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Ton Koopman

‘Tu fedel? Tu costante?’ HWV 171a and other Italian cantatas

  • Type CD
  • Label Challenge Classics
  • UPC 0608917226522
  • Catalog number CC 72265
  • Release date 09 September 2016
Physical (CD)

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€ 19.95
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About the album

Sometime in late 1705 or 1706 Georg Friedrich Händel, like many German composers before him, travelled to Italy, then the fountainhead of European music. During the next three years he paid extended visits to Rome and also spent time in Florence, Venice and Naples. In 1709-10, perhaps after a year back in Hamburg, he returned once again to Florence and Venice. Rather than studying with some Italian master, as others had done, he quickly established himself as a virtuoso performer and composer, enjoying the support of leading patrons and composing numerous cantatas.
Lost music from Handel’s years in Italy rarely comes to light. So it was with considerable excitement that in 2015 I found myself looking at a previously unknown and largely different version of the cantata “Tu fedel? tu costante?”, HWV 171 uniquely preserved in a manuscript belonging to Ton Koopman. As so often it was a chance discovery.
“Tu fedel? tu costante?” is the complaint of an injured love. Both Handel settings of this text are for soprano, but in HWV 171a, as presented in the Koopman manuscript, the accompanying ensemble includes an oboe in addition to the two violins and continuo found in HWV 171. Otherwise, except for the absence of the introductory sonata in HWV 171, the new cantata is practically identical with the familiar version up to the end of the first aria. Thereafter it sharply diverges. HWV 171a was probably composed in Venice or Florence sometime prior to Handel’s first
arrival in Rome in late 1706. HWV 171 was completed by May 1707.

Rediscovery of the Händel cantata now available in a printed edition!

28-10-2016

image The significant rediscovery of a missing cantata by George Frideric Händel is now available in a printed edition published by Bärenreiter, as well as on CD! Ton Koopman had this cantata in his private library for a number of years and it was identified by the American musicologist John H. Roberts as a different early version of the cantata “Tu fedel? tu costante?”, HWV 171. Only the first aria is ...

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01-03-2017 Gramophone
13-02-2017 Musica dei Bonum
06-02-2017 Fono Forum
20-12-2016 Pizzicato
01-12-2016 Luister
01-11-2016 Klassieke zaken
09-10-2016 NRC Next
01-10-2016 Tijdschrift Oude Muziek
03-09-2016 Trouw
04-07-2016 Gramophone

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