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CHAN 0650
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CHAN 0650
Handel at the Opera

Handel: Handel At The Opera

The Classical Shop
release date: February 2000

Originally recorded in 1999


Collegium Musicum 90

Simon Standage


All Saints Church, East Finchley, London


Nicholas Anderson


Jonathan Cooper

Record Label



Early Music

Total Time - 66:03
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Handel at the Opera



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Overture, Aria & Entractes from 'Alcina'

1 Overture 3:22
2 Musette - Un peu lentement 1:51
3 Gavotte 0:51
4 Sarabande - Gavotte (reprise) 2:42
5 Minuet 1:42
6 Aria: 'Verdi prati' - Larghetto 3:50
7 Entrée des Songes agréables 2:15
8 Entrée des Songes funestes 2:05
9 Entrée des Songes agréables effrayés 0:53
10 Le Combat des Songes funestes et agréables 1:26

Overture and Minuet from 'Arminio'

11 Overture 3:27
12 Minuet 1:03

Aria: 'Ombra mai fu' from 'Serse'


Overture, Minuet & Ghigg from 'Berenice'

14 Overture - 3:05
15 Andante larghetto [Minuet] - 3:45
16 Ghigg 1:33

Aria: 'Lascia ch'io pianga' from 'Rinaldo'


Overture, Minuet & Aria from 'Rodelinda'

18 Overture 4:19
19 Minuet 2:36
20 Aria: 'Dove sei' - Largo 4:27

Overture, Aria & Entractes from 'Ariodante'

21 Overture 3:30
22 [Alla breve] 1:57
23 Aaria: 'Volate, amori' - Allegro 3:53
24 Musette - Lentement 1:34
25 Musette - Andante 1:03
26 Allegro 1:52
Simon Standage conducts Collegium Musicum 90 in this unique collection of Handel opera works in their original version

Handel’s tunes were so popular when they were published that they appeared both singly and (either with the original Italian, or with an English translation) and in collections with titles like ‘The favourite songs in the opera call’d…’. As a further demonstration of the power of these melodies independently of their words or dramatic context, they also appeared in a great variety of instrumental arrangements: flute, oboe or violin solo, flute or violin duet, cello solo, duet and string trio

A similar second disc is planned for late 2000 featuring Overtures and Arias from Handel’s Oratorios.

Collegium Musicum 90 is regarded as one of the finest period ensembles today and its many recordings on Chandos are much admired receiving superb reviews from the musical press.

Although Handel subsequently became famous as a composer of English oratorios, it was Italian opera that first brought him to London. In 1710 the five-year-old Italian opera company at the new theatre in Haymarket was in need of a composer to provide interesting new works. The twenty-five-year-old Handel having successfully proved himself with two operas in Italy, was looking for a suitable place in which to develop his career. His arrival towards the end of 1710 marked the beginning of an association with Italian opera in London that would last thirty years.

Handel was able to provide music for his singers which both displayed their individual musical strengths and contributed to the overall shape of the dramas. While the conscious planning of a ‘hit number’ as part of a stage production is a relatively modern practice, many earlier composers (including Handel) achieved this result almost by accident as themes and movements were taken and remembered long after the original productions from which they were derived had come to an end. In any case a good operatic composer naturally worked in such a way as to make the evening at the theatre musically attractive and memorable for the audience. This recording brings together some movements, vocal and orchestral, from Handel’s operas that have achieved independent popularity, though not always in their original form.

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