Philippe Jaroussky sings Handel and Vivaldi

The Ensemble Matheus at the Chapelle de la Trinité (conducted by Jean-Christophe Spinosi)

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Philippe Jaroussky — Countertenor

Ensemble Matheus

Jean-Christophe Spinosi — Conductor

Program notes

Philippe Jaroussky and Jean-Christophe Spinosi join forces together for a recital of opera arias by Handel and Vivaldi.

Georg Friedrich Handel is with no doubt the first great European composer in the history of music. Born in Halle, Germany, in 1685, he soon leaves for Italy, where he meets Domenico Scarlatti, Corelli and Pasquini. He takes English nationality in 1726 and composes many Italian operas for the British court (including Rinaldo, a true triumph in the composer's career). Handel composed over 40 operas, and his music is eminently vocal, with natural curves and refined, elegant eloquence. His sense of the melodic line was unequalled and thanks to the company of the great singers and castrati of the time.

It is actually a collection of arias that were originally composed for castrati that the countertenor Philippe Jaroussky sings here, during this concert in Lyon, accompanied by his acolyte Jean-Christophe Spinosi. The founder and music director of the Ensemble Matheus and the most popular countertenor of our time have a long musical history in common. Their greatest first successes, they have encountered them together. The repertoire here chosen gathers some of the most beautiful opera arias by Handel, including "Penna tiranna", Dardano's aria from Amadigi di Gaula, and "Cara sposa", from Rinaldo. This recital's programme comprises also two arias from Vivaldi's opera Orlando furioso. Antonio Vivaldi is another of the duet's composer of predilection.

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