Georg Friedrich Handel – Partenope – Il Pomo D’oro, Riccardo Minasi (2015) [Qobuz FLAC 24bit/96kHz]

Georg Friedrich Handel – Partenope – Il Pomo D’oro, Riccardo Minasi (2015)
FLAC (tracks) 24 bit/96 kHz  | Time – 03:22:32 minutes | 3,79 GB | Genre: Classical
Studio Masters, Official Digital Download – Source: Qobuz | Booklet, Front Cover | © Parlophone
Recorded: Lonigo, Italy, 16-28 February 2015

Handel’s sparkling opera Partenope reunites Erato’ star countertenor Philippe Jaroussky and the captivating Canadian soprano Karina Gauvin, who both made such an impact in the Erato recording of Steffani’s rediscovered opera Niobe, released in early 2015 and welcomed as a “landmark event” by Gramophone.
Jaroussky’s Erato catalogue is rich, varied and extensive – and this summer he appeared as Ruggiero in Handel’s Alcina in a spectacular new production at the Aix-en-Provence Festival – but it is some time since he last recorded a complete Handel opera for the label: Faramondo, which was released in 2009. If Faramondo remains something of a rarity on the world’s stages, Partenope – which offers plenty of comedy as Queen Partenope juggles an array of suitors – is a popular work, and in recent years has even enjoyed productions in such large theatres as the San Francisco Opera and English National Opera.

Jaroussky takes the role of Arsace, Prince of Corinth, while Karina Gauvin is Queen Partenope herself. She has superb credentials as a Handelian and has recorded Ariodante (with Joyce DiDonato and the late Alan Curtis) and Giove in Argo (with Ann Hallenberg and Curtis) for Erato. Gramophone has spoken of her “ideal Handelian mix of grace and profound emotional truth,” while the Sunday Times has praised her “glinting soprano, bright-edged yet deliciously rounded and sensual … used with rare understanding for character” and the “sculptural beauty” of her phrasing.

The conductor is Riccardo Minasi, who, with his ensemble Il Pomo d’Oro, also appears on Joyce DiDonato’s bel canto collection, Stella di Napoli and Edgar Moreau’s new Erato album Giovincello. Praising conductor and orchestra for their command of Handel’s operatic style, Forum Opéra has written: “A real drama unfolds from the overture onwards … The conductor brings true brio as he engages with Handel’s rhetoric … The players of Il Pomo d’Oro can switch in a moment from the role of interlocutor to commentator … Add to this a perfect mastery of the way the recitatives lead into the arias, and you have the formula for an approach that remains constantly fresh.”

The rich-voiced Italian mezzo-soprano takes the role of Rosmira – Arsace’s former lover, who is disguised as a man, Prince Eurimene – while the diamantine Hungarian soprano Emőke Baráth takes the role of a real man, Prince Armindo, who is in love with Partenope. “Supremely stylish” were the words used by the Telegraph to describe John Mark Ainsley when he sang Emilio (yet another prince seeking Partenope’s hand) at English National Opera, and the distinguished Italian bass Luca Tittoto brings authority to the role of Partenope’s advisor Ormonte.

As George Frideric Handel’s Italian operas grow in popularity, some of his less familiar works are receiving better coverage on disc. Such is the case with his 1730 opera, Partenope, an unusually lighthearted comedy that once languished in obscurity, though it has been increasingly performed and recorded. This 2015 Erato release by conductor Riccardo Minasi and his period ensemble Il Pomo d’Oro offers a fine production, featuring soprano Karina Gauvin as Queen Partenope, countertenor Philippe Jaroussky as Prince Arsace, and mezzo-soprano Teresa Iervolino as the cross-dressing Rosmira. Partenope is entertaining in its bubbling energy and bright sonorities, and though it was cast in Handel’s characteristic opera seria form, the libretto involves comic elements that would become more common in Classical era operas, such as a breeches role, a lovers’ triangle, a thwarted duel, and a provocative revelation at the climax. Highly recommended for Handel connoisseurs and fans of Baroque opera. -AllMusic Review by Blair Sanderson


Georg Friedrich Händel (1685-1759)

