Hyperion Records

Alcina, HWV34
composer
first performed at Covent Garden, London, on 16 April 1735
author of text
adapted from L'isola di Alcina, itself based on Ariosto's Orlando furioso

Recordings
'Handel: Arias' (CDA67979)
Handel: Arias
MP3 £7.99FLAC £7.99ALAC £7.99Buy by post £10.50 Studio Master: FLAC 24-bit 96 kHz £12.00ALAC 24-bit 96 kHz £12.00 CDA67979  Studio Master FLAC & ALAC downloads available
'Handel: Heroic Arias' (CDH55370)
Handel: Heroic Arias
MP3 £3.75FLAC £3.75ALAC £3.75Buy by post £5.50 CDH55370  Helios (Hyperion's budget label)   Download currently discounted
'Handel: Opera Arias' (CDS44271/3)
Handel: Opera Arias
MP3 £15.00FLAC £15.00ALAC £15.00Buy by post £16.50 CDS44271/3  3CDs Boxed set (at a special price)  
'Handel: Opera Arias and Overtures, Vol. 2' (CDA67128)
Handel: Opera Arias and Overtures, Vol. 2
MP3 £6.00FLAC £6.00ALAC £6.00Buy by post £13.99 (ARCHIVE SERVICE) CDA67128  Archive Service; also available on CDS44271/3   Download currently discounted
Details
Act 2 Scene 12. Aria: Verdi prati (Ruggiero)
Act 2 Scene 3. Aria: Mi lusinga il dolce affetto (Ruggiero)
Act 3 Scene 13. Aria: Ah! Ruggiero crudel, tu non mi amasti! (Alcina)
Track 9 on CDA67128 [7'23] Archive Service; also available on CDS44271/3
Track 9 on CDS44271/3 CD3 [7'23] 3CDs Boxed set (at a special price)
Act 3 Scene 3. Aria: StÓ nell'Ircana (Ruggiero)

Alcina, HWV34
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Alcina opened at Covent Garden Theatre on 16 April 1735, the last new production of Handel’s first season at the theatre. It had an impressive run of eighteen performances, extending the season to the beginning of July. The participation of the French dancer Marie Sallé and her company, for whom Handel provided some of his most delectable ballet music, was an important attraction, but the quality of the work as a whole was undoubtedly the main reason for its success. In the demanding title role Strada’s vocal and dramatic capabilities were fully stretched. The libretto is loosely based on Cantos 6 and 7 of Ariosto’s epic poem Orlando furioso. Alcina is a sorceress who lures heroes to her magic island and turns them into animals or other shapes. Her latest capture is the knight Ruggiero, who is enjoying the delights of the island and has forgotten his fiancée Bradamante. She, however, intends to find him and win him back, and, in the company of Ruggiero’s old tutor Melisso, has arrived on the island disguised as her own brother. In Act 2 Melisso uses a magic ring to show Ruggiero that the beauties of the island are all illusory, and he and Bradamante convince Ruggiero to escape with them. Alcina learns of Ruggiero’s betrayal (as she sees it) and determines to use her magic powers to prevent him leaving. The final scene of the act is set in the underground vault where Alcina casts her spells. This time, however, her spirits refuse to obey her, perhaps—though this is never stated explicitly—because her genuine love for Ruggiero prevents her from harming him. The scene takes the form of a magnificent accompanied recitative and an aria. Alcina’s desperation is underlined by strange harmonic shifts near the beginning of the recitative: they are derived from a passage in Bononcini’s opera Il Xerse, but are highly effective in their new context. Sinuous running figures dominate the aria, sometimes in the treble, sometimes in the bass. They suggest the shadowy spirits that hover around Alcina, and the persistent minor-key mood expresses her resignation to fate.

from notes by Anthony Hicks ę 2000

Track-specific metadata
Click track numbers opposite to select

Details for CDH55370 track 12
Act 2 Scene 12, Aria: Verdi prati (Ruggiero)
Artists
ISRC
GB-AJY-91-48312
Duration
3'46
Recording date
15 December 1990
Recording venue
St Jude-on-the-Hill, Hampstead Garden Suburb, London, United Kingdom
Recording producer
Ben Turner
Recording engineer
Antony Howell
Hyperion usage
  1. Handel: Heroic Arias (CDA66483)
    Disc 1 Track 12
    Release date: August 1991
    Deletion date: November 2008
    Superseded by CDH55370
  2. Handel: Heroic Arias (CDH55370)
    Disc 1 Track 12
    Release date: May 2012
    Helios (Hyperion's budget label)
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