La Resurrezione

Georg Friedrich Handel (1685 — 1759)

La Resurrezione HWV 47

Klaartje van Veld­hoven, Angelo (Soprano)
Ste­fanie True, Mad­dalena (Soprano)
Kris­tine Gether, Cle­ofe (Alto)
Mar­cel Beek­man, S. Gio­vanni (Tenor)
Mitchell San­dler, Lucif­ero (Bass)

Con­trasto Armon­ico • Marco Vitale
Bril­liant Clas­sics 93805 (2-CD SET) • EAN code: 5028421938059
Release date: 1 April 2009

The first recording at historical pitch

Con­trasto Armon­ico con­tin­ues its record­ing project of vocal music in Ital­ian lan­guage com­posed by Georg Friedrich Handel.

Its first release, the ser­e­nata “Aci, Galatea e Polifemo”, was enthu­si­as­ti­cally wel­comed by pub­lic and crit­ics. “Every­thing is shaped intel­li­gently and tellingly” writes the Amer­i­can Record Guide; Ger­man mag­a­zine Fono­Fo­rum describes it as “Lustvoll” record­ing and defines Con­trasto Armonico‟s play­ing “a very ele­gant, fluid and res­o­nant style”. “The per­for­mance is note­wor­thy for Marco Vitale’s nat­ural tempi and obvi­ous affec­tion for the sub­tleties in Handel’s nota­tion” — says Gramo­phone — “Rather than try­ing to escape the music’s styl­ized con­ven­tions, Vitale warmly embraces them and shares them with his listeners”.

The sec­ond CD box released by Bril­liant Clas­sics, gives a new and pas­sion­ate inter­pre­ta­tion of the great Roman ora­to­rio La Res­ur­rezione. This set presents the first record­ing of La Res­ur­rezione in the low Roman pitch, with trans­pos­ing winds; Con­trasto Armon­ico is, indeed, the first orches­tra in mod­ern times to explore this field and apply it to a well-known work by Handel.

 

In Rome, in the first years of the 18th cen­tury, wind instru­ments were banned from the Church. Due to this for­bid the oboists were invited from Venice to take part to per­for­mances in pri­vate palaces of the Roman nobil­ity. For this rea­son almost all the Roman music com­posed in the early 18th cen­tury was per­formed with oboes play­ing one tone higher (in the Venet­ian pitch, about 440 Hz) while the strings were play­ing in the low Roman pitch (about 392 Hz).

Marco Vitale says „I hope that the result may show a hith­erto unseen face to this sig­nif­i­cant and remark­able ora­to­rio, allow­ing us to appre­ci­ate the kind of instru­men­tal sonori­ties and bal­ances which one can only hear when the appro­pri­ate pitch and instru­ments for this music are used.‟

Con­trasto Armon­ico opened a new era for the per­for­mance of Ital­ian Handel‟s music in Roman pitch. In Handel‟s year 2009 Con­trasto Armon­ico and Bril­liant Clas­sics will release the first vol­ume of the Com­plete Can­tatas by Han­del: the first phase of this project will include Roman can­tatas, both for instru­men­tal accom­pa­ni­ment as well as basso con­tinuo, there­fore recorded in a=392 Hz.