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When Loves Soft Passion
Georg Frideric HANDEL (1685-1759)
Mi palpita il cor (c.1711) [11:40]
Nel dolce dell’oblio (c.1707) [7:41]
Antonio LOTTI (c.1667-1740)
Ti sento O’Dio bendato [12:12]
Alessandro SCARLATTI (1660-1725)
Ardo ver per te d’amore [10:25]
Johann Christoph PEPUSCH (1667-1752)
When Loves Soft Passion (1720) [9:48]
Love Frowns in Beauteous Myra’s Eyes (1722) [9:21]
William CROFT (1678-1727)
Celadon (1702) [4:35]
Georg Philipp TELEMANN (1681-1767)
Lauter Wonne, lauter Freude [10:09]
Ensemble Musica Poetica – Sabine Kaipainen (mezzo); Tuomas Kaipainen (baroque oboe); Sohyun Sung (cello); Petteri Pitko (harpsichord)
rec. Kirche Blumenstein, BE, Switzerland, October 2006
THOROFON CTH2543 [75:58]


Experience Classicsonline

This is a fine selection of cantatas – some better known, some much less so – generously presented. There are two by Handel, two by Pepusch and single examples by Lotti, Scarlatti, Telemann and Croft. Given the cosmopolitan geographical leanings of these composers it can be seen that the focus ranges freely from Italy to Germany and to England and stylistically the influences are many and fruitful.

Ensemble Musica Poetica is based around the husband and wife team of mezzo Sabine and baroque oboist Tuomas Kaipainen. The group is completed by Sohyun Sung (cello) and Petteri Pitko (harpsichord). Tuomas Kaipainen is an effective performer which is just as well because he has a torrent of virtuosic material with which to deal. I hadn’t heard any recordings by Sabine Kaipainen so can’t judge if this is representative of her best singing. Let me just say that I think she had an off day, or series of off days, when setting down these performances.

Her voice reveals unsteadiness and unevenness of production as early as the Largo of Handel’s Mi palpita il cor. She snatches at notes in the lower register and her pitch is imperfect. Additionally the recording, in the Kirche Blumenstein, has failed to “centre” the voice satisfactorily, whereas the oboe projects well enough. For all the plangency of the lyric slow movement it’s sabotaged by an uncontrolled vibrato. Similarly there are registral cracks in the Lento aria of Ardo ver per te d’amore and in the following recitative the harpsichord’s dramatic interjections sound out of scale.

That particular expressive feature – a rock ‘n’ roll cembalo – returns in Handel’s Nel dolce dell’oblio. The Pepusch suits her voice much better though her English pronunciation is very odd – as is, doubtless, many English singers’ pronunciation of foreign languages. She just about manages the demanding breath control of the recitative and arias of Croft’s Celladon and deals well with the malicious laughter in the Telemann. Throughout her husband plays with attractive tone and technical surety.

Original texts and German translations fill up the nicely printed booklet but this doesn’t compensate for the oddities in recording and for performance problems which are really too substantial to pass over.

Jonathan Woolf



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