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Hidden Handel / Ann Hallenberg, Alan Curtis, Il Complesso Barocco

Handel / Hallenberg / Il Complesso Barocco
Release Date: 04/30/2013 
Label:  Naive   Catalog #: 5326   Spars Code: DDD 
Composer:  George Frideric Handel
Performer:  Ann Hallenberg
Conductor:  Alan Curtis
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Il Complesso Barocco
Number of Discs: 1 
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Notes and Editorial Reviews



HANDEL Hidden Handel Alan Curtis, cond; Ann Hallenburg (mez); Il Complesso Barocco (period instruments) NAÏVE 5326 (71:00 Text and Translation)


Arias from Admeto, Alessandro, Berenice, Muzio Scevola, Ottone, Pirro e Demetrio, Rinaldo, Teseo . Marches: in G; in D; in F. Aria for Winds in F. Hornpipe in C


This is a most unusual disc, consisting as it does of Read more various bits and pieces that were excerpted from better-known larger works, mainly operas, by George Frederick Handel. During the 18th century it was quite common for composers such as Handel to vary the score of a stage work frequently, sometimes from night to night depending upon what worked, how the audience reacted, how the singers felt, or simply because of his own satisfaction or dissatisfaction at any given time. The idea of the score being an iconic document in its own right simply did not exist, and Handel, along with everyone else, was quite practical about the matter of performances. After all, one tends to forget that they were in it primarily to make a living, not create works that would inevitably become part of a giant canon (though some, of course, did). Although there are “complete” performances of works such as Rinaldo or Ottone , all of the various gyrations that the composer did to respond to his performance world are hardly included. As a result there are a plethora of orphans out there which would never be heard unless discs like this come along.


One might be tempted to think of this as outlining the talents of Ann Hallenburg, who is billed as a mezzo-soprano but has a rich voice that has power and depth in the lower registers enough to be considered an alto. Here the sound is very much like that of the castratos for which the bulk of these parts was written. And these are versatile pieces which ought not to have been excluded. For example, “Lusinga questo cor” was written as an insertion to Amadigi, Rinaldo ’s successor from1715, and since it exists only in a collection of miscellaneous arias, there is some difficulty in placing it. But right off the bat the voice launches into an extremely winding vocal line that virtually explodes out of the instrumental introduction. And speaking of Rinaldo , Handel had at hand soprano Anastasia Robinson for its revival in 1714, and for her flexible voice wrote several effective arias, including the plaintive “La crudele lontananza,” in which the lamenting lines with long mezzo di voce unfold in emotional waves. The insertion aria for the 1737 Berenice , “le vicende della sorte,” is replete with syncopations and a tripping little main theme that seems to roll off the throat most adequately.


Alan Curtis’s early-instrument group performs things with nicely up-beat tempos. There is no rushing about, no hurried pace, but rather it follows the needs of the text and singer. The Handelian sound where the oboes often double the strings is clear and precise, and when one gets to the instrumental insertions, the grandeur of the works shines forth. In particular the March in F Major sounds like it could have been excerpted from the Fireworks Music , save that it was composed over a decade earlier (and to be sure, Handel did paraphrase some of it). The D-Major March, with its bellicose trumpet part, ought to replace the worn Voluntary of Jeremiah Clarke; it is suitably stately, but alas lasts less than a minute.


In short, this is the sort of disc that displays things not often heard, the discarded or alternative operatic worlds that Handel created, and although the pieces are divorced from the contexts within the operas to which they belong, their performance here offers a glimpse into the fecund mind of the composer. The disc is excellent, well recorded, and should be in the collection of every Handel lover.


FANFARE: Bertil van Boer
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Works on This Recording

