Hyperion Records

Tamerlano, HWV18
composer
first performed at the King's Theatre, London, on 31 October 1724
author of text
based on a French tragedy by J N Pradon

Recordings
'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. 1' (CDA66860)
Handel: Opera Arias and Overtures, Vol. 1
MP3 £7.99FLAC £7.99ALAC £7.99Buy by post £13.99 (ARCHIVE SERVICE) CDA66860  Archive Service; also available on CDS44271/3  
Details
Act 3. Aria: Cor di padre, e cor d' amante (Asteria)
Track 12 on CDA66860 [8'24] Archive Service; also available on CDS44271/3
Track 12 on CDS44271/3 CD1 [8'24] 3CDs Boxed set (at a special price)
Overture. Movement 1: [Largo] – Allegro
Track 10 on CDA66860 [2'50] Archive Service; also available on CDS44271/3
Track 10 on CDS44271/3 CD1 [2'50] 3CDs Boxed set (at a special price)
Overture. Movement 2: Adagio – Menuet
Track 11 on CDA66860 [1'47] Archive Service; also available on CDS44271/3
Track 11 on CDS44271/3 CD1 [1'47] 3CDs Boxed set (at a special price)

Tamerlano, HWV18
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Tamerlano, first performed at the King’s Theatre on 31 October 1724, was the successor to Giulio Cesare. Though no less masterly, it is more austere in style, requiring no special orchestral colours or elaborate stage spectacle. The action of Haym’s libretto (based on a French tragedy by J N Pradon, one of Racine’s rivals) takes place in Prusa (now Bursa in modern Turkey) and deals with the conflict between the captured Ottoman emperor Bajazet, his daughter Asteria and the Tartar conqueror Tamerlane. With Handel’s music it achieves a dramatic intensity unparalleled in any comparable work of the period. The Overture sets the tragic mood with a particularly dark opening section and an Allegro based on the corresponding movement in the Sonata which begins the Chandos anthem Have mercy upon me. A brief bridge passage leads to a concluding minuet. Throughout the opera Tamerlane attempts to use threats against Bajazet to gain the hand of Asteria, who is thus faced with a series of agonizing dilemmas. At the start of Act 3 Bajazet gives Asteria some poison he has been keeping for himself, begging her to join him in taking it if Tamerlane attempts to assault her. She agrees, but in the aria ‘Cor di padre’ she reflects that though such an act would keep her true to her father and to her real lover, the Greek prince Andronicus, she would lose them both. Jagged leaps and sharp dynamic contrasts in the string accompaniment suggest her anguish.

from notes by Anthony Hicks © 1996

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