Handel’s unrivalled skill of writing great tunes – from the simplest utterance to show-stopping glories – sits at the heart of almost all of Handel’s dramatic works. Without the text, it could be claimed that any instrumental performance is a compromise too far. But how bereft we would be without the chance for instruments to imitate or replace the voice, to put our mark on a piece by exploring an expressive world of implication and beauty for its own sake?

The composer’s capacity for penetrating the heart of the human condition, and particularly how surface sensibility and profound empathy collide, is realised perfectly in this justly celebrated aria from Rodelinda. The memory of requited love by the title role is embedded in this pastoral and assured siciliano but with a longing that is infused with the deep pain and loss of prolonged absence.

Jonathan Freeman-Attwood

Parts included:

  • Trumpets in C
  • Piano

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