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Italia 1600 Argentina 1900
Verónica Cangemi was born in Mendoza, Argentina and was a cellist in the Mendoza Symphonic Orchestra before winning both the National Singing Competition in Argentina and the Francisco Viñas Competition in Barcelona. Her first European performance was in Gluck’s Armide with Les Musiciens du Louvre. She has concentrated largely on Mozart and the Baroque repertoire, working with such directors and ensembles as Giovanni Antonini, Ivor Bolton, William Christie, Adam Fischer, Nikolaus Harnoncourt, René Jacobs, Ton Koopman, Sir Neville Marriner and Zubin Mehta.
The Baroque pieces on the album contain highly virtuosic music by composers like Nicola Porpora that would have been performed by the great castrato Farinelli, as well as arias by Vivaldi and Handel renowned for their challenging vocal lines. The Latin flavour of the disc is complemented by the inclusion of 20th century pieces by Piazzolla, Guastavino and Villa-Lobos all of whom hail from Cangemi’s native South America.
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Passionate Baroque Arias
In 18th-century Italian opera the solo aria – a form of musical expression held in high favour by Humanist culture (owing to its close link with the word) – was the main, indeed almost the exclusive, vehicle for expressing the characters’ feelings and emotions. And the presentation of different expressive situations is surely one of the most characteristic features of Italian opera. Unlike its French counterpart, Italian opera showed little interest in any kind of realistic representation of the plot. Instead it focused on the music. Or more specifically, it concentrated on the capacity of the human voice to arouse emotions, of which love is naturally one of the most frequently encountered. As a result, the diverse facets of love (right down to its idealization or to its sacrifice for reasons of state) form the standard fare of opera plots.
It is something of a commonplace to consider 18th-century opera as little more than a battleground for the display of virtuoso singers. But it would be truer to say that the singers became the unchallenged masters of the opera stage precisely because their superb technique and vocal skills made it possible to highlight the emotions and give musical life to the ‘affects’; in other words, to the different states of mind of the various characters. It is no coincidence that the very etymology of the term ‘aria’ (from the Latin aer) is linked to the concept of a musical ‘mode’, in the sense of a ‘manner of singing’.
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Ildebrando D'Arcangelo - Handel Arias
Io di Roma il Giove sono (from Agrippina)
Lascia amor, e siegui marte (from Orlando)
Ove son! Che m'avvemme! (from Siroe, re di persia)
Gelido in ogni vena from Siroe, re di persia, HWV 24
Tirannia gli diede il regno from Rodelinda, HWV 19
Invida sorte from Ariodante, HWV 33
Voli colla sua tromba (from Ariodante)
Fra l’ombre e gl’orrori (from Aci, Galatea e Polifemo)
Mie piante, correte from Apollo e Dafne, HWV 122
Tu sei il cor di questo core (from Giulio Cesare)
Già risonar d'intorno (from Ezio)
Frondi tenere e belle ... Ombra mai fù (from Serse)
Tu del ciel ministro eletto (Il Triompho del Tempo e del Disinganno)
Sorge infausta una procella (from Orlando)
Al sen ti stringo e parto (from Ariodante)
Sibilar gl'angui d'Aletto from Rinaldo, HWV 7a
This is the solo debut of one of the most exciting bass-baritones of today.
Expertly advised by Baroque expert, Francesco Lora, D'Arcangelo fashions his debut album into a panoramic sweep of Italian Handel arias for bass-baritone.
Mixing well-known and rare, lyric with highly virtuosic, D'Arcangelo's phenomenal Handel shows the versatility and wide range of Handel’s compositions for bass-baritone and the vocal capacity of the singer to master this programme.
Undeniably appealing to all voice and Baroque music lovers, this album will excite music lovers well beyond.
“D'Arcangelo articulates rapid-fire coloratura efficiently throughout…” BBC Music Magazine, December 2009
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