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Scarlatti, Monteverdi, Lawes, Handel / Janet Baker, Et Al


Release Date: 02/10/2004 
Label:  Testament   Catalog #: 1321   Spars Code: ADD 
Composer:  Domenico ScarlattiClaudio MonteverdiAlessandro ScarlattiHenry Lawes,   ... 
Performer:  Dame Janet BakerDietrich Fischer-DieskauKenneth HeathGeorge Malcolm
Conductor:  Raymond Leppard
Orchestra/Ensemble:  English Chamber Orchestra
Number of Discs: 1 
Recorded in: Stereo 
Length: 1 Hours 15 Mins. 

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Notes and Editorial Reviews

Janet Baker's Scarlatti/Monteverdi recital is rarely cited as one of the gems of her discography, but it deserves that accolade. Perhaps its relative neglect is due to conductor Raymond Leppard's arrangements, which are anachronistic even for 1970. Domenico Scarlatti's Salve regina, for example, includes some lush string passages and harpsichord flourishes that startle in repertoire that's now almost exclusively the province of period-instrument specialists. For the less doctrinaire though, it's easy to listen through the accompaniments to focus on Baker's vocalism and surrender to the power of her interpretations. In that Salve regina, she captivates from the beginning, investing the opening words with a variety of colors that inform the Read more text. When the words call on the singer to "send up our sighs" she touches the heart with yearning, and her coloratura flourishes excite in the closing Amen. In Alessandro Scarlatti's Cantata Pastorale we hear the same involvement, her individual timbre here lightened to convey the joy and awe of the Christmas story.


But it's the Monteverdi operatic excerpts that grip the listener most firmly. Baker sang the title role in a 1971 London production of L'Incoronazione di Poppea; here, she sings Ottavia's two big arias--the Lament and the Farewell--with tremendous intensity. The opening of the Lament is as gut-grabbing as can be imagined, with Baker diving into the emotional core of text and character. In the Farewell, she colors the words "Addio Roma" with heart-breaking sadness. These are "hot" performances, uncovering the raw emotions of people at the end of their tether.


The remaining 25 minutes of this 75-minute disc are drawn from a 1970 London concert recording with Dietrich Fischer-Dieskau. The Handel Italian duets are lovely chips off the master's workbench, beautifully sung. The trio of "Dialogues" by the 17th-century Lawes brothers, similarly well-sung but on a significantly lesser level, demonstrate that Baker doesn't do coyness very well, which is to her credit. Everything's sung in Italian except for the Lawes selections. Texts are provided for all selections, including English translations for the Italian ones. Sound is overly bright at the top end, an effect exacerbated by the high transfer level.
--Dan Davis, ClassicsToday.com Read less

Works on This Recording

1.
Salve Regina by Domenico Scarlatti
Performer:  Dame Janet Baker (Mezzo Soprano)
Conductor:  Raymond Leppard
Orchestra/Ensemble:  English Chamber Orchestra
Period: Baroque 
Written: 18th Century 
Date of Recording: 1969 
Venue:  EMI Abbey Road Studio No. 1, London 
Length: 14 Minutes 16 Secs. 
Language: Latin 
Notes: Arranged: Raymond Leppard 
2.
L'Incoronazione di Poppea: Disprezzata Regina by Claudio Monteverdi
Performer:  Dame Janet Baker (Mezzo Soprano)
Conductor:  Raymond Leppard
Orchestra/Ensemble:  English Chamber Orchestra
Period: Baroque 
Written: 1642; Venice, Italy 
Date of Recording: 1969 
Venue:  EMI Abbey Road Studio No. 1, London 
Length: 6 Minutes 50 Secs. 
Language: Italian 
Notes: Arranged: Raymond Leppard 
3.
L'Incoronazione di Poppea: Act 3, Scene 7 "Addio Roma" by Claudio Monteverdi
Performer:  Dame Janet Baker (Mezzo Soprano)
Conductor:  Raymond Leppard
Orchestra/Ensemble:  English Chamber Orchestra
Period: Baroque 
Written: 1642; Venice, Italy 
Date of Recording: 1969 
Venue:  EMI Abbey Road Studio No. 1, London 
Length: 4 Minutes 31 Secs. 
Language: Italian 
Notes: Arranged: Raymond Leppard 
4.
Lasciatemi morire "Lamento d'Arianna a 1" by Claudio Monteverdi
Performer:  Dame Janet Baker (Mezzo Soprano)
Conductor:  Raymond Leppard
Orchestra/Ensemble:  English Chamber Orchestra
Period: Baroque 
Written: by 1623; Italy 
Date of Recording: 1969 
Venue:  EMI Abbey Road Studio No. 1, London 
Length: 9 Minutes 46 Secs. 
Language: Italian 
Notes: Arranged: Raymond Leppard 
5.
Oh di Betlemme altera povertà "Cantata pastorale" by Alessandro Scarlatti
Performer:  Dame Janet Baker (Mezzo Soprano)
Conductor:  Raymond Leppard
Orchestra/Ensemble:  English Chamber Orchestra
Period: Baroque 
Written: Italy 
Date of Recording: 1969 
Venue:  EMI Abbey Road Studio No. 1, London 
Length: 16 Minutes 12 Secs. 
Language: Italian 
6.
A Dialogue on a Kiss "Among thy fancies tell me this" by Henry Lawes
Performer:  Dietrich Fischer-Dieskau (Baritone), Dame Janet Baker (Mezzo Soprano), Kenneth Heath (Cello),
George Malcolm (Harpsichord)
Period: Baroque 
Written: 17th Century; England 
Date of Recording: 02/23/1970 
Venue:  Live  Royal Festival Hall, London, England 
Length: 3 Minutes 23 Secs. 
Language: English 
7.
Charon, O gentle Charon, let me woo thee "Charon & Philomel" by William Lawes
Performer:  Dietrich Fischer-Dieskau (Baritone), George Malcolm (Harpsichord), Dame Janet Baker (Mezzo Soprano),
Kenneth Heath (Cello)
Period: Baroque 
Written: by 1648; England 
Date of Recording: 02/23/1970 
Venue:  Live  Royal Festival Hall, London, England 
Length: 4 Minutes 18 Secs. 
Language: English 
8.
Come, my Daphne, come away by William Lawes
Performer:  Kenneth Heath (Cello), George Malcolm (Harpsichord), Dietrich Fischer-Dieskau (Baritone),
Dame Janet Baker (Mezzo Soprano)
Period: Renaissance 
Written: 1641; England 
Date of Recording: 02/23/1970 
Venue:  Live  Royal Festival Hall, London, England 
Length: 1 Minutes 47 Secs. 
Language: English 
9.
Giù nei tartarei regni, HWV 187 by George Frideric Handel
Performer:  Dietrich Fischer-Dieskau (Baritone), Dame Janet Baker (Mezzo Soprano), Kenneth Heath (Cello),
George Malcolm (Harpsichord)
Period: Baroque 
Written: circa 1707-1709; Italy 
Date of Recording: 02/23/1970 
Venue:  Live  Royal Festival Hall, London, England 
Length: 6 Minutes 57 Secs. 
Language: Italian 
10.
Quando in calma ride il mare, HWV 191 by George Frideric Handel
Performer:  Kenneth Heath (Cello), George Malcolm (Harpsichord), Dietrich Fischer-Dieskau (Baritone),
Dame Janet Baker (Mezzo Soprano)
Period: Baroque 
Written: by 1711; Italy 
Date of Recording: 02/23/1970 
Venue:  Live  Royal Festival Hall, London, England 
Length: 6 Minutes 4 Secs. 
Language: Italian 

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