, and it is not especially varied: which I found concerned me more in Mozart than in Handel. Still, it is a very deeply felt account of ‘Traurigkeit’ – and this is particularly finely and sensitively accompanied by Mackerras and the Age of Enlightenment players. I enjoyed ‘Martern aller Arten’ slightly less; there are one or two imperfections in the obbligato playing, and I wasn’t wholly convinced by Mackerras’s interpretation of the curious ad libitum indications in the orchestral music (slowing down in this way, each time the phrase occurs, becomes tautological); Swenson has something of the necessary grand manner but the tone needs more variety and the words, in particular the consonants, would have benefited from clearer articulation. She and Mackerras, incidentally, include two passages (of 11 bars and 15 bars) that Mozart cut (at 3‘53‘ and 8‘44‘): it’s good to hear them, although Mozart was certainly wise to omit them – whatever criticisms have been made of this aria, no one has ever complained that it was too short. The concert aria is done with due drama (again, sharper articulation of the words would have been welcome) and the one from Lucio Silla is well characterized and the perfectly placed staccato coloratura is a delight. A very welcome disc, with attractive music sung by an unusually promising and already accomplished artist, attentively accompanied.

-- Stanley Sadie, Gramophone
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Works on This Recording

1.
Semele, HWV 58: Endless pleasure, endless love by George Frideric Handel
Performer:  Ruth Ann Swenson (Soprano)
Conductor:  Sir Charles Mackerras
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Orchestra of the Age of Enlightenment
Period: Baroque 
Written: 1744; London, England 
Date of Recording: 02/1998 
Venue:  EMI Abbey Road Studio No. 1, London 
Length: 3 Minutes 21 Secs. 
Language: English 
2.
Semele, HWV 58: O Sleep, why dost thou leave me? by George Frideric Handel
Performer:  Ruth Ann Swenson (Soprano)
Conductor:  Sir Charles Mackerras
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Orchestra of the Age of Enlightenment
Period: Baroque 
Written: 1744; London, England 
Date of Recording: 02/1998 
Venue:  EMI Abbey Road Studio No. 1, London 
Length: 3 Minutes 28 Secs. 
Language: English 
3.
Semele, HWV 58: Myself I shall adore by George Frideric Handel
Performer:  Ruth Ann Swenson (Soprano)
Conductor:  Sir Charles Mackerras
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Orchestra of the Age of Enlightenment
Period: Baroque 
Written: 1744; London, England 
Date of Recording: 02/1998 
Venue:  EMI Abbey Road Studio No. 1, London 
Length: 6 Minutes 59 Secs. 
Language: English 
4.
Giulio Cesare, HWV 17: V'adoro pupille by George Frideric Handel
Performer:  Ruth Ann Swenson (Soprano)
Conductor:  Sir Charles Mackerras
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Orchestra of the Age of Enlightenment
Period: Baroque 
Written: 1724; London, England 
Date of Recording: 02/1998 
Venue:  EMI Abbey Road Studio No. 1, London 
Length: 4 Minutes 50 Secs. 
Language: Italian 
5.
Giulio Cesare, HWV 17: Da tempeste il legno infranto by George Frideric Handel
Performer:  Ruth Ann Swenson (Soprano)
Conductor:  Sir Charles Mackerras
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Orchestra of the Age of Enlightenment
Period: Baroque 
Written: 1724; London, England 
Date of Recording: 02/1998 
Venue:  EMI Abbey Road Studio No. 1, London 
Length: 6 Minutes 28 Secs. 
Language: Italian 
6.
Die Entführung aus dem Serail, K 384: Martern aller Arten by Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart
Performer:  Anthony Robson (Oboe), Lisa Beznosiuk (Flute), Ruth Ann Swenson (Soprano),
Margaret Faultless (Violin), Susan Sheppard (Cello)
Conductor:  Sir Charles Mackerras
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Orchestra of the Age of Enlightenment
Period: Classical 
Written: 1782; Vienna, Austria 
Date of Recording: 02/1998 
Venue:  EMI Abbey Road Studio No. 1, London 
Length: 9 Minutes 37 Secs. 
Language: German 
7.
Lucio Silla, K 135: In un istante...Parto, m'affretto by Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart
Performer:  Ruth Ann Swenson (Soprano)
Conductor:  Sir Charles Mackerras
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Orchestra of the Age of Enlightenment
Period: Classical 
Written: 1772; Milan, Italy 
Date of Recording: 02/1998 
Venue:  EMI Abbey Road Studio No. 1, London 
Length: 7 Minutes 33 Secs. 
Language: Italian 
8.
Misera! dove son...Ah! non son io, K 369 by Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart
Performer:  Ruth Ann Swenson (Soprano)
Conductor:  Sir Charles Mackerras
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Orchestra of the Age of Enlightenment
Period: Classical 
Written: 1781; Munich, Germany 
Date of Recording: 02/1998 
Venue:  EMI Abbey Road Studio No. 1, London 
Length: 6 Minutes 48 Secs. 
Language: Italian 
9.
Giulio Cesare, HWV 17: Se pietà di me non senti by George Frideric Handel
Performer:  Ruth Ann Swenson (Soprano)
Conductor:  Sir Charles Mackerras
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Orchestra of the Age of Enlightenment
Period: Baroque 
Written: 1724; London, England 
Date of Recording: 02/1998 
Venue:  EMI Abbey Road Studio No. 1, London 
Length: 9 Minutes 7 Secs. 
Language: Italian 
10.
Die Entführung aus dem Serail, K 384: Welcher Kummer herrscht...Traurigkeit ward by Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart
Performer:  Ruth Ann Swenson (Soprano)
Conductor:  Sir Charles Mackerras
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Orchestra of the Age of Enlightenment
Period: Classical 
Written: 1782; Vienna, Austria 
Date of Recording: 02/1998 
Venue:  EMI Abbey Road Studio No. 1, London 
Length: 8 Minutes 59 Secs. 
Language: German 

Sound Samples

Semele: Endless Pleasure
Semele: Myself I Shall Adore
Semele: O sleep, why dost thou leave me?
Giulio Cesare: V'addoro pupille, saette d'amore
Giulio Cesare: Se pieta di me non senti
Giulio Cesare: Da tempeste il legno infranto
Die Entführung aus dem Serail K384: Recit: Welcher Wechsel herrscht in meiner Seele...
Die Entführung aus dem Serail K384: Aria: Traurigkeit
Die Entführung aus dem Serail K384: Martern aller Arten
Misera dove son, K. 369: Recit: Misera, dove son!
Misera dove son, K. 369: Aria: Ah! non son io che parlo
Lucio Silla: Recitativo - In un istante oh come s'accrebbe il mio timor!
Lucio Silla: Aria - Parto, M'affterro

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