Handel: Partenope, HWV 27

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Handel: Partenope, HWV 27


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Release date:

6th Nov 2015




3 hours 22 minutes


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Handel: Partenope, HWV 27

Philippe Jaroussky (Arsace), Karina Gauvin (Partenope), John Mark Ainsley (Emilio), Teresa Iervolino (Rosmira), Emöke Barath (Armindo), Luca Tittoto (Ormonte)

Il Pomo d'Oro, Riccardo Minasi

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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.

George Frideric Handel: Partenope, HWV 27

Ouverture: I.

Ouverture: II. Allegro

Ouverture: III. Presto

George Frideric Handel: Partenope, HWV 27, Act 1

"Tu dell'eccelse mura" (Partenope)

"Viva, viva, Partenope viva" (Chorus)

"Miei fidi, arride il cielo" (Partenope)

"Arsace. Armindo" (Armindo, Arsace, Partenope, Rosmira)

"Regina, in folte schiere" (Ormonte, Arsace, Armindo, Partenope, Rosmira)

"L'amor ed il destin" (Partenope)

"O Eurimene ha l'idea di Rosmira" (Arsace)

"Cavalier, se gli dei" (Rosmira, Armindo)

"Se non ti sai spiegar" (Rosmira)

"Armindo ardisci e prova" (Armindo)

"Voglio dire al mio tesoro" (Armindo)

"Ah! ch'un volto fatal mi dà gran pena!" (Arsace, Rosmira)

"Un'altra volta ancor" (Rosmira)

"Rosmira, oh Dio, Rosmira" (Arsace)

"Sento amor con novi dardi" (Arsace)

"Stan pronti i miei guerrier" (Partenope, Ormonte)

"T'appresta forse Amore" (Ormonte)

"Signora" (Armindo, Partenope)

"Bramo restar, ma no" (Armindo)

"E di che reo son io?" (Arsace, Partenope) - "Per te moro" (Arsace, Partenope)

"E se giunge Eurimene?" (Partenope, Arsace, Rosmira)

"Sei mia gioia, sei mio bene" (Partenope)

"I novelli amor tuoi" (Rosmira, Arsace)

"Dimmi, pietoso Ciel" (Arsace)

"Ecco Emilio" (Ormonte, Emilio, Partenope, Armindo, Rosmira, Arsace)

"Anch'io pugnar saprò" (Emilio)

"Arsace, tu sarai" (Partenope, Armindo, Rosmira, Arsace, Ormonte)

"Io ti levo l'iimpero dell'armi" (Partenope)

"Lascia, deh, lascia, oh prence" (Arsace, Rosmira, Armindo)

"È figlio il mio timore" (Arsace)

"Prence, di te mi lagno" (Armindo, Rosmira)

"Io seguo sol fiero" (Rosmira)

George Frideric Handel: Partenope, HWV 27, Act 2


"Forti mie schiere" (Emilio)


"Ma le nemiche squadre" (Emilio, Partenope)

"Con valorosa mano" (Chorus, Emilio, Partenope, Tutti)


"Soccorso" (Partenope, Armindo)


"Renditi, oppure estinto" (Emilio, Arsace, Rosmira, Partenope, Ormonte)

"Vi circondi la gloria d'allori!" (Partenope, Arsace, Armindo, Rosmira, Ormonte)

"Contro un pudico amor" (Emilio)

"Barbaro fato, sì" (Emilio)

"Care mura" (Partenope)

"Emilio!" (Partenope, Emilio, Rosmira, Arsace, Ormonte, Armindo)

"Voglio amare insin ch'io moro" (Partenope)

"Ti bramo amico, e teco" (Arsace, Emilio, Armindo, Rosmira)

"E vuoi con dure tempre" (Arsace, Rosmira)

"Non può darsi in un petto" (Emilio, Armindo, Rosmira)

"Furie son dell'alma mia" (Rosmira)

"A pro di chi t'offese" (Partenope, Arsace)

"Poterti dir vorrei" (Arsace)

"Regina" (Armindo, Partenope)

"Non chiedo, oh luci vaghe" (Armindo)

"Più d'ogn'altro sarebbe" (Partenope)

"Qual farfalletta" (Partenope)

"Quanto godo, Eurimene" (Armindo, Rosmira)

"Rosmira mia, mio bene!" (Arsace, Rosmira)

"Furibondo spira il vento" (Arsace)

George Frideric Handel: Partenope, HWV 27, Act 3


"Regina, ti compiace" (Armindo, Partenope, Arsace, Emilio)

"Non è incauto il mio consiglio" (Armindo, Emilio, Arsace, Partenope)

"Partenope, Eurimene" (Rosmira, Partenope, Arsace, Armindo, Emilio)

"Arsace, oh dio, cosi" (Rosmira)

"Chi m'apre i lumi?" (Partenope, Emilio, Armindo)

"Spera e godi, oh mio tesoro" (Partenope)

"Prencipe, ardir!" (Emilio, Armindo, Rosmira, Arsace)

"La speme ti consoli" (Emilio)

"Rosmira, ove ti guida" (Arsace, Rosmira)

"Ch'io parta?" (Arsace)

"Oh dio, par che dal petto" (Rosmira)

"Quel volto mi piace" (Rosmira)

"Ormonte, ti destino" (Partenope, Ormonte, Armindo)

"Nobil core che ben ama" (Armindo)

"Non chiedo, oh miei tormenti" (Arsace)

"Ma quai note di mesti lamenti" (Arsace)

"Cieli, che miro!" (Rosmira)

"Ma Partenope vien" (Rosmira, Partenope, Arsace)

"Un cor infedele" (Partenope, Arsace, Rosmira)

"Passo di duolo in duolo" (Arsace)

"Fatto è Amor un dio d'inferno" (Arsace)

"Di bel desire avvampo" (Emilio, Armindo)

"La gloria in nobil alma" (Emilio)


"Regina, in queste arene" (Ormonte, Partenope, Emilio, Rosmira, Armindo, Arsace)

"Sì, scherza, sì" (Partenope)

"Armindo sia mio sposo" (Partenope, Armindo, Arsace, Rosmira)

"D'Imeneo le belle tede" (Chorus)

"Regina, in queste arene" (Ormonte, Partenope, Emilio, Rosmira, Armindo, Arsace)

"Seguaci di Cupido" (Arsace)

"Tu vanne in libertate" (Partenope)

"D'Imeneo le belle tede" (Chorus)

New York Times

11th December 2015

“The period orchestra Il Pomo d’Oro performs Handel’s score with irresistible energy and elegance.”

Sunday Times

3rd January 2016

“Gauvin proves captivating, enhancing Handel’s notes with delicious decorations in da capo repeats. Philippe Jaroussky (pictured) is her equal in technical dispatch of the most difficult florid music...Ainsley catches the braggadocio of the invader Emilio to perfection, and the supporting singers...sing as outstandingly as Minasi’s alert period band play.”

BBC Music Magazine

January 2016


“Il Pomo d'Oro plays with tremendous attention to detail, as responsive to variations of timbre, articulation and dynamic as the singers...As the siren Partenope, Karina Gauvin brings an easy glamour. John Mark Ainsley is a suave Emilio, brilliant in 'La gloria in nobil alma'...Were the recitatives a touch faster and less deliberate, it would be a perfect performance.”

Gramophone Magazine

December 2015

“Minasi’s triumphant new recording is so sensitive to the work’s shifting tone – by turns buoyant and light-footed, tender, humorous...and so impeccably cast as to bring this unusual work’s virtues into sharp new focus...Is there a better Handelian soprano than Karina Gauvin currently working?”

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