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Hidden Handel

Ann Hallenberg , George Frideric Handel , Alan Curtis , Il Complesso Barocco Audio CD
4.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (4 customer reviews)

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Product Details

  • Performer: Ann Hallenberg
  • Orchestra: Il Complesso Barocco
  • Conductor: Alan Curtis
  • Composer: George Frideric Handel
  • Audio CD (April 30, 2013)
  • Number of Discs: 1
  • Label: Naive
  • ASIN: B00AJOOZ1C
  • Average Customer Review: 4.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (4 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #187,451 in Music (See Top 100 in Music)

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11 of 11 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Delightful sampling of Handel's arie aggiunte September 24, 2013
Format:Audio CD
To learn one must read: the liner notes clearly state (in both French and English) that all of the music on this gorgeous disc was composed by Handel, including the three insertion arias he composed for a 1716 revival of Alessandro Scarlatti's opera PIRRO E DEMETRIO.

One continuing frustration about Handel's operas, now that most of them have finally received decent to excellent recorded performances, is the continued absence of the music the composer wrote and discarded prior to performance or composed for revivals with different performers. This splendid disc is a step in the right direction, featuring 12 of these arias (9 of them recorded for the time) and a handful of hornpipes, marches, and an aria for winds.

As is to be expected from 18th century opera, the music runs the gamut from rage to sorrow, concluding with an inventive piece mixing orchestral ritornello, recitative and arioso, in which the sad lover finally drifts off to sleep.

Ann Hallenberg is incredibly deft in her divisions, sensitive to the mood of each text, and displays an amazing range without resorting to either shrieking or growling, the voice remaining flexible, beautiful in tone, and expressive throughout.

If you have been given the impression that these arias are "cast-offs" or "second thoughts" full of bravura, but empty of substance, try listening to Track 2 of this disc, "La crudele lontananza" written for one of Handel's favorite English singers, Anastasia Robinson, for the 1714-15 revival of RINALDO. Like me, you may well find it difficult to believe that music of such grace and beauty could have languished virtually unheard for nearly 300 years.
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7 of 7 people found the following review helpful
Format:Audio CD
No fewer than nine of the pieces are claimed to be world premieres: ‘hidden’ because they are not ‘normally’ in the operas’ editions.
Not surprising, since operas were written ‘for’ singers, and indeed many in this album are arias written for revivals of Handel operas where the new singers wanted something tailor made to them. Some, like "La Crudele Lontananza" and "Vinto E l'amor da Sdegno e Gelosia", were written to accommodate a change of soprano, while "Vieni, O Caro, Che Senza i Tuo Core" was written to replace "La Crudele Lontananza" in Rinaldo when the singer's voice dropped to alto.
Among those re-written arias, two were written for insertion into the opera of someone else, namely Alessandro Scarlatti’s ‘Pirro e Demetrio’. A. Scarlatti was a composer that impacts Handel considerably during the latter’s 6-year stay in Italy. When that opera was revived in London in 1716, it became the only occasion when Handel wrote extra music for someone else's opera.
There are several miscellaneous rarities and rather odd instrumental pieces for interludes. The historical-instrument group Il Complesso Barocco and their conductor Alan Curtis is a veteran among the current crop of Baroque opera conductors. The majority of these performances are world premieres. Perhaps the most ‘strange’ piece ever to come out in a modern (and HIP) recording of Handel is the aria of Prince Demetrio in ‘Berenice’, the C major aria ‘Le vicende della sorte’ originally composed but discarded during premiere of the opera, with the materials moved to another aria of the same character called ‘Si tra i ceppi’, replacing the original version of that aria.
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5.0 out of 5 stars Rare, Tasty Handel August 29, 2014
Format:Audio CD
Having recorded most of Handel's operas, Alan Curtis here presents a disc of "hidden" arias -- arias composed for later performances of operas to accommodate new singers -- as well as a few unfamiliar instrumental pieces. Most are described as recorded premieres. Berkeley scholar John Roberts provides detailed program notes describing the provenance of each work.

What's important, though, is that the recording offers 70 minutes of highly enjoyable listening. Swedish mezzo Ann Hallenberg has distinguished herself in many fine Handel recordings, including the title role in Ariodante (in Curtis's DVD), Ezio (Curtis), Giove in Argo (Curtis), Imeneo (Sperling), and Serse (Rousset DVD). Alan Curtis and his Complesso Barocco helped pioneer the Handel revival with a pathbreaking recording of Admeto in 1977 and have since recorded more Handel operas than any other ensemble.

Highly recommended for all Handel lovers.

(To correct another reviewer, three of the arias were written to be inserted in an opera by Scarlatti, but they, too, are by Handel.)
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5 of 24 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Hidden Handel July 4, 2013
Format:Audio CD|Verified Purchase
Purchased this CD as a calculated experiment to fill in a few gaps in my almost complete HANDEL collection ie.hornpipes and marches and knowing that Hallenberg and Curtis will give an impeccable performance==which they did!
My disapointment was having Scarlatti join in the title when there are still out there some good HANDEL
pieces waiting to be heard .
To learn one must buy but this was not one of my better days.
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