In the third instalment in Fabio Bonizzoni’s survey of the secular cantatas with instrumental accompaniment composed by Georg Frideric Handel during his stay in Italy, come a quartet of works associated with the Venice-born maecenas Pietro Ottoboni – including the substantial Ero e Leandro, the libretto for which is plausibly considered to have been written by the Cardinal Ottoboni himself. As well as the seldom-performed cantata for bass, Spande ancora a mio dispetto and Ah! Crudel, nel pianto mio scored forsoprano solo, Bonizzoni also directs the Spanish-texted No se emendará jamás.
In this latest outing Bonizzoni continues with his policy of bringing forward accomplished singers with an intense and direct feel for Handel’s Italian output. Where the first two volumes saw contributions from Roberta Invernizzi and Emanuela Galli, here, for this “Ottoboni” release, the spotlight falls on soprano Raffaella Milanesi and bass Salvo Vitale. As before, our understanding of this neglected area of Handel’s genius is enhanced by the accompanying booklet notes. Here they are provided by Livio Marcaletti, an expert on the music of Antonio Bononcini as much as on that of Handel. (GLOSSA)