Hyperion Records

Lotario, HWV26
First line:
Quanto pi¨ fien tenaci
first performed at the King's Theatre, London, on 2 December 1729
author of text

'Handel: Opera Arias' (CDS44271/3)
Handel: Opera Arias
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'Handel: Opera Arias and Overtures, Vol. 2' (CDA67128)
Handel: Opera Arias and Overtures, Vol. 2
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'Handel: Operatic Arias' (CKD252)
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Act 1 Scene 9. Aria: Scherza in mar la navicella (Adelaide)  Quanto pi¨ fien tenaci
Track 2 on CDA67128 [5'27] Archive Service; also available on CDS44271/3
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Track 4 on CKD252 [6'12] Download only
Overture: Allegro
Track 1 on CDA67128 [5'58] Archive Service; also available on CDS44271/3
Track 1 on CDS44271/3 CD3 [5'58] 3CDs Boxed set (at a special price)

Lotario, HWV26
The first season of Handel’s and Heidegger’s new company at the King’s Theatre in the Haymarket opened with Lotario on 2 December 1729. The Overture is a particularly fine one. It opens in the standard French manner, but unusually the following Allegro is built on a simple ground bass, just six notes long. Handel varies the textures so skilfully that the repetitions are hardly noticed. The final movement, in the style of a gavotte, was reused as an actual dance in Handel’s Oreste, a pasticcio he produced in 1734. One phrase was also taken up again in the gavotte of the overture to Semele (1743).

The libretto of Lotario is adapted from Antonio Salvi, and is based on historical events in tenth-century Italy immediately preceding those referred to in Handel’s Ottone. In the original version of the libretto the leading male character, based on King Otto I of Germany, was called Ottone, but in Handel’s version the name was changed to Lotario (Lothair) to avoid confusion between the two operas. In Lotario Duke Berengario has become king of Italy by murdering the legitimate king and is laying siege to the city of Pavia, where Queen Adelaide, the widow of the murdered king, has taken refuge. Berengario and his wife Matilda want their son Idelberto to marry Adelaide to protect their position and secure the throne for their descendants. In Act 1 King Lotario of Germany visits Adelaide and promises to help her, giving her the courage to withstand the threats of Berengario and Matilda. She asserts her determination not to give in to their demands in a dazzlingly brilliant aria, bringing the act to a thrilling close.

from notes by Anthony Hicks ę 2000

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