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International Record Review - (06/2013)
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V 5326

Code-barres / Barcode:  0822186053263 (ID308)

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Appréciation d'ensemble/ Evaluation :
Reviewer:  Hugh Canning

"With this splendid album, the Swedish mezzo Ann Hallenberg - already a staple of numerous complete Handel opera recordings makes only her second solo recital and her first dedicated to the composer of which she is one of today’s supreme exponents. Now in her mid-forties, her voice has lost none of the youthful bloom that I so vividly recall from her first important recording — the role of Tirinto in Andreas Spering’s 2002 CPO version of Handel’s Imeneo (reviewed in April 2004)".

... "Here, she and Curtis present a programme of ‘Hidden Handel’, most of them interpolations into existing operas for singers engaged for revivals, of which undoubtedly countless examples survive (Winton Dean’s surveys of every stage work in his seminal two-volume study Handel’s Operas tantalizingly details music Handel wrote for his revivals, now seldom heard today). Nine of the 12 vocal, and one of the five instrumental items, recorded here are available on disc for the first time, one of them an ‘appendix’, as it were, to Curtis’s first Handel opera recording, Admeto, in which he used a later aria for Alceste (the leading lady role sung by Faustina Bordoni) rather than the original scena, ‘Non lagrimate ... Farò, cosi più bella’ (‘Do not weep ... I will make my love more beautiful’), sung as she prepares to take the place of her dead husband Admetus in the Underworld. Another Faustina part, Rossane, her first for Handel in his Alessandro, concludes the programme with the relatively ‘unhidden’ Solitudini amate’, but it is worth hearing again for Hallenberg’s performance, one to make you hang onto every note and word".

... " With Curtis and his Complesso’s sympathetic accompaniments, this is a Handel recital worthy of mention in the same breath as Janet Baker’s legendary disc with the ECO and Raymond Leppard (Philips) and Lorraine Hunt’s classic ‘Arias for Durastanti’ with Nicholas McGegan’s Philharmonia Baroque (Harmonia Mundi). No lovers of Handel or great Baroque singing should deny themselves the pleasure of this beautiful music sung by a Handelian at the peak of her powers".

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