George Frideric Handel (1685-1759)

Handel travelled to Italy sometime in 1706, and by the beginning of 1707 was in Rome. There the Cardinals Carlo Colonna and Benedetto Pamphili were among the influential patrons for whom Handel provided compositions. While his first commissions were sacred works, he was soon composing secular cantatas. One of the first was Il delirio amoroso, a substantial setting for soprano, recorder, 3 violins, viola, cello and continuo of a text by Cardinal Pamphili. From May 1707, Handel was receiving the patronage of the Marchese Francesco Ruspoli, for whom he was to provide secular cantatas for his weekly musical gatherings. His association with Ruspoli continued on and off until the end of 1708, and during this time Handel composed over 50 cantatas for this patron, as well as some church works. Among those in the service of Ruspoli was the soprano Margherita Durastanti, and many of the cantatas Handel wrote at this time must have been performed by her. She remained one of Handel's favourite singers, for whom he was to write many operatic roles. The last season in which she sang for him was that of 1733-34. Cantatas were much in demand from those patrons who promoted musical performances for their own musical circles (and between whom there was some rivalry). One factor creating the demand was the Papal ban on the performance of opera in Rome at this period.

Three Arias for Alto Voice & Trumpet
Three Arias for Tenor & Trumpet
Three Arias for Soprano & Trumpet
Three Arias for Bass Voice & Trumpet
Eternal Source of Light Divine
Eternal Source of Light Divine
Eternal Source of Light Divine
Cuopre tal volto il Cielo
Spande ancor a mio dispetto
Nell'Africane selve; Dalla guerra amorosa
Four Cantatas from Rome, 1707
Languia di bocca lusinghiera
O Ruddier than the Cherry!
Four Duets - I
Four Duets - II
Two Arias from Eccheggiate, festeggiate (HWV 119)
Ah! spietato! Recit. and Aria from Amadigi
Three Arias from Solomon
Oh! that I on wings could rise
Welcome as the Dawn of Day
Aria: Ombre, piante
O Numi eterni! (La Lucretia)
Mi palpita il cor (HWV 132b)
Armida abbandonata
Nel dolce dell'oblio
Un'alma innamorata