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Love and Madness - Johannette Zomer, Bart Schneemann

Love and Madness - Johannette Zomer, Bart Schneemann

Channel Classics  CCS SA 29209

Stereo/Multichannel Hybrid

Classical - Vocal


Handel: Aria's
• Chi t’intende? Berenice’s aria from ‘Berenice’
• Morirò Medea’s aria from ‘Teseo’
• Lascia ch’io pianga Almirena’s aria from ‘Rinaldo’
• Ah! Spietato Melissa’s aria from ‘Amadigi’
• Cantate fragment ‘Languia di bocca lusinghiera’
• Dolce riposo Medea’s aria from ‘Teseo’
• Io sperai Bellezza’s aria from ‘Il trionfo del Tempo’
• Scherza infida! Ariodante’s aria from ‘Ariodante’
• Cantata ‘Mi palpita il cor’ - Adagio/Aria
• Introduzione from cantata ‘Delirio amoroso’
• Caro, vieni a me Costanza’s aria from ‘Riccardo Primo’
Oboe concerto in G minor & Concerto a quattro

Johannette Zomer, soprano
Bart Schneemann, oboe
Musica Antiphon


Bart: Handel, that master creator of goosebumps, can juggle emotions with the greatest of ease; he can make you happy, melancholy, resigned, exuberant. A composer who can make two completely different beings, an oboe and a soprano, fall in love, is one of the great ones.

Johannette: After my first collaboration with Bart (Blake Songs by Vaughan Williams, ccs 18598 ), what struck me was the way our two instruments, oboe and voice, completely fused together. Bart’s way of making music is so pure, so honest, that making music with him in these dialogue-arias raises my singing to a whole new level.

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Review by Graham Williams - December 22, 2009

This is a quite enchanting Handel recital, brilliantly performed by all the artists involved and magnificently recorded by Jared Sacks in Channel Classic’s finest sound.

Some might view the prospect of a whole collection of Handel arias, however lovely, a daunting prospect, but here, thanks to the beautifully constructed programme, there is much variety on offer and therefore no danger of monotony. The soprano Johannette Zomer and the oboist Bart Schneemann have chosen ten arias, each with an important oboe obligato part, that allow a marvellous dialogue to emerge between voice and instrument. Also included are three purely instrumental items that feature the ravishingly expressive and distinctive timbre of Bart Schneemann’s baroque oboe. As one might expect to find if this was a live concert, interspersing the arias with purely instrumental provides further diversity for the listener.

The opening aria, ‘Chi t’intende’ from ‘Berenice’, perfectly illustrates the purity and beautifully plaintive quality of Johannette Zomer’s soprano heard throughout this recital. In contrast, the dramatic ‘Moriro’, the first of the two Medea’s arias from ‘Teseo’ recorded here, allows Zomer to show her dazzling coloratura to great advantage. Bart Schneemann produces a lovely sound in the ‘Introduzione’ from the cantata ‘Delirio amoroso’ and he sparkles in the early G minor Oboe Concerto.

Musica Amphion, directed by their founder Pieter-Jan Belder is one of the finest period ensembles around, and throughout this recording the ear is drawn not only to their crisp collective playing, but also to the performances of individual musicians. For example, the velvet bassoon sound of Youkiko Murakami in ‘Scherza infida!’ and the beguiling combination of Belder’s nimble harpsichord and Fred Jacobs theorbo elsewhere.

The lovely ambience of the Waalse Kirk in Amsterdam is ideally caught, the venue providing an intimate yet lively acoustic for both voice and instrumental ensemble, while the generous 75 min. playing time of this SACD never seems a moment too long.

Very highly recommended.

Copyright © 2009 Graham Williams and HRAudio.net

Performance:

Sonics (Multichannel):

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