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AN 2 8780 Alma Oppressa Arias Vivaldi Handel

Alma Oppressa - Vivaldi & Handel: Arias

Release date January 27, 2017
Album code AN 2 8780
Periods Baroque

They spoke about it

Album information

The characters brought to life in the Baroque-era operas of great composers such as Handel and Vivaldi – protagonists whose passions, loves, misfortunes, hopes, and longings unfold before us on stage – are, in reality, musical depictions of the myriad journeys experienced by the human soul. The arias and instrumental pieces excerpted from Baroque operas on this recording have been selected for their beauty and the emotion they convey.

La fida ninfa, RV 714: Alma oppressa by Antonio Vivaldi

This is perhaps the most striking aria of La fida ninfa. Kidnapped by a pirate who controls the island of Naxos, Licori, a shepherd’s daughter, expresses her despair with the words “a soul oppressed by cruel fate strives in vain to sooth her torment with another kind of torment, that of love”.

Andromeda liberata, Serenata veneziana, RV Anh. 117: Sovvente il sole by Antonio Vivaldi

It is believed that Andromeda liberata was written by several composers, but Sovvente il sole is almost certainly from Vivaldi’s pen. This magnificent aria features a gorgeous melodic line and a very effective dialogue between the voice of Perseus and the solo violin. The text reminds us that “the sun shines more brightly and pleasantly when it has previously been obscured by a dark cloud”.

Ariodante, HWV 33: Con l’ali di costanza by George Frideric Handel

Prince Ariodante is betrothed to the King of Scotland’s daughter Ginevra. Borne on “wings of fidelity,” he sings of his love, which has kindled faith and hope in his heart. His joy manifests itself in a profusion of vocal acrobatics.

Rinaldo, HWV 7: Lascia ch’io pianga by George Frideric Handel

Imprisoned in Argante’s palace, Almirena bemoans her captivity, rejects Argante’s declarations of love, and demands her freedom. In this touching lament, set to the rhythm of a sarabande, she sings, “Let me weep for my cruel fate and sigh for freedom”. One of Handel’s most famous and beautiful arias.

8 Imeneo, HWV 41: Se potessero i sospir’ miei by George Frideric Handel

The opera Imeneo opens with a lament by Tirinto, whose beloved Rosmene has been kidnapped by pirates. “If my weeping could force the waves to return the uncertain ship to this shore, I would unburden my heart of all its sighs right here on the strand”. Handel imbues the aria with great dignity and not a hint of sentimentality.

La fida ninfa, RV 714: Dite oimè! Ditelo, al fine by Antonio Vivaldi

“Tell me, alas! Tell me at last, must I live or die? Already, my life is reaching its end, my soul prepared to take its leave”. Morasto sinks into despair, not realizing that his unswerving love for Licori will, after many ordeals, triumph in the end.

Ariodante, HWV 33: Qui d’amor nel suo linguaggio by George Frideric Handel

In the King of Scotland’s garden, Ariodante, a king’s vassal, communes with nature and expresses his joy at his betrothal to Ginevra. In their own language, the streams, meadows, and trees speak to him of love.

Giulio Cesare, HWV 17: Cara speme questo core tu cominci a lusingar by George Frideric Handel

Young Sesto has just lost his father, Pompeo, whom the king of Egypt has had killed. Sesto swears to avenge his father’s death. While his mother, Cornelia, communes before her husband’s tomb, Cleopatra promises her aid, which elates Sesto, who sings, “Sweet hope, you begin to flatter my heart”.

Arianna in Creta, HWV 32: Salda quercia in erta balza by George Frideric Handel

The role of Teseo was premiered by the castrato Giovanni Carestini. Faced with the huge task of killing the Minotaur, the hero shows strength. Filled with confidence, he sings, “The stout oak stands tall when the wind blows, demonstrating its strength and courage”.

© Luc Beauséjour
Translation: Peter Christensen

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About

Julie Boulianne
Luc Beauséjour
AN 2 9540 J.S. Bach – Cantata BWV 21
AN 2 9540 J.S. Bach – Cantata BWV 21

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