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Handel - Il Pastor Fido (1712 first version) La Nuova Musica/David Bates CD

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La Nuova Musica

“La Nuova Musica… as lively a collection of instrumentalists and singers as the world offers” The Times, March 2012

La Nuova Musica is a vocal and instrumental ensemble dedicated to reinvigorating the music of the European Renaissance and Baroque. In less than five years since its foundation by director David Bates, it has shot to prominence in ... Read more in Amazon's La Nuova Musica Store

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Handel - Il Pastor Fido (1712 first version) La Nuova Musica/David Bates + Handel - Rinaldo / Bartoli, Daniels, Fink, Finley, Orgonasova, Taylor, AAM, Hogwood
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Product details

  • Performer: Lucy Crowe, Anna Dennis, Katherine Manley, Madeleine Shaw, Clint van der Linde, et al.
  • Orchestra: La Nuova Musica
  • Conductor: David Bates
  • Composer: George Frideric Handel
  • Audio CD (5 Mar. 2012)
  • Number of Discs: 2
  • Format: CD
  • Label: Harmonia Mundi Usa
  • ASIN: B006IFX3MI
  • Other Editions: MP3 Download
  • Average Customer Review: 4.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (2 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 151,260 in Music (See Top 100 in Music)

Product Description


Nominated for a South Bank Show newcomers' award, the sprightly early music group La Nuova Musica stake their unique claim: Handel's Il pastor fido has never been recorded before in this 1712 version, though some of the fine music pops up in later incarnations. Its pastoral colours make a strong contrast with the extrovert Rinaldo, Handel's first opera for London; the sensual orchestration is beautifully realised here, but heavy vibrato is in evidence in several of the resonantly recorded voices, which often overwhelm the continuo. Lucy Crowe's magnificent soprano is allowed full rein, and I enjoyed both Anna Dennis and Clint van der Linde, an outstanding countertenor. An auspicious debut. --The Observer

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Most Helpful Customer Reviews

7 of 7 people found the following review helpful By E. L. Wisty TOP 500 REVIEWERVINE VOICE on 21 Jun. 2012
Format: Audio CD Verified Purchase
After Handel's dramatic explosion onto the London stage in 1711 with Rinaldo, his next work to be composed for the English capital was "Il Pastor Fido". By comparison it is a shorter and relatively understated and unambitious work, and in form and style much more like an extended cantata or serenata than an opera.

The libretto was adapted by Giacomo Rossi from a well-known play by Battista Guarini, a tragicommedia pastorale, but massively cut down - the plot had to be explained to the audience in the printed wordbook. The pastoral themes enabled Handel to recycle some of the texts and music from the pastoral cantatas he had composed during his Italian sojourn. It is possible that this was something of a filler work by Handel, saving his energies for his third London opera Teseo which ran later that same season.

It didn't seem to be all that popular with the punters, performed only seven times in its first season. It was however revived, rewritten and expanded, in May 1734 for thirteen performances and again with an extended ballet prologue "Terpsicore" by the famed dancers of Marie Sallé and new arias for Carestini in November of the same year for a further five performances.

Surprisingly perhaps, this is the first recording of the original 1712 version. It's all solid performances by La Nuova Musica and the vocal artists (Lucy Crowe, Anna Dennis, Katherine Manley, Madeleine Shaw, Clint van der Linde & Lisandro Abadie), but as intimated earlier, don't expect any great fireworks here.
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2 of 3 people found the following review helpful By **** on 13 April 2013
Format: Audio CD Verified Purchase
Theres isn't a work by Handel which does not contain superbly conceived drama and music. I always thought Il Pastor Fido was meant to be a bit dull/boring and understood this from others' comments. There are some wonderful things in this so-called 'slight' opera. This 1712 version is fascinating because for the first time one can hear precisely what Handel originally intended and the sound dimensions he had in mind; if it was an evocation of the remote world of Arcadia, Handel - and La Nuova Musica - have done it superbly.
The scoring is indeed light, particularly in the beginning, but La Nuova Musica make the most of this and convey a sense of the light freshness of the arcadian landscape and the deft subtleties that Handel composes with - a concealed art, as indeed the pastoral tradition always embodied in any art form. However Handel does change the soundscape later, as the all too human world obtrudes, such as in 'ritorna adesso Amor' and there seems to be as much colour and variety - but on a smaller scale - as many of his other works. There are some amazing arias such as Occhi belli which is very unusual and hypnotic with its pizzicato strings and Tu nel piagarmi and the closing duet. So don't be persuaded this is not fine Handel.

The singing is superbly done by all and it is so refreshing to hear up-and-coming singers as well of course as the superb Lucy Crowe. They all retain that sense of the fresh clear, almost innocent, other worldliness of arcadia. Amazing crescendo work in occhi belli and Madeline Shaw was impressive with the breath control. I was even impressed by Clint van der Linde who, for a counter-tenor, sounded excellent and who has nearly managed to eliminate that empty hollowness one hears at the centre of count-tenor singing.
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews on (beta) 1 review
Fantastic album like those of René Jacobs! 25 Oct. 2014
By Daniel Ponder - Published on
Format: Audio CD Verified Purchase
This is a fantastic album, and I'm surprised this cd hasn't been reviewed yet. This is the early version of Il Pastor Fido, containing some different arias and sections that may be unfamiliar to the relatively small body of people familiar with this piece.

The playing is excellent with La Nouva Musica, David Bates is a talented conductor and the work on this project is comparable to the fantastic performances led by René Jacobs. The playing is crisp, the sound and audio quality is at par with what one expects from these newer Harmonia Mundi cds, you get full notes and information as always in these nice boxed sets.

The singers are excellent, the also sounds like a countertenor, but with a full round rich tone of a baritone or bass - the countertenor has the same qualities as the alto and could easily fool even a trained listener into thinking this is a rich sounding female role in the work. The playing is excellent and supports the singers on this well.

I highly recommend this cd to anyone and especially if you're a big fan of Handel.
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