Terpsicore (HWV)(8b) is a prologue in the form of an opéra-ballet by George Frideric Handel. Handel composed it in 1734 for a revision of his opera Il pastor fido which had first been presented in 1712. The revision of Il pastor fido with Terpsicore as the prologue was first performed on 9 November 1734 at Covent Garden theatre in London, opening Handel's first season in that newly built theatre. Terpsicore mixes dance along with solo and choral singing and was patterned after models in French operas, a particular source being Les festes grecques et romaines by Louis Fuzelier and Colin de Blamont, first presented in Paris in 1723. The work featured the celebrated French dancer Marie Sallé as well as stars of Handel's Italian operas and was a success with audiences of the day.
La Capella de Ministrers y su fundador, el violagambista y director valenciano Carles Magraner, celebran por todo lo alto los veinte años de andadura de un conjunto que es hoy ya una referencia inexcusable en el mundo de la música antigua. Y lo hacen mediante una exposición fotográfica que se acaba de inaugurar en Valencia y dos lanzamientos discográficos: un recopilatorio de su trayectoria, que lleva el inspirado título de Tempus Fugit y una absoluta novedad, el album La Spagna, recorrido por el universo de las danzas del Renacimiento español.
Keiser dominated the Hamburg opera scene between 1697, when Adonis was first performed, and 1717, resuming activities there some six years later. Christian Postel’s plot centres around Ovid’s celebrated account of the love affair between Adonis and Venus, who, in this version of the story is jealously watched over by Mars. Postel’s libretto is very long-winded and not well-sustained; but it offered Keiser the opportunity to provide over three-and-a-half hours of music, much of which, especially in Act III, is of enormous charm and variety. The score is a stylistic melting pot containing French and Italian ingredients as well as those of the German Lied. Some of the most beguiling music belongs to the minor roles – ‘Klagt, ihr Nymphen’ (Act III, Scene 9) brings to mind Purcell, and is among the most memorable of the arias. If the entire piece seems a daunting prospect, fear not, since arias from four of Keiser’s operas, including Adonis – though the booklet wrongly attributes one of these arias to a non-existent fourth act – appear on a single disc, sung with accomplishment and charm by Elisabeth Scholl with La Ricordanza. But the other offers a much more satisfying picture of Keiser’s ability as a dramatic composer.Nicholas Anderson
This instrumental ensemble is appreciated for its dynamic vivacity, virtuosic precision, and the historical accuracy of its performance practices. The ensemble has been invited to many of the most important festivals, including the Prague Spring, Flanders Festival, Festival Oude Muziek Utrecht (Ancient Music Festival of Utrecht), Bach Tage Berlin (Berlin Bach Days), Ansbacher Bachwoche (Ansbach Bach Week), the York Early Music Festival, and Wratislavia Cantans.
This disc of Iberian and Latin American Renaissance music is a reissue cleverly disguised as a new release. It compiles music from several recordings by Catalonian visionary Jordi Savall, his luminous-voiced collaborator Montserrat Figueras, and his Hesperion XXI and Capella Reial de Catalunya ensembles, dressing them up with a new set of rather philosophical booklet notes on themes of change, of intercultural tolerance, and of the evolving nature of Christianity in the Iberian realm and in New Spain. Some might call this a cynical ploy, but actually Savall has always been moving in a circle, so to speak, spiraling inward toward a deeper musical understanding of the historical themes touched on here: the lingering effects of the legacy of medieval Iberia and its "mestissage" or mixture of cultures, the reign of Holy Roman Emperor Charles (Carlos) V (did you know that he was both the first monarch to be called "His Majesty" and the first to be honored with the claim that the "sun never set" on his empire?), and the relationships between cultivated and popular styles, both in Iberia and the New World.