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Record Box

Handelian decoration

Putting on the style,
with BASIL RAMSEY


harmonia mundi    HMC 901689

Haendel: Deutsche Arien (c) 2000 harmonia mundi s.a.

 

Handel's DeutscheArien was not a specific collection, more a later assemblage of 'occasional' arias written between 1724 -1727. Handel was in England and busy with Italian opera. The Arias proved to be the last settings of his mother tongue.

As a collection, and several at a time, they convey a most gracious portrayal of his continuing powers of expression. There is variety in plenty, which ideally needs a singer with understanding of the period and technique for vocal embellishment. In Dorothea Röschmann these accomplishments flower with sparkling technique and a fine perception of line. Her controlled vibrato doesn't quite suit me, but that's says more about her musicianship and less about mine [listen -- track 2, 3:36-4:31].

Handel's companion on this record is Telemann, solid, reliable, a maker of nice tunes and nourishing 18th century musical gruel. Neither does he refuse us a touch of cream. Two Overtures (E minor and G major) collate four movements each to be played by this group of nimble players from Akademie für Alte Musik Berlin.

Putting the performing skills responsible for this record together, nobody with a nudge of interest in earlyish music should find the content or performances drab, or on the other hand send out an agonising cry of protest at a lack of authenticity [listen -- track 13, 6:17-7:17].

I have one small query for harmonia mundi: why is track eleven (one of the arias) omitted in the contents list?

 

 

Copyright © 8 November 2000 Basil Ramsey, Eastwood, Essex, UK

 

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