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Johann Adolf Hasse is a somewhat less well known composer, but his music does not falter when compared with that of Handel. On this disc, Genaux sings three selections from his Arminio, including the aria 'Ti lascio in ceppi avvinto, ma tornerò fra poco' ('I leave you bound in chains, but I shall soon return') originally written for the castrato, Giovanni Carestini (c1705-c1759). Here, the mezzo is at her most expressive as she sings the lament of a would-be lover who wishes only to live for his beloved [listen -- track 7, 0:30-1:30].

The final group of arias is from Hasse's cantata La Scusa ('The Excuse') in which Cloris's lover tries to find out why she is angry with him. Virtuosity is the raison d'être of the piece and Genaux, who has a wonderful sense of theater, sings its arias 'Trova un sol' ('Find just one') and 'Torna in quell'onda chiara' ('Return to that clear water') with the greatest of finesse [Listen -- track 13, 4:18-5:03].

Genaux handles this kind of coloratura magnificently and Labadie's masterful conducting draws lively, transparent playing from the members of Les Violons du Roy. This recording is a wonderful trip back in time to the era when coloratura singing was Europe's most popular art. It's a treat to hear this music performed by modern artists who can recreate the finest details of its harmonic language.

Copyright © 31 December 2006 Maria Nockin, Arizona USA


Vivica Genaux - Arias - Handel and Hasse

5 45737 2 DDD Stereo NEW RELEASE 72'03" 2006 EMI Records Ltd/Virgin Classics

Vivica Genaux, mezzo-soprano; Les Violons du Roy; Bernard Labadie, director

George Frideric Handel (1685-1759): Aria 'Fammi combattere mostri e tifei' (Orlando HWV31); Aria 'Ah!Stigir larve ... Già latra Cerbero ... Vaghe pupille' (Orlando HWV31); Aria 'Sta nell'Ircana pietrosa tana'; Aria 'Splenda l'alba in oriente' (Cantata Splenda l'alba in oriente HWV166); Recitativo 'Tu, armonica Cecilia' (HWV 166); Aria 'La virtute è un vero nume' (HWV 166); Johann Adolf Hasse (1699-1783): Aria 'Ti lascio in ceppi avvinto' (Arminio); Aria 'Se mia speranza sola' (Arminio); Aria 'Vaghi rai, pupille amate' (Arminio); Recitativo 'No, perdonami, o Clori' (La scusa); Aria 'Trova un sol' (La scusa); Recitativo 'Placati, o pastorella' (La scusa); Aria 'Torna in quell'onda chiara' (La scusa)




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