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Handel - from the movie Farinelli song "Lascia Ch'io Pianga" (Act II of Handel's opera, "Rinaldo") SYNOPSIS In the 18th century, no man was more famous, more beloved, or more celebrated than the man called Farinelli. The amazing true story of the world famous castrato comes brilliantly to life in a sumptuous and sexy drama of high notes and even higher passions. With all the charisma, talent, drive and success of a modern-day rock star, Farinelli had everything: money, talent, fame, women... and the voice of an angel. "A masterwork! Audiences Should Shout Bravo!" -Bruce Williamson PLAYBOY "Sex, Drugs and Rock & Roll...18th-Century Style!" -Dr. Joy Browne WOR Radio CAST AND CREW Stars: Marianne Basler, Jacques Boudet, Caroline Cellier, Stefano Dionisi, Enrico Lo Verso, Elsa Zilberstein, Elsa Zylberstein Director: Gerard Corbiau Producer: Vera Belmont © & ℗ Sony Classics
Arleen Auger W.A. Mozart Mitridate, Re di Ponto Aspacia's Aria "Al destin, che la minaccia" Leopold Hager Mozarteum-Orchester Salzburg Recording: Mozarteum Sazburg 01/1977 Synopsis Place: around the Crimean port of Nymphæum Time: 63BC during the conflict between Rome and Pontus Mitridate, having suffered a heavy defeat at a battle, is presumed dead. This false news is passed by Arbate, the Governor, to his fiancee Aspasia and his sons, Farnace and Sifare. Arbate, the governor of Nymphæum, welcomes Sifare. We learn that Sifare resents his brother, Farnace, because of his brothers strong ties with their enemies, the Romans. Arbate pledges his loyalty to Sifare. Aspasia pleas for Sifare to help her against advances by Farnace. He accepts her plea and reveals his love for her. Farnace makes his advances on Aspasia. Aspasia refuses with support from Sifare who protects her from his forceful brother. News arrives that Mitridate is alive and is approaching the city. Arbate urges brothers to conceal their differences and greet their father. Brothers agree to hide their feelings for Aspasia. Farnace conspires with Marzio, Roman legionary officer, against Mitridate. Mitridate arrives on the shores of Nymphæaum with princess Ismene, daughter of his ally the King of Parthia. Mitridate wants Farnace to marry Ismene, his promised bride. Ismene is in love with Farnace but senses problems and is worried about her future. Arbate tells Mitridate that Farnace is pursuing Aspasia not mentioning Sifare. Jealous Mitridate swears revenge on Farnace. Farnace scorns and threatens Ismene. She tells Mitridate who suggests that she should marry Sifare. Mitridate asks Aspasia for immediate marriage but she hesitates proving to him she is unfaithful. Aspasia confesses love to Sifare but they both agree to part to save their honour. Sifare plans to leave and Aspasia is troubled with the conflict between love and duty. Mitridate is aware of Farnaces plot against him with the Romans and plans his revenge despite Marzios offer of peace. He arrests Farnace to execute him. Ismene rescues the prince who admits treachery but implicates Sifare. Mitridate tricks Aspasia into admitting her love for Sifare and swears revenge. Aspasia and Sifare wish to die together in fear of Mitridates threats. Ismene, still in love with Farnace, tries to convince Mitridate to forgive Aspasia. Romans attack and Mitridate leaves for battle. Aspasia contemplates suicide by poison. Sifare also wants to die and joins his father in the battle. Marzio liberates Farnace and promises the rule of Nymphæum to him. Farnace changes his mind deciding to side with Mitridate. Mitridate commits suicide avoiding defeat. Before he dies he gives his blessing to Sifare and Aspasia and forgives Farnace who now agrees to marry Ismene. All four pledge to free the world from Rome.