PARTENOPE Libretto after Silvio Stampiglia, 1699
1 i – (1:46)
2 ii Allegro (2:59)
3 iii Presto (1:31)
scena 1
4 Recitativo Tu dell’eccelse mura (0:42)
5 Coro Viva, viva, Partenope viva (0:58)
6 Recitativo Miei fidi, arride il cielo (0:22)
scena 2
7 Recitativo Arsace. Armindo (1:22)
scena 3
8 Recitativo Regina, in folte schiere (0:44)
9 Aria: Partenope L’amor ed il destin (3:10)
10 Aria: Arsace O Eurimene ha l’idea di Rosmira (2:46)
scena 4
11 Recitativo Cavalier, se gli dei (1:23)
12 Aria: Rosmira Se non ti sai spiegar (3:56)
13 Recitativo Armindo, ardisci e prova (0:19)
14 Aria: Armindo Voglio dire al mio tesoro (5:38)
scena 5
15 Recitativo Ah, ch’un volto fatal (2:11)
16 Aria: Rosmira Un’altra volta ancor (2:33)
17 Recitativo Rosmira, oh dio, Rosmira (0:21)
18 Aria: Arsace Sento amor con novi dardi (5:22)
scena 6
19 Recitativo Stan pronti i miei guerrier (0:31)
20 Aria: Ormonte T’appresta forse Amore (3:39)
scena 7
21 Recitativo Signora (1:36)
22 Aria: Armindo Bramo restar, ma no (6:08)
scena 8
23 Recitativo E di che reo son io? (0:48)
scena 9
24 Recitativo E se giunge Eurimene? (2:12)
25 Aria: Partenope Sei mia gioia, sei mio bene (3:15)
26 Recitativo I novelli amor tuoi (0:32)
27 Aria: Arsace Dimmi, pietoso ciel (4:21)
scena 10
28 Recitativo Ecco Emilio (2:11)
29 Aria: Emilio Anch’io pugnar saprò (3:14)
scena 11
30 Recitativo Arsace, tu sarai (1:08)
31 Aria: Partenope Io ti levo l’impero dell’armi (6:46)
scena 12
32 Recitativo Lascia, deh, lascia, oh prence (0:49)
33 Aria: Arsace È figlio il mio timore (3:17)
scena 13
34 Recitativo Prence, di te mi lagno (0:43)
35 Aria: Rosmira Io seguo sol fiero (4:34)
scena 1
36 Sinfonia (0:33)
37 Recitativo Forti mie schiere (0:23)
38 Marche (0:59)
39 Recitativo Ma le nemiche squadre (0:27)
40 Coro Con valorosa mano (0:54)
41 Sinfonia (0:44)
42 Recitativo Soccorso (0:15)
43 Sinfonia (0:45)
44 Recitativo Renditi, oppure estinto (1:15)
45 Coro Vi circondi la gloria d’allori! (1:32)
scena 2
46 Recitativo accompagnato: Emilio Contro un pudico amor (0:43)
47 Aria: Emilio Barbaro fato, sì (4:22)
scena 3
48 Aria: Partenope Care mura (1:42)
49 Recitativo Emilio! (2:29)
50 Aria: Partenope Voglio amare (6:16)
scena 4
51 Recitativo Ti bramo amico (0:24)
52 Duetto: Arsace, Rosmira E vuoi con dure tempre (3:05)
scena 5
53 Recitativo Non può darsi in un petto (1:43)
54 Aria: Rosmira Furie son dell’alma mia (3:17)
scena 6
55 Recitativo A pro di chi t’offese (1:19)
56 Aria: Arsace Poterti dir vorrei (3:03)
scena 7
57 Recitativo Regina (1:41)
58 Aria: Armindo Non chiedo, oh luci vaghe (2:36)
59 Recitativo Più d’ogn’altro sarebbe (0:26)
60 Aria: Partenope Qual farfalletta (6:31)
scena 8
61 Recitativo Quanto godo, Eurimene (1:04)
scena 9
62 Recitativo Rosmira mia, mio bene! (0:49)
63 Aria: Arsace Furibondo spira il vento (4:04)
scena 1
64 Sinfonia (0:36)
65 Recitativo Regina, ti compiace (0:46)
66 Quartetto: Armindo, Emilio, Arsace, Partenope Non è incauto il mio consiglio (1:30)
scena 2
67 Recitativo Partenope, Eurimene (1:45)
68 Arietta: Rosmira Arsace, oh dio, così (0:55)
69 Recitativo Chi m’apre i lumi? (0:28)
70 Aria: Partenope Spera e godi, oh mio tesoro (2:59)
scena 3
71 Recitativo Prencipe, ardir! (1:05)
72 Aria: Emilio La speme ti consoli (4:12)
scena 4
73 Recitativo Rosmira, ove ti guida (1:38)
74 Aria: Arsace Ch’io parta? (4:05)
75 Recitativo Oh dio, par che dal petto (0:31)
76 Aria: Rosmira Quel volto mi piace (2:48)
scena 5
77 Recitativo Ormonte, ti destino (1:05)
78 Aria: Armindo Nobil core che ben ama (4:05)
scena 6
79 Recitativo Non chiedo, oh miei tormenti (1:06)
80 Aria: Arsace Ma quai note di mesti lamenti (2:49)
scena 7
81 Recitativo accompagnato: Rosmira Cieli, che miro! (0:41)
scena 8
82 Recitativo Ma Partenope vien (1:32)
83 Terzetto: Partenope, Arsace, Rosmira Un cor infedele (2:16)
84 Recitativo Passo di duolo in duolo (0:09)
85 Aria: Arsace Fatto è Amor un dio d’inferno (2:59)
scena 9
86 Recitativo Di bel desire avvampo (0:31)
87 Aria: Emilio La gloria in nobil alma (4:37)
scena ultima
88 Sinfonia (0:32)
89 Recitativo Regina, in queste arene (4:05)
90 Aria: Partenope Sì, scherza, sì (4:01)
91 Recitativo Armindo sia mio sposo (0:33)
92 Coro D’Imeneo le belle tede (2:01)
appendix: alternative final scene
93 Recitativo Regina, in queste arene (4:09)
94 Aria: Arsace Seguaci di Cupido (3:48)
95 Recitativo Tu vanne in libertate (0:19)
96 Coro D’Imeneo le belle tede (1:23)

Partenope – Karina Gauvin soprano
Arsace – Philippe Jaroussky countertenor
Armindo – Emöke Baráth soprano
Emilio – John Mark Ainsley tenor
Rosmira – Teresa Iervolino mezzo-soprano
Ormonte – Luca Tittoto bass
Il Pomo D’oro
Riccardo Minasi conductor