Early Music Links
Early Music Performer Discographies
New Books on
Performances with HIP Staging
Early Music Mailing List Archives
German Composers »
GF Handel » Handel Pasticci
Pasticcio Operas & Oratorios
Arranged by or with music by
George Frideric Handel
(Georg Friedrich Händel)
I hadn't created a page for Handel's pasticcios, of which there were many,
mainly because none of his pasticcios of "modern" Italian operas have been
recorded. However, with the arrival of a recording of a self-pasticcio,
Oreste, following the release of recordings of Nabal and Gideon,
posthumous Handel pasticcios arranged by Smith, it seems that a trend may be
underway that hopefully will lead to performances of Handel's most interesting
pasticcios incorporating music by Vinci, Leo, Hasse, and Giacomelli.
Handel's pasticcios are described in detail, with a chart showing the known
sources of arias, in the chapter "Handel's Pasticci" in Strohm, Essays on
Handel and Italian Opera (Cambridge University Press 1985). Among these
works were operas based on Leo's Catone in Utica, Vinci's Didone
abbandonata & Artaserse, Giacomelli's Lucio Papirio Dittatore
& Hasse's Caio Fabricio that contained most of the original
music. Although Handel obviously thought that his audience would find "modern"
music of interest, the pasticcios were failures. That could explain why they are
just beginning to be revived today, despite the depletion of unrecorded works associated with
Strohm wrote about Didone:
"Handel had again failed to succeed on the London stage with an opera
universally admired in Italy. The rival company [Opera of the Nobility],
though on the verge of bankruptcy, gave many more performances of
Hasse's Siroe and Pescetti's Demetrio. In the meantime,
however, Handel had attracted -- not least with his oratorios -- a new
following unable to appreciate Vinci or Hasse, as he did. In fact, the
fundamental problem about Handel's pasticci lay in the fact that his own
music, in his own theatre, presented too strong a rival attraction to
any operas of Italian origin."
Similar NewOlde.com pages:
Handel oratorios |
Handel operas |
listing Handel's pasticcios, by gfhandel.org.
|Handel. Didone (London 1737).
Pasticcio based on Vinci's Didone abbandonata (Rome 1726), with
new recitative by Handel, supplemented with arias by Vinci (Semiramide),
Leo (Demetrio), Hasse (Cajo Fabricio, Issipile &
Euristeo), Vivaldi (Griselda), Ristori (opera unknown),
and Giacomelli (Annibale). Ensemble Serse. Didone: Elinor Rolfe
Johnson, soprano; Enea: Calvin Wells, male soprano; Jarba: Benjamin
Williamson, countertenor; Selena: Clara Kanter, mezzo-soprano; Araspe:
TBC; Osmida: TBC. Planned for the 2014 London Handel Festival, but
replaced with Jommelli's 1747 version. See the
NewOlde.com Jommelli page
|Handel. Alessandro Severo.
(Self-pasticcio opera, HWV A13, London, 1738). MDG 609
CDs, January 2011). George Petrou, Armonia Atenea.
Αlessandro: Μary-Ellen Nezi, mezzo-soprano; Salustia:
Marita Solberg, soprano; Giulia: Kristina Hammarström,
mezzo-soprano; Albina: Irini Karaianni, mezzo-soprano;
Claudio: Gemma Bertagnoli, soprano; Marziano: Petros
Magoulas, bass. Handel composed a fine, new overture,
which is on the CD "Emma Kirkby sings Mrs. Arne." Also
in this set: Niccolò Manzaro. Don Crepuscolo
(Corfu 1815). Christophoros Stambaglis, bass.
Giove in Argo (HWV A14, 1739). Mainly a self-pasticcio,
with two arias from Francesco Araja's Lucio Vero. Cantate/Musicaphon
M56891 (2 CDs, July 2007).
