Magazine article Gramophone

Handel: 'The Power of Love'

Magazine article Gramophone

Handel: 'The Power of Love'

Article excerpt

Handel

'The Power of Love'

Alcina--Tornami a vegheggiar. Almira--Geloso tormento. Ariodante--Il primo ardor. Giulio Cesare --Da tempeste; Piangero. Orlando--Amor e qual vento. Partenope--Qual farfalleta. Rinaldo Dunque i lacci ... Ah crudel. Serse--Un cenno leggiadretto. Terpsichore (Il pastor fido)--Air; Ballo; Chaconne; Entree (Jalousie). Teseo--Amarti si vorrei

Amanda Forsythe sop

Apollo's Fire / Jeanette Sorrell hpd

Avie [F] AV2350 (69' * DDD * T/t)

It is no mean feat to produce a Handel opera aria recital containing two of Cleopatra's most popular showpieces ('Piangero la sorte mia' and 'Da tempeste') and also Morgana's flashy 'Tornami a vagheggiar' without things running on autopilot, but Amanda Forsythe's intelligent and characterful singing means there's no risk of these being merely yet another slog through audition warhorses. The remainder is a well-chosen batch. The shepherdess Dorinda's exasperated mockery about the folly of love ('Amor e qual vento') could do with a rustic treatment of the long pedal bass notes, but Forsythe's sparkling delivery shares a knowing wink. The lightweight top-heavy orchestral balance lacks the ideal theatrical punch for Atalanta's exuberant scheming in 'Un cenno leggiadretto' (Serse), but works elegantly in Partenope's whimsical observations on the vagaries of romantic attraction in 'Qual farfalletta'--and in both of these arias Forsythe's lightly nonchalant delivery of Martin Pearlman's embellishments is dazzling.

There is less familiar territory covered with the turbulent 'Geloso tormento' from Handel's first opera, Almira (Hamburg, 1705), which features an impressive cantabile oboe obbligato played by Debra Nagy. …

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