Handel's Queens

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Handel's Queens
Lucy Crowe, Mary Bevan / London Early Opera, Bridget Cunningham

[ Signum / 2 CD ]

Release Date: Friday 19 July 2019

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Handel's Queens features some of the most exquisite pieces of music written by G.F. Handel and his contemporaries for the two finest singers of the eighteenth century, Faustina Bordoni and Francesca Cuzzoni. Often wrongfully framed as rivals, these dazzling new recordings with Mary Bevan and Lucy Crowe reveal the distinctive yet versatile talent of the Italian vocalists.

Conductor Bridget Cunningham continues her research and created Handel's Queens and directs London Early Opera from the harpsichord. Handel's Queens - as part of this important series serves as a further example of Cunningham's dedication to imaginative programming and outstanding period performance on this double CD placing her at the forefront of baroque research and recording.

"Crowe and Bevan recreate two prime donne through their own blazing talents." Recording of the Month BBC Music Magazine October 2019

"This soundly made programme is both pleasing and intriguing…Crowe plays Cuzzoni as a bright soprano whose technical precision and agile upward-leaping ornaments combine with musicality to impress and move, while Mary Bevan offers a Bordoni with a lower centre of gravity, generally darker and more directly theatrical." Gramophone

"The two British sopranos that emulate them here are both significant artists in their own right with distinctive voices of their own, Lucy Crowe's bright soprano bringing to Cuzzoni's arias quite a different character to the fuller, more burnished tone of Mary Bevan." Opera



1. Sinfonia, from Ariodante (1718)
Carlo Pollarolo

2. Da tempeste il legno infranto, from Giulio Cesare HWV 17

3. Se fosse il mio diletto, from Dalisa

4. Recit: È tale Otton? and Aria: Falsa immagine, from Ottone HWV 15

5. Son prigioniera d'amore, from Poro

6. Stelle, tiranne stelle, from Nerone

7. Solitudini amate, from Alessandro HWV 21

8. Serba le belle lagrime, from Ariodante (1718)
Carlo Pollarolo

9. Recit: Elisa che ricerchi and Aria: Voglio amore, from Tolomeo HWV 25

10. Fra catene ognor penando, from Scanderbeg RV 732

11. Nelle mie selve natìe, from Scanderbeg RV 732

12. Placa l'alma, duet from Alessandro HWV 21


1. Scoglio d'immota fronte, from Scipione HWV 20

2. Recit: La sua disperazione and Aria: Se a ammollire il crudo amante, from Amadis di Grecia
Pietro Torri

3. Gelosia, spietata Aletto, from Admeto HWV 22

4. Quel nome se ascolto, from Il Ciro Riconosciuto (1739 Carnivale version)
Leonardo Leo

Ariodante: Serba le belle lagrime