Lucy Crowe (Amarilli), Anna Dennis (Mirtillo), Katherine Manley (Eurilla), Madeleine Shaw (Dorinda), Clint van der Linde (Silvio) & Lisandro Abadie (Tirenio)
La Nuova Musica, David Bates
CD - 2 discs
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For its harmonia mundi début, the London-based La Nuova Musica, led by David Bates, presents a true rarity: the original 1712 version of Handel's opera 'Il pastor fido' (The Faithful Shepherd) featuring Lucy Crowe, Anna Dennis, Katherine Manley, Madeleine Shaw and Clint van der Linde.
'Il pastor fido' was first performed at the Queen’s Theatre on 22 November 1712, but achieved only seven performances throughout the season. One unimpressed eyewitness complained in his diary ‘The Scene represented only ye Country of Arcadia. ye Habits were old – ye Opera Short.’
Handel’s distinctive original version of his Arcadian opera was not heard again until its first modern revival at Abingdon in 1971; more than 40 years on, this performance by La Nuova Musica is its first recording.
La Nuova Musica is a vocal and instrumental ensemble dedicated to the music of the European Renaissance and Baroque. In less than five years since its foundation by counter-tenor David Bates, it has shot to prominence in the UK and abroad, establishing itself amongst critics and audiences as both a fixture and a breath of fresh air. Across a steadily developing repertoire, La Nuova Musica performances are characterised by vividness and ardour. The Times wrote of its 2009 performance of Handel’s 'Acis and Galatea' at the London Handel Festival: “[Bates] breathed life, meaning and shape into every phrase. His speeds were properly brisk and his little band responded with playing of robust vigour.”
At the 2009 Aldeburgh Easter Festival, the group’s interpretation of Schütz’s 'Musikalische Exequien' proved, in the words of the Eastern Daily Press, “to be one of the sensations of the weekend…effortlessly sung.” Audiences were thrilled by La Nuova Musica’s recent account of Monteverdi’s Seventh Book of Madrigals at the Spitalfields Winter Festival: “extrovert, free-spirited and alive to every sob, sigh and smile” The Times. In 2012, LNM embarks on an exciting new relationship with Kings Place, curating the winter concert season around its own performance of Monteverdi’s 'Orfeo'. A recital with renowned countertenor Robin Blaze and a performance of Bach’s 'Christmas Oratorio' follow in 2013. In March, 2012 they will give concert performances of Handel’s 'Il pastor fido', featuring Lucy Crowe, Katherine Manley and Clint van der Linde, including on 13th April, the London Handel Festival.
This recording marks the group’s harmonia mundi début. Future projects will include Vivaldi Dixit Dominus RV807, Vivaldi In furore Iustissimae RV626 and Handel Dixit Dominus HWV232.
Handel: Il Pastor Fido, HWV 8A
Overture: Part 1
Overture: Part 2
Overture: Part 3
Overture: Part 4
Overture: Part 5
Overture: Part 6
Act 1: Fato Crudo, Amor Severo
Act 1: Ah! Nò, Sia Pur Pietosa
Act 1: Augelletti, Ruscelletti
Act 1: Ah! Infelice Mia Patria
Act 1: Son Di Mirtillo!
Act 1: Son Come Navicella
Act 1: Come Viver Poss'Io
Act 1: Ferma, Mirtillo!
Act 1: Lontan Del Mio Tesoro
Act 1: Ah! Che Sperar Mi Resta
Act 1: Di Goder Il Bel Ch'Adoro
Act 1: Casta Dea, A Te Divoto
Act 1: Tu Sola, Oh Bella Diva
Act 1: Mi Lasci, Mi Fuggi
Act 1: Cintia, Mia Casta Dea
Act 1: Non Vo' Legarmi Il Cor
Act 2/Sc. 1: E Ancor Non Giunge Eurilla
Act 2/Sc. 1: Caro Amor, Sol Per Momenti
Act 2/Sc. 2: Occhi Belli, Voi Sol Siete
Act 2/Sc. 3: E Chi Tenta Rapirmi Il Bel Tesoro?
Act 2/Sc. 3: Allor Che Sorge Astro Lucente
Act 2/Sc. 4: Mi Fian Cari I Tuoi Voti
Act 2/Sc. 5: Mia Diletta, Che Pensi?
Act 2/Sc. 5: Finte Labbra! Stelle Ingrate!
Act 2/Sc. 6: Vanne Lungi Da Me!
Act 2/Sc. 6: Sol Nel Mezzo Risuona Del Core
Act 2/Sc. 7: Dorinda, Ove Hai Tu Poste Le Tue Speranze?
Act 2/Sc. 7: Se In Ombre Nascosto Ritira
Act 2/Sc. 8: Ed È Pur Ver
Act 2/Sc. 8: Nel Mio Core Ritorna Il Contento
Act 2/Sc. 9: E Tu Stessa Vedesti Recar L'Invito?
Act 2/Sc. 9: Nò! Non Basta A Un Infedele
Act 2/Sc. 10: Ah! Tepido Amator
Act 2/Sc. 11: Sù, Sù! Per Mano Altrui
Act 2/Sc. 11: Ritorna Adesso Amor
Act 3/Sc. 1: Sventurato Mio Amore!
Act 3/Sc. 1: Ho Un Non Sò Che Nel Cor
Act 3/Sc. 2: Miei Fidi, Oggi V'Accenda
Act 3/Sc. 3: Oh! Dolce Uscir Di Vita
Act 3/Sc. 3: Se M'Ami, Oh Caro
Act 3/Sc. 4: Amor, Se Gloria Stimi
Act 3/Sc. 4: Tu Nel Piagarmi Il Seno
Act 3/Sc. 5: D'Allor Trionfante Si Cinga La Fronte
“The first aria brings us scorching singing from soprano Anna Dennis as shepherd Mirtillo. The third brings Lucy Crowe, vibrant as Amarilli, the nymph of Mirtillo’s dreams. Katherine Manley, as the schemer Eurilla, is only slightly less demonstrative...A tonic; a definite tonic.”
“Bates makes no attempt to address Il pastor fido's dramatic shortcomings in La Nuova Musica's world premiere recording. His love of Handel's instrumental textures is apparent...In Dennis, we have a fiercely individual voice with remarkable extension, in Shaw a stage-worthy characterisation, most moving in the staccato gasps of 'Se m'ami, oh caro'”
“Completist Handelians will doubtless be pleased to have a stylish account of the full 1712 score...Anna Dennis (Mirtillo) has a light, bright, if slightly breathy soprano and she makes little of the words...Both Lucy Crowe - the star of the set - and Katherine Manley bring more vim to the love rivals, Amarilli and Eurilla, their respectively creamy and lemony tones nicely and aptly contrasting.”
22nd March 2012
“rather than a living, breathing performance, the result is an elegant musical object”
8th April 2012
“the sensual orchestration is beautifully realised...Lucy Crowe's magnificent soprano is allowed full rein, and I enjoyed both Anna Dennis and Clint van der Linde, an outstanding countertenor. An auspicious debut.”
“Bates lavishes evident care and affection on the score...in the main he directs his expert period band with spirit and imagination, while his singers all have pleasingly fresh, youthful voices...the most theatrically gripping [singing] comes from mezzo Madeleine Shaw as Dorinda...this set offers two hours and more of innocent, just occasionally not so innocent, Arcadian pleasures to anyone who loves Handel's music.”
2nd June 2012
“Bates and his companions make a virtue of simplicity in their world premiere recording of the original work. There's no want of surface detail, stylish phrasing or imaginative points of articulation here. But it's the natural ease of La Nuova Musica's work that leaves the deepest impression.”