George Frideric Händel (1685 - 1759) "The story of love, battle and redemption" Opera Rinaldo, HWV7 Dramma per musica in tre atti Libretto: Giacomo Rossi The first performance at the Queen's Theatre in London's Haymarket, on 24 February 1711. Personaggi: Rinaldo: a nobleman of the House of Este by Vivica Genaux, mezzo-soprano Armida, une sirene: Queen of Damascus, Argante's mistress by Inga Kalna, soprano Almirena, une seriene: daughter of Goffredo by Miah Persson, soprano Goffredo: Leader of the First Crusade by Lawrence Zazzo, countertenor Argante: Saracen king of Jerusalem by James Rutherford, bass Eustazio: brother to Goffredo by Christophe Damaux, countertenor Mago cristiano: by Dominique Visse, countertenor ATTO PRIMO 01.Ouverture 02. Recitativo & Aria: Delle nostre fatiche: Sovra balze scoscese 03. Recitativo: Signor, Gia dal tuo senno 04. Aria: Combatti da forte 05. Recitativo & Aria: Questi saggi consigli: Qgn'indugio 06. Chiamata/Recitativo: Signor, che delle stelle: Sulla ruota di fortuna 07. Aria: Sibilar gli angui 08. Recitativo: Goffredo, se t'arrise 09. Aria: No, no, che quest'alma 10. Recitativo & Aria: Infra dubbi di marte vieni, O cara 11. Aria: Furie terribili 12. Recitativo & Accompagnato: Come a tempo giungesti 13. Aria: Molto voglio 14. Aria: Augelletti 15. Recitativo: Adorato mio sposo 16. Duetto: Scherzano sul tuo volto 17. Recitativo & Preludio: Al valor del mio brando 18. Aria: Cara sposa ATTO SECONDO 01. Recitativo: Ch'insolito stupore 02. Aria: Cor ingrato 03. Recitativo: Io all'ora impugno il brando 04. Aria: Col valor 05. Recitativo & Aria: Di speranza un bel raggio venti, turbini 06. Aria: Siam prossimi al porto 07. Recitativo: A quel sasso bramato 08. Aria A 2: Il vostro maggio 09. Recitativo: Qual incognita forza 10. Aria: Il tricerbero umiliato 11. Recitativo & Aria: Signor, strano ardimento! mio cor, che mi sai dir? 12. Sinfonia 13. Recitativo: Armida dispietata! 14. Aria: Lascia ch'io pianga 15. Recitativo: Tu, del mio cor reina 16. Aria: Basta che sol tu chieda 17. Recitativo: Cingetemi d'allori 18. Duetto: Fermati 19. Recitativo: Crudel, tu ch'involasti 20. Aria: Abbrucio, avvampo e fremo 21. Recitativo: Dunque i lacci d'un volto 22. Aria: Ah, crudel 23. Recitativo: Riprendiam d'almirena 24. Aria: Vo'far guerra ATTO TERZO 01. Recitativo: Quivi par che rubelle 02. Sinfonia 03. Recitativo & Aria e Recitativo: Qui vomita cocito andate, O forti 04. Preludio 05. Aria: Sorge nel petto 06. Recitativo: Al trionfo s'affretti e' un incendio 07. Recitativo: Chiuso fra quelle mura 08. March 09. Recitativo & Duetto: In quel bosco: Al trionfo del nostro furore 10. Recitativo & Aria: Di quei strani accidenti: Bel piacere 11. Recitativo: Signor, l'oste nemica 12. Aria: Di sion, nell'alta sede 13. March & Recitativo: Se cio te in grado 14. Aria: Or la tromba 15. Recitativo: Miei fidi 16. Battaglia 17. Recitativo: Goffredo, ecco il superbo 18. Coro: Vinto e sol dalla virtu Performers: Premier violin: Petra Müllejans Violins I: Brian Dean, Beatrix Hülsemann, Brigitte Täubl, Annelies van der Vegt, Gerd-Uwe Klein, Franka Palowski Violins II: Anne Katharina Schreiber, Martina Graulich, Christa Kittel, Karin Dean, Jörn Sebastian Kuhlmann, Kathrin Tröger Violas: Christian Goosses, Annette Schmidt, Lothar Haass, Werner Saller Cellos: Guido Larisch, Kristin von der Goltz, Ute Petersilge Conter-basses: James Munro, Dane Roberts Flutes: Isabel Lehmann, Thera de Clerck Oboes: Ann-Kathrin Brüggemann, Maike Buhrow, Katharina Arfken, Saskia Fikentscher Bassoons: Javier Zafra, Eyal Street Trumpets: Friedemann Immer, Francois Petit-Laurent, Ute Rothkirch, Jaroslav Roucek Timpani: Charlie Fischer Lute: Shizuko Noiri Harp: Mara Galassi Harpsichord & Organ: Nicolau de Figueiredo, Piers Maxim Direction: René Jacobs Assistants musician: Nicolau de Figueiredo, Piers Maxim René Jacobs, director Freiburger Barockorchester [on period instruments] ------------------------ Artwork: Rinaldo Abandoning Armida by Giovanni Battista Tiepolo, 1757
Dmitri Shostakovich - Waltz No. 2
It had to come to this :-)... Handel is particularly famous for his various largos ("Cara sposa", anyone?), but I always felt that some of the most famous of these pieces are really not that good (I can't say I like "Ombra mai fu" or "Where'er you walk") and that some are injustly out of the public's favor (a prime example is Ino's introspective "Turn, hopeless lover" from "Semele" which, I hope, I will come around to posting). And yet, despite my critical view, I really like "Lashia ch'io pianga" which, because of it's evergrowing popularity, seems to have turned into a sort of pop ballad, so many artists have recorded it (Christ, even Charlotte Church gave it a try). But so many versions highlights the fact that not many artists can provide, at the very least, a decent account of the aria. The present post is my personal pick: Arleen Auger. Not only does this recording feature some truly beautiful singing (I especially like the very begining of each A section), but it is also taken at a very slow tempo (it takes a full minute longer to perform that it does usually), though such a tempo actually underlines the music's tragic notes. Hope you enjoy :-)!
P.S. I must stress though that in spite of all I have said here that this aria is still one of the highpoints of Handel's career, especially when sung as here :-)!