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George Frideric HANDEL (1685-1759)
Duetti e Terzetti italiani

Quel fior che all’alba ride (Duetto XV) [7:00]
Giù nei Tartarei regni v’andrem madonna, HWV187 [5:46]
Quando in calma ride il mare, HWV191 [4:10]
Amor gioie mi porge [6:41]
Caro autor di mia doglia (Arcadian duet), HWV182b [8:02]
Che vai pensando, HWV184 [4:56]
Va, speme infida pur, HWV199 [6:54]
Italian Duet No.10, Tacete, ohimè tacete, HWV196 [9:17]
Se tu non lasci amore, HWV201 [8:24]
Roberta Invernizzi (soprano), Silvia Frigato (soprano), Krystian Adam (tenor), Thomas E. Bauer (baritone)
La Risonanza (Caterina Dell’Agnello [violoncello], Evangelina Mascardi [theorbo])/Fabio Bonizzoni (harpsichord)
rec. Abbaye de Saint-Michel en Thiérache, France, 24-27 June 2014. DDD.
Texts and translations included.
GLOSSA GCD921517 [61:10]

Reviewed as 24-bit download from eclassical.com (also available as mp3 and 16-bit lossless, with pdf booklet, and from dealers on CD).  Subscribers stream in 16- or 24-bit sound from classicsonlinehd.com (with pdf booklet).

Some of Handel’s most beautiful music was written during his short stay in Italy in his early twenties.  It’s also some of his least known apart from those works which he pillaged later in his career in London. Nine of the works here clearly come from that Italian period and the tenth, though found in a manuscript dating from his return to Germany, may well also have been written earlier.

Emma Kirkby recorded some of the solo Italian cantatas for Decca L’Oiseau Lyre (4144732 – special CD from Presto) and BIS (BIS-SACD-1695) but for a decade now Glossa have been making something of a speciality of recording the cantatas for solo and multiple voices.  In view of the fact that the Decca Eloquence reissue of the Kirkby recording which I recommended – review – has apparently been deleted, though, happily, Presto have released it as one of their ‘specials’, it’s enterprising and commercially brave of Glossa to have given us so many volumes in this series, of which this review is a celebration.  I have dipped into those which I had not previously reviewed and it would be hard to find fault with any of them.

GCDP10002: Roberta Invernizzi: Handel in Italy (2-for-1 offer – selections from the series) – Download News 2013/13
GCD921515 (2 CDs): Aci, Galatea e Polifemostream (for subscribers) or download from classicsonline.com (with pdf booklet)  (NB download from eclassical.com, also with pdf booklet, at $16.19 is less expensive than £15.99 from classicsonline.com).
GCD921516: Duetti da camera – subscribers stream from classicsonline hd.com (NO booklet) – download from eclassical.com (mp3 and 16-bit lossless, NO booklet).
GCD921521: Cantatas for Cardinal Pamphili
GCD921522: Cantatas for Marchese Ruspoli
GCD921523: Cantatas for Cardinal Ottoboni
GCD921524: Aminta e Fillide – for GCD921521-24 please see Download Roundup March 2009.
GCD921525: Clori, Tirsi e Fileno
GCD921526: Olinto, pastorestream (for subscribers) or download from classicsonlinehd.com (with pdf booklet)
GCD921527: Apollo e Dafnestream (for subscribers) or download from classicsonlinehd.com (with pdf booklet)

Of the works on the new Glossa recording HWV184 and HWV201 seem to be currently otherwise unavailable.  That’s reason enough in itself to obtain this recording but the quality of the performances is an even more cogent one.  I’ve already used up many of my superlatives in reviewing earlier volumes in the series but in addition to the wonderful sopranos, Roberta Invernizzi, who has featured in most of the earlier releases, and Silvia Frigato, we also have splendid support from two excellent male singers.

The spot-on accuracy of the singing and instrumental support is superbly conveyed by the recording: while waiting for the 24-bit to download I also sampled the mp3 and the 16-bit streamed version from classicsonlinehd.com, so I’m confident that although audiophiles will prefer the 24-bit, the 16-bit CD will sound fine, too. The booklet of notes, too, is of Glossa’s usual high quality, so it's a double shame that some of the other volumes come without booklet as downloads: for these the CDs seem to be the only option.

I’ve given the link to classicsonlinehd.com where subscribers can stream this album in 16- or 24-bit sound but whereas their price of £7.99 for the download is (just) competitive with the eclassical.com price of $11.01, their £15.99 for the 24-bit download is considerably more than eclassical.com’s $16.52.  Both offer the booklet to purchasers.

The Recording of the Month accolade is relevant to this latest album in particular but is also awarded to the series in general, as partial atonement that though I’ve been listening to all the constituent volumes, I haven’t kept up with reviewing them all.

Brian Wilson  

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