A sensational new figure on the Baroque music scene in the early 2000s, conductor Emmanuelle Haïm electrified audiences with her passionate interpretations of operatic and choral works. She has never studied conducting formally, and, like many other performers involved with older repertoire, she first came to early music only in adulthood.

“It’s tempting to think these duets, which Handel composed at various points in his career, are just chips from the master’s block. But they constitute a delightful hour’s worth of music, and when sung with the vocal brilliance and stylishness displayed here by ten top singers in various pairings, they add up to one of those rare discs it’s hard to stop returning to. Handel must have thought a lot of them too–since he reused some of this music for oratorios like Messiah–and turned to the chamber duet form in his last years as well. There isn’t a weak link among the soloists, though the contributions of Natalie Dessay, Veronique Gens, and Sara Mingardo are especially noteworthy. Whether asked to sing plaintive laments or flashy coloratura displays, these well-matched voices thrill. The accompaniments (harpsichord or organ, lute and cello) are faultless. The appeal of this disc extends far beyond Baroque specialists to anyone who enjoys outstanding singing.” –Dan Davis


  • Composer: Handel
  • Title: Arcadian Duets
  • Cast:

    Claycomb · Dessay · Gens · Lascarro · Panzarella · Petibon · Mijanovic · Mingardo · Asawa · Agnew · Le Concert d'Astrée · Haïm

  • Additional information:

    Cantata XX - Ahi, nelle sorte umane HWV 179
    Disc 1
    1 - Ahi, nelle sorte umane

    2 - Ma le speranze vane

    Cantata XVI - No, di voi non vo` fidarmi HWV189
    3 - No, di voi non vuo fidami

    4 - Altra volta incatenarmi

    5 - So per prova i vostri inganni

    Cantata 1a - Caro autor di mia doglia HWV182a
    6 - Caro autor di mia doglia

    7 - No, che d`altrui che di te

    8 - Dagli amori flagellata

    Cantata XV - Quel fior che all`alba ride HWV192
    9 - Quel fior che all`alba ride

    10 - E unfior la vita ancora

    11 - L`occaso ha nell`aurora

    Cantata IX - Conservate, raddoppiate HWV185
    12 - Conservate, raddoppiate

    13 - Nodi voi, che gli stringeste

    Cantata X - Tanti strali al sen mi scocchi HWV197
    14 - Tanti strali al sen mi scocchi

    15 - Ma se l`alma sempre geme

    16 - Dunque annoda pur, ben mio

    Cantata V - Va speme infida HWV199
    17 - Va, speme infida

    18 - Tu baldanzosa mi vai dicendo al core

    19 - Mase mendace e vana

    Cantata VI - A mirarvi io son intento HWV 178
    20 - A mirarvi io son intento

    21 - Ma l`amor per mio tormento

    22 - E vibrando in un baleno

    Cantata I - Sono liete, fortunate HWV 194
    23 - Sono liete, fortunate

    24 - Crudelta ne lontananza

    25 - Non avran mai la possanza

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