Handel: Early Italian Works (CD) – Julia Lezhneva

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Handel: Early Italian Works (CD) – Julia Lezhneva

Composer: George Frideric Handel
Artists: Julia Lezhneva, Il Giardino Armonico
Conductor: Giovanni Antonini
Number of Discs: 1
Label: Decca
CD Release Date: November 6, 2015

The emphasis for this album is very much on youth and prodigious talent: at 25, Julia Lezhneva is ideally suited to the soprano arias of the young Handel, who arrived in Italy from Germany as a 21-year-old at the beginning of the 18th century.

The music encompasses the best of Handel’s operatic and religious works from his years in Florence and Rome: the operas Rodrigo and Agrippina and the oratorios Il Trionfo and La Resurrezione, as well as the complete Salve Regina and soprano solo from Dixit Dominus. Best known is the radiant “Lascia la spina” from Il Trionfo and its later incarnation as “Lascia ch’io pianga” from the opera Rinaldo.

This recording was made in the famously musical and historic Italian city of Cremona in the beautiful auditorium of the Museo del Violino.

“Lezhneva has been praised for her unforgettable spiritual expression and perfect artistry in Handel’s music, whether in rapidfire coloratura passages or the gentle radiance that casts a tangible spell in slow music.” (The Guardian)

“She has the perfect partners in Il Giardino Armonico and Giovanni Antonini, whose recordings of music from the Italian baroque are celebrated for their fizzing virtuosity and exquisite cushion of sound.” (The Independent)



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