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.