Details. Sylvie Kraus, Matthias Beckert, Thomas Gebhardt,
Concert Royal Köln, Kammerchor Würzburg. Calisto: Lisa Tjalve,
soprano; Iside: Tanya Aspelmeier, mezzo-soprano; Diana: Theresa
Nelles, soprano; Aretes (Giove): Benoît Haller, tenor; Erastus (Osiris):
Markus Auerbach, bass; Licaone: Raimonds Spogis, bass. Libretto
by Antonio Maria Lucchini for Antonio Lotti (Dresden 1719).
Reconstruction by Steffen Voss & Thomas Synofsik. While Winton
Dean has described Giove in Argo as "an unsatisfactory
hodgepodge" (Handel's Operas 1726-1741, p. 398 -- a more
detailed analysis will appear in
(2008)), I find the opera and this recording quite
enjoyable. It contains many previously unrecorded arias and
choruses by Handel, and the arias by Araja are equally
worthwhile. (The next to last line of text is missing in the A
section of "Questa d'un fido amore", the Araja rage aria, which
sounds like "Perfido! Deh spietato!".) The thick booklet
contains numerous color photos of the ridiculous, modern
production but no English translation of the text, not even the
version from the original word book.
Handel. Giove in Argo
(Self pasticcio opera, HWV A14, London 1739). Virgin
50999 7231162 2 (3
CDs, March 2013). Alan Curtis, Il Complesso Barocco.
Calisto: Karina Gauvin, soprano; Iside: Ann Hallenberg,
mezzo-soprano; Diana: Theodora Baka, soprano; Arete
(Giove): Anicio Zorzi Giustiniani, tenor; Osiris (Erosto: Vito
Priante, bass; Licaone: Gianluca Buratto, bass.
First recording using the new HHA edition, reconstructed by John Roberts, who discovered the two
"lost" arias by Francesco Araja, as reported in his
article "The Story of Imeneo" in the 2001
Israel in Babylon (Pasticcio compiled by Edward Toms in
1764, with instrumental works transformed into arias.) K617 172
(2 CDs, June 2005). Joachim Fontaine, Kantorei Saarlouis,
Ensemble UnaVolta. Zorobabel: Joseph Cornwell, tenor; Pharez:
Julia Gooding, soprano; Israelite 1: Sabine von Blohn, soprano;
Israelite 2: Jonathan Peter Kenny, countertenor; Salathiel:
Ekkehard Abele, bass; Darius: Adolph Seidel, bass. (See Eva
Zöllner, English Oratorio After Handel.)
2005 NewOlde.com Best Baroque Oratorio CD Award. Highly
recommended! This is the best posthumous pasticcio of Handel's
music recorded to date. It's much better than than the oratorios
compiled by Smith, and the libretto is closer to a serenata
libretto than, for example, Israel in Egypt, to which
this work bears little resemblance. The characters debate which
is most powerful -- the king, wine, or women, and ultimately
decide in favor of truth. Toms reorchestrated Handel much as
Mozart did, adding horns, clarinets and bassoons. One sinfonia
is reduced to harmoniemusik for clarinets and horns only.
Familiar pieces utilized include "Da tempeste" from Giulio
Cesare, the Siciliana from Ottone, the Royal
Fireworks music -- now a chorus with fifes and drums, the Pifa
from Messiah as a duet, and "Ombra mai fù". Excellent
performance and recording.
Oreste (HWV A11, 1734). MDG 609 1273-2 (2 CDs 2004).
Review by Philippe Gelinaud. Self-pasticcio containing two
new arias. George Petrou, Camerata Stuttgart (modern
instruments). Oreste: Mary-Ellen Nesi, mezzo-soprano; Ermione:
Maria Mitsopoulou, soprano; Ifigenia: Mata Katsouli, soprano;
Pilade: Antonis Koronaios, tenor; Toante: Petros Magoulas, bass;
Filotete: Nikos Spanos, countertenor.
