Emma Kirkby (soprano) & Marcia Hadjimarkos (fortepiano)
Usually despatched in 4 - 5 working days.
A new recording featuring one of the most famous and best-loved of all early-music sopranos, Emma Kirkby.
Marcia Hadjimarkos performs on a superb modern copy of a Walther fortepiano,
Booklet note and full sung texts.
This CD contains the remarkable cantata Arianna a Naxos Haydn composed in 1789. Unlike the later cantata Berenice composed in London in 1795, Arianne is not scored for orchestra. Here the piano is given a virtuoso role especially in the recitatives. The drama of Arianna’s desertion by Theseus is superbly realised by Haydn.
In September 1800, Lord Nelson, fresh from his victory over the French in the Battle of the Nile in 1797, visited Eisenstadt, together with Lord and Lady Hamilton. Lady Hamilton asked to sing Arianne during her visit. A member of the British party at Eisenstadt, Cornelia White asked Haydn to set words she had written celebrating Nelson’s famous victory. He obliged with the cantata ‘Lines from the Battle of the Nile’, and work was performed by Emma Hamilton with Haydn at the piano.
The songs on this CD all resulted from a dinner in Vienna on December 1790. Haydn, Mozart and the violinist and impresario Salomon were discussing Haydn’s trip to London. It was on this trip that Haydn became friendly with Anne Hunter, a talented poet, and wife of the eminent surgeon John Hunter. She was a friend of Walpole, and soon Haydn was in the ‘polite society’ of London. Anne either supplied the text, or selected texts by other writers, especially Shakespeare. This was a happy time in Haydn’s life, and the songs are heartfelt, and emotional, foreshadowing the romanticism of Schubert, and reflecting possibly the romantic attachments the composer had made in London.
The Spirit's Song
O Tuneful Voice
Arianna A Naxos
A Pastoral Song
The Battle Of The Nile
She Never Told Her Love
RThe Lady's Looking Glass
“Kirkby's intelligent mastery with words and gift for intimate story-telling are tailor-made for these Haydn miniatures”
“There are two very striking things about this release, the first being the extraordinary clarity of diction from Emma Kirkby...[the second is] the disarming intimacy of the recorded sound...Both pianist and singer clearly enjoy a close artistic rapport, which adds to the feeling of this recital being more in the nature of a presentation before a small circle of friends than a highly polished recording (which, in actuality, it is)”
“[Kirkby] and Hadjimarkos come into their own..in the garland of English canzonettas which wind their way round the two cantatas. Kirkby has the measure of the salon sentiment and pathos of Haydn's settings of Anne Hunter, wife of his physician; and her bright-eyed, immaculately preserved and warmly communicative voice - equally warmly and closely recorded - makes then entirely engaging.”
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