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CHAN 0620
Handel: Italian Cantatas and Trio Sonatas

Handel: Italian Cantatas

The Classical Shop
release date: May 1998

Originally recorded in 1997


Catherine Bott


Purcell Quartet


St Bartholemews Church, Orford, Suffolk


Martin Compton


Ben Connellan

Record Label



Early Music

Total Time - 69:07
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Handel: Italian Cantatas and Trio Sonatas



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Sonata for two violins and strings, Op. 5 No. 4

  in G major - G-Dur - sol majeur  
1 I Allegro 1:54
2 II A tempo ordinario - Allegro non presto 4:14
3 III Passacaille 4:15
4 IV Gigue: Presto 1:10
5 V Menuet: Allegro moderato 1:44

Tra le fiamme

6 Aria: Tra le fiamme - 6:46
  (Among the flames)  
7 Recitativo: Dedalo già le fortunate penne - 6:25
  (Once Daedalus wove the fatal wings)  
  Aria: Pien di nuovo e bel diletto  
  (Filled with the new and beautiful delight)  
8 Recitativo: Sì, sì, pur troppo è vero - 3:53
  (Yes, yes, it is too true)  
  Aria: Voli per l'aria  
  (Flying in the air)  
9 Recitativo: L'uomo che nacque per salire - 3:04
  (Man who was born to aspire)  
  Aria: Tra le fiamme  
  (Among the flames)  

Sonata for two violins and strings, Op. 5 No. 7

  in B flat major - B-Dur - si bémol majeur  
10 I Larghetto 2:02
11 II Allegro, ma non presto 2:05
12 III Adagio - Allegro 1:42
13 IV Gavotte: Allegro 1:22
14 V Menuet: Andante allegro 1:59

Notte placida e cheta

15 Recitativo: Notte placida e cheta - 7:21
  (Calm and quiet night)  
  Aria: Zeffiretti, deh! venite  
  (Come, of ye zephyrs)  
16 Recitativo: Momento fortunato - 3:10
  (Happy moment)  
  Aria: Per un istante  
  (For an instant)  
17 Recitativo accompagnato: Ma già sento - 3:31
  (But now I feel)  
  Aria: Luci belle  
  (Fair eyes)  
18 Recitativo accompagnato: Oh delizie d'amor - 2:29
  (O delights of love)  
  Aria: Che non si dà qua  
  (That no pleasing peace)  

Sonata for two violins and strings, Op. 2 No. 5

  in G minor - g-Moll - sol mineur  
19 I Larghetto 2:20
20 II Allegro 2:33
21 III Adagio 1:55
22 IV Allegro 3:13

This attractive selection of Handel’s cantatas and trio sonatas makes a satisfying programme of some of Handel’s finest and most attractive music.

The Purcell Quartet is one of the finest baroque quartets today and their many recordings on Chandos have received excellent critical acclaim. They are joined on this album by several distinguished soloists.

Nearly all of Handel’s cantatas were composed during his years in Italy, mainly for concerts at the homes of his various patrons, where (as his first biographer put it) he was ’desired to furnish his quota’ of such pieces. They were popular in Rome, where opera was forbidden at the time. Most are written simply for voice and continuo but there are more than twenty, no doubt intended for larger-scale occasions, that call for additional instruments; both the cantatas recorded here come into that category. Tra le fiamme was composed around the spring of 1708 and, though a typical mixture of recitative and aria, it contains some exceptionally colourful instrumentation and is certainly operatic in style. Notte placida e cheta dates from the same year and is similarly full of imaginative touches, including one aria composed in a fugal style, the voice taking the role in the contrapuntal interplay with the two violins and the continuo group - a magical piece of writing. The trio sonatas here are a rich mixture of slow and fast movements, all of great character and all different, providing the perfect foil to the cantatas.

"...both for its terms of overall programming and for the sheer beauty of the performances, this new entry on Chandos’s Chaconne label takes its place immediately as a top recommendation."

Bernard Jacobson - Fanfare - November/December 1998

"...Admirers of Catherine Bott will require no urging to grab the new Chandos disc, which offers her in two wonderful performances- remarkable emotional commitment in beautiful singing..."

Barker - American Record Guide - November/December 1998

"... the most appealing performances I can remember of these works."

SS - Gramophone - Awards Issue 1998

"... The whole disc is full of polished music-making ..."

Antony Hodgson - Hi-Fi News - October 1998

"...Handel’s trio sonataas are simply gems of Baroque chamber music, these three are played here with great clarity and vitality by the Purcell Quartet."

The Examiner - 15 July 1998

                            Performance *****          Sound *****

"...the music has a ready appeal, and the purcell Quartet plays it superbly."

Graham Lock - BBC Music magazine - August 1998

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