Hyperion Records

Scipione, HWV20
composer
first performed at the King's Theatre, London, on 12 March 1726
author of text
based on Livy's account of the Roman conquest of Spain

Recordings
'Handel: Opera Arias' (CDS44271/3)
Handel: Opera Arias
Buy 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
Buy by post £13.99 (ARCHIVE SERVICE) CDA66860  Archive Service; also available on CDS44271/3  
Details
Act 1. Interlude: March
Track 16 on CDA66860 [1'11] Archive Service; also available on CDS44271/3
Track 16 on CDS44271/3 CD1 [1'11] 3CDs Boxed set (at a special price)
Act 2. Aria: Scoglio d' immota fronte (Berenice)
Track 17 on CDA66860 [5'06] Archive Service; also available on CDS44271/3
Track 17 on CDS44271/3 CD1 [5'06] 3CDs Boxed set (at a special price)
Overture. Movement 1: [Largo] – Allegro
Track 14 on CDA66860 [3'52] Archive Service; also available on CDS44271/3
Track 14 on CDS44271/3 CD1 [3'52] 3CDs Boxed set (at a special price)
Overture. Movement 2: Allegro
Track 15 on CDA66860 [2'00] Archive Service; also available on CDS44271/3
Track 15 on CDS44271/3 CD1 [2'00] 3CDs Boxed set (at a special price)

Scipione, HWV20
EnglishFrançaisDeutsch
The libretto of Scipione, by Paolo Rolli, is based on an episode in Livy’s account of the Roman conquest of Spain. The young general Publius Cornelius Scipio has taken the town of New Carthage (Cartagena) and is captivated by one of the female prisoners (called Berenice in the opera). He nobly refuses, however, to take the usual conqueror’s advantage over her; instead he accepts a ransom from her father and presents both her and the ransom to the Celtiberian prince to whom she is betrothed. (The story is sometimes called ‘The Continence of Scipio’.) Handel wrote the music in more than usual haste—it was a stop-gap production to compensate for a delay in the promised London debut of the soprano Faustina—and directed the first performance at the King’s Theatre on 12 March 1726. As the immediate successor to the great sequence of Giulio Cesare, Tamerlano and Rodelinda it inevitably suffers by comparison, but contains several excellent numbers. The Overture is a perfectly good example of its kind, the reworking of movements from two of Handel’s recorder sonatas in the Allegro sections being skilfully accomplished. Act 1 of the opera opens with the famous March br, accompanying Scipio’s triumphal entry; it quickly became a favourite with military bands and remains so today. In Act 2 Berenice’s fiancé makes an unsuccessful attempt to rescue her and is put under arrest. Scipio offers himself as a more worthy suitor, but in the aria ‘Scoglio d’ immota fronte’ Berenice swears undying fidelity to her first love, comparing herself to a rock unmoved by tempestuous seas. Soaring vocal phrases over slowly changing harmonies represent the rock of Berenice’s faith, steadfast despite the turbulence released in the orchestra.

from notes by Anthony Hicks © 1996

Track-specific metadata
Click track numbers opposite to select

Details for CDS44271/3 disc 1 track 17
Act 2, Aria: Scoglio d' immota fronte (Berenice)
Artists
ISRC
GB-AJY-95-86017
Duration
5'06
Recording date
27 September 1995
Recording venue
St Jude-on-the-Hill, Hampstead Garden Suburb, London, United Kingdom
Recording producer
Martin Compton
Recording engineer
Tony Faulkner
Hyperion usage
  1. Handel: Opera Arias and Overtures, Vol. 1 (CDA66860)
    Disc 1 Track 17
    Release date: April 1996
    Deletion date: March 2007
    Archive Service; also available on CDS44271/3
  2. Handel: Opera Arias (CDS44271/3)
    Disc 1 Track 17
    Release date: September 2007
    3CDs Boxed set (at a special price)
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