Frideric Handel, Thomas Arne, J.F. Lampe. Arias: Emma Kirkby
Sings Mrs. Arne. L'Oiseau Lyre 436 132-2 (1 CD 1993). Emma
Kirkby, soprano. Christopher Hogwood, The Academy of Ancient
Music. Includes the only (?) commercial recording of the
overture to Handel's self-pasticcio, Alessandro Severo (HWV
A13, 1738). My favorite among the arias is "Pretty warblers"
from Lampe's 1733 English opera, Didone, with transverse
flute in Siciliana rhythm.
Reissued as part of a 2-CD set with Emma's disc
of Mozart arias.
Nabal. (A pasticcio oratorio compiled in 1764 by John
Christopher Smith Jr.) Naxos 8.555276/77 (2 CDs 2002).
Review by Philippe Gelinaud. Joachim Carlos Martini,
Barockorchester Frankfurt, Junge Kantorei. Shepherd: Linda
Perillo, soprano; Asaph: Francine van der Heijden, soprano;
Abigail: Maya Boog, soprano; David: Knut Schoch, tenor; Nabal:
Stephan McLeod, bass.
& J.C. Smith Jr. Gideon. (A pasticcio oratorio compiled
in 1769 by John Christopher Smith Jr. & Thomas Morell.) Naxos
8.557312/13 (2 CDs 2004).
Review by Les Robards. Joachim Carlos Martini,
Barockorchester Frankfurt, Junge Kantorei. Linda Perillo,
soprano; Barbara Hannigan, soprano; Nicola Wemyss, soprano;
David Cordier, countertenor; Knut Schoch, tenor; Stephan McLeod,
& J.C. Smith Jr. Tobit. (A pasticcio oratorio compiled by
John Christopher Smith Jr. & Thomas Morell.) Junge Kantorei (2
CDs 2001); reissued on Naxos 8.570113/14 (February 2007).
Libretto (pdf). Joachim Carlos Martini, Barockorchester
Frankfurt, Junge Kantorei. Linda Perillo, soprano; Barbara
Hannigan, soprano; Maya Boog, soprano; Alison Browner,
mezzo-soprano; Knut Schoch, tenor; Stephan McLeod, bass. This
pasticcio was discovered quite recently by Richard King in the
Victor Schoelcher Collection of the Bibliothèque Nationale in
Paris, along with the manuscripts of Gideon and Nabal,
and a fourth posthumous pasticcio, Redemption.
"I am just come from a long, dull, and consequently tiresome Opera of
Handel's, whose genius seems quite exhausted. . . . The only thing I liked in it
was our Naples acquaintance, Celestina, who is not so pretty as she was, but
sings better than she did. She seemed to take mightily, which I was glad of. I
have a sort of friendship for her, without knowing why." John Hervey, first Earl
of Bristol writing to his friend Stephen Fox after attending a performance of
Handel's pasticcio Catone, 4 November 1732, quoted in Strohm (p. 249).
Hervey and Fox had spent January-March 1729 in Naples. Strohm adds: "[Celeste]
Gismondi's music differs significantly from that of the other singers by being
mainly drawn from the works of Johann Adolf Hasse, whereas the others sung
mainly Leo's music, with some admixture of Porpora." (p. 250).
|Richard King (ed.) Handel
Studies - A Gedenkshrift for Howard Serwer.
Details. Pendragon Press 2008. Includes an article by Winton
Dean about Handel's Giove in Argo. .
Zöllner. English Oratorio After Handel: The London oratorio
series and its repertory, 1760-1800.
Details. "The extensive appendices include a complete list
of all oratorio performances at the London theatres from 1760 to
1800 with vocal and instrumental soloists as well as a list of
manuscript scores and contemporary editions." Tectum Verlag
2002. 365 pages.
|Reinhard Strohm. Essays on Handel and
Italian Opera. Collection of Strohm's essays, some published
in English for the first time. A book to which I return
repeatedly. Cambridge University Press, 1985. Contents include:
Handel's Italian journey as a European experience; Handel and
his Italian opera texts; Francesco Gasparini's later operas and
Handel; Towards an understanding of the opera seria; Handel's
pasticci; Handel's Ezio; Metastasio's Alessandro
nell'Indie and its earliest settings; Comic traditions in