BMC 46
George Frideric HANDEL
Overtures from his Operas

The London Baroque Orchestra
Conductor: Alexnder Hamilton

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1: TESEO (1712) - HWV 9
2: AGRIPPINA (1709) - HWV 6
3: ESTHER (1732) - HWV 50b
4: ORLANDO (1732) - HWV 31
5: ARMINIO (1736) - HWV 36

6: XERXES - Overture (1738) - HWV 40
7: XERXES - Largo
8: FARAMONDO (1737) - HWV 39
9: BERENICE (1737) - HWV 38
10: ALCINA (1735) - HWV 34 Excerpt: Fugue from Overture
11: ARIODANTE (1734) - HWV 33
12: JUDAS MACCABAEUS (1746) - HWV 63

Total time 77:06

Born in Germany in 1685, Handel went to England with George I (when the English Crown fell by descent to the House of Hanover), and remained there for the rest of his life. Though he composed some harpsichord suites, orchestral works, and the very beautiful Chandos Anthems, his real love was Opera, not just the genre, but the whole world of audience reaction, star performers (he imported fashionable singers from Italy), the stage, the settings, the promotion, and the challenge of inciting and maintaining the interest of a fickle public audience.

On this disc we have selected some of Handel's very best Opera Overtures. These were introductory pieces, designed both to settle the audiences and to set the mood of the stage work to follow; thus there is considerable musical variety, though most begin with a flamboyant 'French Style" Overture, often accompanied by a Fugue.

The variety and drama of these Overtures make this a CD you can listen to with pleasure from start to finish.

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