…“full of the most delicious music you could ask to hear, and the players give every indication of loving every note they play” was how one enthusiastic reviewer described the first volume of aria arrangements on SOMM, of “Handel at Home” (SOMMCD 055) with the London Handel Players in Pan Magazine.
Indeed, it is an attestation of Handel’s power to speak to the very depths of one’s soul, to touch the heart and to rouse the spirit that after many years performing the repertoire, the London Handel Players present here “Handel at Home” Vol 2. A second selection of popular operatic arias either in contemporary settings or their own arrangements inspired by the original luscious scoring.
In the 18th century, the demand for such arrangements was high, since they provided a gratifying means of revisiting theatrical highlights in the domestic environment. Handel’s publisher, John Walsh, made numerous arrangements of various overtures and Handel himself may well have reworked the solo keyboard version/rendition of Ombra cara from Radamisto. Babell’s florid embellishment of the ever popular Lascia ch’io pianga from Rinaldo demonstrates a free interpretation adorned with extravagant Italianate ornamentation.
The beautiful rendition of the Overture to Samson for solo flute with continuo is taken from Walsh’s extensive publication and LHP have reinstated the string accompaniment in Total Eclipse and Thus when the Sun for added drama. The lyrical arias from Rinaldo, Giulio Cesare and The Choice of Hercules proved irresistible and they made their own arrangements!
“The London Handel Players often capture the elusive dramatic and orchestral context of the arias in these chamber arrangements. Their consummate musicianship is consistently delightful: sparkling violin-playing (often with two players in perfect unison) and superb continuo contributions are just as impressive as Rachel Brown’s poetic flute solos.” David Vickers, Gramophone – Handel at Home.
On This Recording
- Overture (5:40)abcdef
- Sinfonia and Cara sposa (10:17)abcdef
- Il vostro maggio (2:21)abcdef
- Laschia ch’io pianga (4:45)f
- I. Andante (3:35)
- II. Adagio (1:29)
- III. Allegro (3:40)
- Overture (5:32)aef
- Total eclipse (4:02)abcdef
- Thus when the sun (4:28)abcdef
- Ombra cara (6:59)f
- Overture (2:55)bcdef
- Se pietà (9:23)abcdef
- Da tempeste (6:22)abef
- Yet can I hear that dulcet lay (4:01)abcdef