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George Frederic Handel: Italian Cantatas
By Yetzabel Arias Fernandez; Amsterdam Baroque Orchestra; Ton Koopman; Ton Koopman. By George Frideric Handel (1685-1759). Classical. CD (1 disc). Challenge Records #CC 72265. Published by Challenge Records (NX.CC-72265).
Item Number: NX.CC-72265
Sometime in late 1705 or 1706 Georg Friedrich Handel, like many German composers before him, travelled to Italy, then the fountainhead of European music. During the next three years he paid extended visits to Rome and also spent time in Florence, Venice and Naples. In 1709-10, perhaps after a year back in Hamburg, he returned once again to Florence and Venice. Rather than studying with some Italian master, as others had done, he quickly established himself as a virtuoso performer and composer, enjoying the support of leading patrons and composing numerous cantatas. Lost music from Handel's years in Italy rarely comes to light. So it was with considerable excitement that in 2015 scholars found themselves looking at a previously unknown and largely different version of the cantata "Tu fedel? Tu constante?", HWV 171 uniquely preserved in a manuscript belonging to Ton Koopman. This cantata is the complaing of an injured love. Both Handel settings of this text are for soprano, but in HWV 171a, the accompanying ensemble includes an oboe in addition to the two violins and continuo found in HWV 171. As an organist and harpsichordist Ton Koopman has appeared in the most prestigious concert halls of the world and played the most beautiful historical instruments of Europe. At the age of 25, he created his first baroque orchestra; in 1979 he founded the Amsterdam Baroque Orchestra followed in 1992 by the Amsterdam Baroque Choir. He has recorded an enormous number of records, and is Professor at the University of Leiden, Honorary Member of the Royal Academy of Music in London and artistic director of the Festival "Itineraire Baroque.".