Il giardino dei sospiri
Leonardo Leo – Aria: Or ch’e dal sol difesa (Angelica e Medoro)
Georg Friedrich Händel – Aria: Si muora, si muora
ABOUT THE RECORDING
Il giardino dei sospiri is a collection of scenes from secular cantatas on tragic love, ranging from Handel’s Qual ti riveggio to the new editions of works by Leo, Marcello, and Gasparini. The tragic heroines of these love stories are interpreted by Czech star mezzo-soprano Magdalena Kožená, who is accompanied by Václav Luks and Collegium 1704.
Václav Luks | conductor
Magdalena Kožená | mezzosoprano
concert master | Ivan Iliev
violin I | Iveta Schwarz, Jan Hádek, Vadym Makarenko, Agnieszka Papierska
violin II | Simona Tydlitátová, Vojtěch Jakl, Martina Kuncl Štillerová, Giacomo Tesini
viola | Eleonora Machová, Friedemann Ramsenthaler, František Kuncl
violoncello | Libor Mašek, Thomas Chigioni
double bass | Luděk Braný
cembalo | Joan Boronat Sanz
theorba | Jan Krejča
oboe | Katharina Andres, Petra Ambrosi
bassoon | Elisabeth Kaufhold
Benedetto Marcello | Arianna abbandonata
Leonardo Vinci | sinfonia, Maria dolorata
Francesco Gasparini | Atalia
Leonardo Leo | “Orch’é dal sol difesa”, Angelica e Medoro
Georg Friedrich Händel | Agrippina HWV 6
Georg Friedrich Händel | Qual ti riveggio, oh Dio HWV 150
The recording was released with the kind support of VIZE 97, the Dagmar and Václav Havel foundation.
Václav Luks and his Prague-based Collegium 1704 are exemplary collaborators, relishing the unexpectedly flighty, flirtatious string-writing of Vinci’s Sinfonia from Maria dolorata and the vivacious opening to the Marcello, always alive as accompanists to the shifting currents of these musical streams of consciousness.
Alexandra Coghlan, Gramophone
There are many discoveries here, including a complete scene from Benedetto Marcello’s “Arianna abbandonata”, which makes one want to hear the entire piece, as well as wonderful orchestral jams such as Leonardo Vinci’s “Sinfonia from Maria dolorata” (tracks 8-10). Yet the best piece, quite naturally, is the Handel Cantata “Qual ti riveggio, oh Dio” (HWV 150), which closes the album and is given in full. Try track 24, the aria “Si muora, si muora” and you’ll find the album’s artists at their absolute best. A well planned, superbly executed program of unique Baroque music, this is a highly enjoyable album. Nice recording too, made at the Church of Saint Anne, Prague, with first-class documentation.
Tal Agam, The Classic Review
The Czech mezzo-soprano Magdalena Kožená returns to the baroque in her latest album, music for which she’s uniquely suited and which has always shown her off at her best. Time has barely touched her elegant, silvery voice, which has retained much of its richness and enviable evenness across the registers, and her interpretive instincts remain as sharp as ever. In happy partnership with Collegium 1704 under Václav Luks, she takes audiences through a captivating program of secular music, much of it rarer fare that comes up very well indeed.
Justine Nguyen, Limelight