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Handel: Italian Duets / Susanna Ryden, Gemma Bertagnoli


Release Date: 11/13/2012 
Label:  Brilliant Classics   Catalog #: 94344  
Composer:  George Frideric Handel
Performer:  Gemma BertagnolliSusanne Rydén
Conductor:  Claudio Astronio
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Harmonices Mundi
Number of Discs: 1 
Recorded in: Stereo 
In Stock: Usually ships in 24 hours.  

Notes and Editorial Reviews

The supreme master of the chamber duet genre was Agostino Steffani, recently celebrated by Cecilia Bartoli, and it is no coincidence that Handel had a manuscript copy of Steffani’s famous duets with him at the beginning of his stay in Rome. The Italian composer’s work was a model for the young musician from Saxony, an inspiration that left tangible traces in those very duets. There is a distinct network of connections between Handel’s duets, his other compositions and those of several of his contemporaries that bears witness to consistent borrowing. The duets are a case in point, revealing a criss-crossing of musical loans from one composition to another. Apart from Steffani, Handel also borrowed musical ideas from colleagues such as Read more Giovanni Maria Clari and Pietro Torri, Dietrich Buxtehude and Antonio Caldara.

The duets continued to charm the world of music even after Handel’s death, when, with the exception of the grand oratorios, the rest of his output faded somewhat into the background. Each duet in this collection is preceded by a compatible instrumental piece, which acts as a sort of prelude. Although these latter compositions were originally written for the keyboard, they were also transcribed for various basso continuo instruments, which is how they are performed here. The practice of alternating instrumental and vocal pieces was typical of court and academy perfor- mance during the 1700s, and is well suited to Handel’s duets.

Harmonices Mundi and Claudio Astronio have made fine recordings for Brilliant of several other Baroque composers. Here they are joined by two bright stars of the Baroque opera and vocal scene.

OTHER INFORMATION:
• Includes booklet notes and sung text.
• Recordings made in 2009; previously unreleased. Read less

Works on This Recording

1.
Sonata for Harpsichord in B major by George Frideric Handel
Conductor:  Claudio Astronio
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Harmonices Mundi
2.
Quel fior che all'alba ride, HWV 200 by George Frideric Handel
Performer:  Gemma Bertagnolli (Soprano), Susanne Rydén (Soprano)
Conductor:  Claudio Astronio
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Harmonices Mundi
3.
Prelude for Keyboard in D minor by George Frideric Handel
Conductor:  Claudio Astronio
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Harmonices Mundi
Period: Baroque 
Written: England 
4.
Italian Duets: Va, speme infida, HWV 199 by George Frideric Handel
Performer:  Gemma Bertagnolli (Soprano), Susanne Rydén (Soprano)
Conductor:  Claudio Astronio
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Harmonices Mundi
Period: Baroque 
Written: by 1711 
5.
Prelude by George Frideric Handel
Conductor:  Claudio Astronio
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Harmonices Mundi
6.
Italian Duets: Amor gioje mi porge, HWV 180 by George Frideric Handel
Performer:  Gemma Bertagnolli (Soprano), Susanne Rydén (Soprano)
Conductor:  Claudio Astronio
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Harmonices Mundi
Period: Baroque 
Written: by 1711; Hannover, Germany 
7.
Entrée by George Frideric Handel
Conductor:  Claudio Astronio
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Harmonices Mundi
8.
Italian Duets: Caro autor di mia doglia, HWV 181a by George Frideric Handel
Performer:  Gemma Bertagnolli (Soprano), Susanne Rydén (Soprano)
Conductor:  Claudio Astronio
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Harmonices Mundi
Period: Baroque 
Written: ?1707; London, England 
9.
Toccata by George Frideric Handel
Conductor:  Claudio Astronio
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Harmonices Mundi
10.
Italian Duets: Ahi, nelle sorti umane, HWV 179 by George Frideric Handel
Performer:  Gemma Bertagnolli (Soprano), Susanne Rydén (Soprano)
Conductor:  Claudio Astronio
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Harmonices Mundi
Period: Baroque 
Written: by 1745 
11.
Prelude by George Frideric Handel
Conductor:  Claudio Astronio
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Harmonices Mundi
12.
Italian Duets: no 16, Nò, di voi non vo'fidarmi, HWV 189 by George Frideric Handel
Performer:  Gemma Bertagnolli (Soprano), Susanne Rydén (Soprano)
Conductor:  Claudio Astronio
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Harmonices Mundi
Period: Baroque 
Written: 1741; London, England 

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