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?

If Semele has the most famous mirror aria (‘Myself I shall adore’), this aria – the opening number of Ariodante – runs it close for vanity. Ginevra preens herself in front of the mirror for her her beloved Ariodante whilst reflecting on her considerable charms. Trying to find a flirtatious manner with accentuation, articulation and timing is the ambition for the players here.

Jonathan Freeman-Attwood

Parts included:

  • Trumpets in C
  • Piano

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