1.
Pirro e Demetrio: Sento prima le procelle by George Frideric Handel
Performer:  Ann Hallenberg (Mezzo Soprano)
Conductor:  Alan Curtis
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Il Complesso Barocco
Period: Baroque 
2.
Rinaldo, HWV 7: La crudele lontananza by George Frideric Handel
Performer:  Ann Hallenberg (Mezzo Soprano)
Conductor:  Alan Curtis
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Il Complesso Barocco
Period: Baroque 
3.
Pirro e Demetrio: No, non così severe by George Frideric Handel
Performer:  Ann Hallenberg (Mezzo Soprano)
Conductor:  Alan Curtis
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Il Complesso Barocco
Period: Baroque 
4.
Pirro e Demetrio: Vieni, o cara, e lieta in petto by George Frideric Handel
Performer:  Ann Hallenberg (Mezzo Soprano)
Conductor:  Alan Curtis
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Il Complesso Barocco
5.
Hornpipe in C minor, HWV 355 by George Frideric Handel
Conductor:  Alan Curtis
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Il Complesso Barocco
Period: Baroque 
Written: circa 1713 
6.
Ottone, HWV 15: Vinto è l'amor by George Frideric Handel
Performer:  Ann Hallenberg (Mezzo Soprano)
Conductor:  Alan Curtis
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Il Complesso Barocco
7.
Rinaldo, HWV 7: Vieni, o caro, che senza il tuo core by George Frideric Handel
Performer:  Ann Hallenberg (Mezzo Soprano)
Conductor:  Alan Curtis
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Il Complesso Barocco
8.
Muzio Scevola, HWV 13: Io d’altro regno… by George Frideric Handel
Performer:  Ann Hallenberg (Mezzo Soprano)
Conductor:  Alan Curtis
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Il Complesso Barocco
Period: Baroque 
Written: by 1721 ; London, England 
9.
Muzio Scevola, HWV 13: Dimmi, crudele Amore by George Frideric Handel
Performer:  Ann Hallenberg (Mezzo Soprano)
Conductor:  Alan Curtis
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Il Complesso Barocco
Period: Baroque 
Written: by 1721; London, England 
10.
Aria for Winds in F major by George Frideric Handel
Conductor:  Alan Curtis
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Il Complesso Barocco
Period: Baroque 
11.
Amadigi di Gaula, HWV 11: Lusinga questo cor by George Frideric Handel
Performer:  Ann Hallenberg (Mezzo Soprano)
Conductor:  Alan Curtis
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Il Complesso Barocco
12.
Teseo, HWV 9: Sa perché pena il cor by George Frideric Handel
Performer:  Ann Hallenberg (Mezzo Soprano)
Conductor:  Alan Curtis
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Il Complesso Barocco
Period: Baroque 
13.
Admeto, Rè di Tessaglia, HWV 22: Non lagrimate, o mie seguace by George Frideric Handel
Performer:  Ann Hallenberg (Mezzo Soprano)
Conductor:  Alan Curtis
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Il Complesso Barocco
Period: Baroque 
14.
March in G major by George Frideric Handel
Conductor:  Alan Curtis
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Il Complesso Barocco
15.
Admeto, Rè di Tessaglia, HWV 22: Farò così più bella by George Frideric Handel
Performer:  Ann Hallenberg (Mezzo Soprano)
Conductor:  Alan Curtis
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Il Complesso Barocco
16.
Berenice, Regina d'Egitto, HWV 38: Le vicende della sorte by George Frideric Handel
Performer:  Ann Hallenberg (Mezzo Soprano)
Conductor:  Alan Curtis
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Il Complesso Barocco
Period: Baroque 
17.
March in D major, HWV 416 by George Frideric Handel
Conductor:  Alan Curtis
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Il Complesso Barocco
18.
Alessandro, HWV 21: Solitudine amate by George Frideric Handel
Performer:  Ann Hallenberg (Mezzo Soprano)
Conductor:  Alan Curtis
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Il Complesso Barocco
Period: Baroque 
Written: 1726; London, England 
19.
March in F major, HWV 346 by George Frideric Handel
Conductor:  Alan Curtis
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Il Complesso Barocco
Period: Baroque 
Written: London, England 

Sound Samples

Pirro e Demetrio: Act I: Sento prima le procelle
Rinaldo, HWV 7 (1714-15 version): Act II: La crudele lontananza
Pirro e Demetrio: Act I: No, non cosi severe
Aria (Hornpipe) in C minor, HWV 355
Pirro e Demetrio: Act III: Vieni, o cara, e lieta in petto
Ottone, re di Germania, HWV 15: Act I: Vinto e l'amor
Rinaldo, HWV 7 (1717 version): Act II: Vieni, o caro, che senza il tuo core
Aria in F major, HWV 410
Muzio Scevola, HWV 13: Act III: Accompanied Recitative: Io d'altro regno, che del cor di Muzio saro regina?
Muzio Scevola, HWV 13: Act III: Aria da capo: Dimmi, crudele Amore
March in G major, HWV 418
Amadigi di Gaula, HWV 11: Act I: Lusinga questo cor
Teseo, HWV 9, Act IV: Sa perche pena il cor
Admeto, HWV 22: Act I: Recitative: Non lagrimate o miei seguaci
Admeto, HWV 22: Act I: Aria: Faro cosi piu bella
March in D major, HWV 416
Berenice, HWV 38 (original version): Berenice, HWV 38, Act II: Le vicende della sorte (original version)
March in F major, HWV 346
Alessandro, HWV 21: Act II: Solitudini amate

Customer Reviews

Average Customer Review:  1 Customer Review )
 Breathtaking music with more than a whiff of the  September 7, 2013 By Anthony G. (valley stream, NY) See All My Reviews "Breathtaking music with more than a whiff of the fresh and exotic." Report Abuse
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