ROMAN CANTATAS BY HANDEL AND SCARLATTI
Trio Sonata in F major Op 2 No 4 HWV389
Cantata: Manca pur, quanto sai HWV129
Cantata: Armida abbandonata HWV105
Cantata: Il Nerone (A Scarlatti)
Trio Sonata in D Op 1 No 2 (Geminiani)
Cantata: Agrippina condotta a morire HWV110
SUZANA OGRAJENŠEK soprano
BENJAMIN BAYL harpsichord/organ
JORGE JIMENEZ & JAMES TOLL violins
CHRISTOPHER SUCKLING cello
The programme presents Handel’s cantatas from his Italian period, all probably written in Rome, and all focusing on strong heroines. The fates of Armida, the heartbroken enchantress from Ariosti’s ‘Orlando furioso’, and Agrippina, the mother of the Roman emperor Nero, were popular eighteenth-century subjects. The intensity of Handel’s settings makes his cantatas into psychological studies of heartbreak and betrayal with utmost dramatic impact.
Alessandro Scarlatti’s cantata Il Nerone complements the subject of Agrippina’s demise at the hands of her son. As a lighter counterpart, Handel’s cantata Manca pur, quanto sai presents a nymph proudly dealing with an unfaithful lover.