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?

‘Se il mio amor fu il tuo delitto’ from Berenice concludes Act 1 with Berenice vowing to Demetrio that her quest for revenge on the Egyptians will be as strong as her love for him. It is a gloriously sonorous duet that requires careful decisions on the colour of each instrument, and a tempo that allows the busy right hand of the piano (strings) to find space in the texture.

Jonathan Freeman-Attwood

Parts included:

  • Trumpets in C
  • Piano

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