Handel Complete Cantatas vol. 3

Georg Friedrich Handel (1685 — 1759)

Handel Complete Cantatas vol. 3

Arresta il passo (Aminta e Fil­lide) HWV 83

Klaartje van Veld­hoven (Soprano, Aminta)
Ste­fanie True (Soprano, Fil­lide)

Con­trasto Armon­ico
Marco Vitale, harp­si­chord and direction

Bril­liant Clas­sics 94230 (1-CD) • EAN code: 5028421942308
Release date: August 2011

Release Sheet

This dra­matic can­tata is one of the ear­li­est works com­posed for Handel’s Ital­ian patron Mar­quis Francesco Maria Rus­poli. It is thought that the first per­for­mance took place in 1707, around the same time as his La Res­ur­rezione. Han­del met Corelli, and had heard the music of Alessan­dro Scar­latti, and his com­po­si­tional skills had broad­ened con­sid­er­ably as a result.

In addi­tion, his abil­ity at real­is­ing in his music the emo­tion behind the words, and of cre­at­ing fully rounded char­ac­ters (that would later dis­tin­guish him as one of the great­est opera com­posers) blos­somed. Although Han­del had huge orches­tral forces at his dis­posal in Italy, the scor­ing for this ten­der tale of a shep­herd who even­tu­ally wins the love of a nymph play­ing hard to get, is small and ideal for the drama that unfolds. This record­ing uses Handel’s orig­i­nal ver­sion of the score, con­sid­ered by Marco Vitale to be stronger than his revision.

A unique and pres­ti­gious project: the com­plete can­tatas by Han­del. Vol­ume 3 offers the great, large-scale Ital­ian Can­tata Aminta & Fil­lide, writ­ten by the young Han­del in Rome, and telling the story of a shep­herd win­ning the love of a reluc­tant nymph. The per­for­mances of Con­trasto Armon­ico and Marco Vitale, bases on thor­ough sci­en­tific research and played on period instru­ments, are full of “Han­delian” drama and vir­tu­os­ity. The singers are absolutely won­der­ful, Stephanie True is one of the finest Baroque sopra­nos at present. Com­plete texts included, as well as liner notes writ­ten by Marco Vitale, explain­ing the back­ground, his­tory and sources of this won­der­ful music.