For the final volume in Fabio Bonizzoni’s survey of cantatas written by Georg Friedrich Handel during his stay in Italy, the background scenery moves – like a reflection of the Grand Tour – from Rome to Naples; probably the troubled times in a Rome besieged by Imperial troops during the War of the Spanish Succession may have encouraged the young, itinerant Saxon musician to consider that heading down south was safer and more conducive for his overall career prospects.
It was a time when Handel was conceiving the three highly-charged cantatas to be heard on this disc and he would have been aware that Naples was blest with a bass singer, Domenico Antonio Manna, possessed of a prodigious vocal range, encompassing two octaves and a fifth. And maybe, Handel wrote two of the pieces performed on this disc – Apollo e Dafne and Cuopre tal volta il cielo – with Manna in mind, even if the former cantata was perhaps completed once Handel later had reached Hannover.
Carlo Vitali’s engaging booklet essay colourfully helps to summon up early 18th century Neapolitan culture and Handel’s potential place within it.
Joining Fabio Bonizzoni and La Risonanza for these modern-day realizations of the Baroque Italian musical world experienced by Handel are Furio Zanasi and Thomas Bauer for the bass roles, as well as soprano Roberta Invernizzi, an integral feature of this revelatory and much-praised Handel series since its inception. (GLOSSA)