Welcome to Hyperion Records, an independent British classical label devoted to presenting high-quality recordings of music of all styles and from all periods from the twelfth century to the twenty-first.
Hyperion offers both CDs, and downloads in a number of formats. The site is also available in several languages.
Please use the dropdown buttons to set your preferred options, or use the checkbox to accept the defaults.
The theme of this cantata employs the familiar metaphor of fleeing from the war of love, which formerly inspired Monteverdi in several madrigals. This poignant cantata depicts a lover coming to the realization that it is better to flee from the war of love than to be defeated by the revengeful Amor, as the God of love armed with his arrows lurks behind every pair of bewitching beautiful black eyes.
The first aria depicts the treacherous effect of the ‘occhio nero’ (black eyes) in a disarming and fiery melody which Handel brought with him from Hamburg to Italy, based on the chorus from his Hamburg opera Die verwandelte Daphne. In both cases, this charming melody warns of the intrigues of the god of love. After a second recitative urging one to flee from treacherous love, La bellezza è come un fiore descends to gloomy minor regions and its impassioned melody suffused with chromatic steps depicts the transience of all that is beautiful on earth through the image of the wilting flower.
An extra section is added in at the end which concludes this cantata in F major, the dominant from the opening in B flat major. This rhythmically powerful arioso has a more urgent and active tone as the dramatic cry of the soloist advises one to fly away from the war of love, because whoever serves Amor will always be captured by love and remain his prisoner and therefore endure a joyless and painful life.
from notes by Bridget Cunningham © 2016