1 800 222 6872

Handel: Apollo e Dafne, etc / Argenta, George, Standage

Album Summary

>Handel, George Frideric : Apollo e Dafne (La Terra è Liberata), dramatic cantata for soprano, bass & orchestra, HWV 122
>Handel, George Frideric : Crudel Tiranno Amor, cantata, HWV 97
Performers Conductor Ensemble Composer

Notes & Reviews:

"Nancy Argenta sings coolly as Dafne as she wards off the sun-god's advances, but the drama really belongs to Apollo. Michael George, a genuine bass, most convincingly charts the god's progress from gruff confidence to unexpected tenderness. On her own, Argenta gives a wistful account of "Crudel tiranno Amor," with the crystalline tones that have placed her among the finest of the early-music sopranos." -Opera News

Gramophone Classical Music Guide
Handel's Apollo e Dafne is a difficult work to put in context. Completed in Hanover in 1710 but possibly begun in Italy, its purpose isn't clear, while, as secular cantatas go, it's long (40 minutes) and ambitiously scored for two soloists and an orchestra of strings, oboes, flute, bassoon and continuo. But this isn't just a chunk of operatic experimentation: it sets its own, faster pace than the leisurely unfolding of a full-length Baroque stage-work, yet its simple Ovidian episode, in which Apollo's pursuit of the nymph Dafne results in her transformation into a tree, is drawn with all the subtlety and skill of the instinctive dramatic genius that Handel was.

This recording features the expert Handelian voices of Nancy Argenta and Michael George, and both convey their roles convincingly. Argenta's hard, clear tone seems just the thing for the nymph, who isn't required to be especially alluring but who does have to sound quick to anger and (literally) untouchable; and George strikes the right note as Apollo, bragging loudly at the opening of his superior skill in archery to Cupid before succumbing more gently, and in the end extremely touchingly, to Cupid's arts. The orchestra is bright and efficient, and the pacing of the work seems just right. This is superb Handel then, and, as if that were not enough, there's a bonus in the form of a shorter cantata for soprano and strings, Crudel tiranno amor. It's a beautiful piece indeed, and Argenta performs it perfectly.



Reviews

There are currently no reviews, be the first one!
Login or Create an Account to write a review
 

Also Purchased

Works Details

>Handel, George Frideric : Apollo e Dafne (La Terra è Liberata), dramatic cantata for soprano, bass & orchestra, HWV 122
  • Performers: Nancy Argenta (Soprano); Michael George
  • Conductor: Simon Standage
  • Ensemble: Collegium Musicum 90
  • Notes: Goldsmiths' College (04/17/1994-04/19/1994)
  • Running Time: 37 min. 2 sec.
  • Period Time: Baroque
  • Form: Cantata/Oratorio
  • Written: 1710

>Handel, George Frideric : Crudel Tiranno Amor, cantata, HWV 97
  • Performer: Nancy Argenta (Soprano)
  • Conductor: Simon Standage
  • Ensemble: Collegium Musicum 90
  • Notes: Goldsmiths' College (04/17/1994-04/19/1994)
  • Running Time: 16 min. 13 sec.
  • Period Time: Baroque
  • Written: 1721