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Emma Kirkby, who is about to celebrate her 60th birthday in 2009, is one of the world’s most renowned early music specialists. She has been voted artist of the year by Classic FM Radio listeners and in 2007 was ranked number 10 in a survey done by BBC Music Magazine to find the 20 Greatest Sopranos. With her intelligence, her uniquely beautiful voice and her brilliant performing technique her concerts always become an unforgettable experience. She feels the most at home with Renaissance and Baroque repertoire so Phoenix Edition is privileged to have her perform on this disc of baroque gems.
In Handel’s Latin motet “Silete, venti” she gives a virtuoso example of her art. Since the work cannot have been written for the Anglican Church service, the supposition remains that Handel wrote it especially for one of his much-loved female vocal virtuosi from the opera company.
Emma Kirkby’s colleague Sophie Boulin is no less a virtuoso, as is proved by the cantatas by Bach and Hasse. The occasion and the exact circumstances for the creation of Bach’s cantatas “Non sa che sia dolore” BWV 209 are not known; possibly the piece was even written by another composer.
“La Gelosia” (“Jealousy”), the solo cantata written in 1762 by Johann Adolf Hasse and based on a text by his preferred librettist Pietro Metastasio, conveys in exemplary fashion an impression of the style of the courtly aristocratic Italian opera.
George Frideric Handel: Silete venti, HWV 242
Dulcis amor Jesu care
O fortunata anima
Date serta, date flores
Johann Adolf Hasse: Perdono, amata Nice, bella Nice, "La gelosia"
Recitative: Perdona, amata
Aria: Bei labbri che Amore
Recitative: Son reo, non mi defendo
Aria: Giura il nocchier
Johann Sebastian Bach: Non sa che sia dolore, BWV 209