HANDEL ALMIRA PDF

The action takes place at the palace of Almira, the Queen of Castille, in medieval Valladolid. The confused emotions and relations of the persons at her court, revolving around Almira herself as the principal figure, form the action of the opera. At the end of it all, she marries the man whom she loves. This is unhappy news for Almira, whose heart belongs to her secretary Fernando, a youth of unknown origin. Although Osman is pleased at the prospect of the royal wedding he vows to remain true to his beloved Edilia.

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Composer or Director: George Frideric Handel. Handel composed Almira , his first opera, in , when he was a violinist in the opera orchestra at Hamburg; it was performed at the beginning of , six weeks before his twentieth birthday.

The models were of course the Hamburg operas of the time, in particular those of Reinhard Keiser; indeed the Almira libretto is derived from a text by F. Feustking, partly a translation from an Italian original by Pancieri, that Keiser had earlier set. Almira has a plot about a young Spanish queen and her marital affairs, with the usual complications of deceptions and misunderstandings, stray would-be suitors, and the rediscovery of a long-lost heir; but there is also a comic, earthy servant, in the old Venetian manner, which leads to a mixture of styles and moods.

There is a good deal of variety, however, about the arias of which a high proportion are in minor keys. Many are simple continuo-accompanied arias, especially the very brief ones; often they have much-repeated bass figures. Several have light accompaniment and then a full orchestral ritornello at the end, a type he occasionally used later.

Ultimately, however, it has to be said that the musical level in this long work — not far short of four hours of music — is variable, more so than in the mature operas, because there is some trivial music here; and often the short phrases, with too many cadences, dissipate the vitality the music promises to generate. So I would urge Handelians to give Almira a hearing. The performance, based on a staging given in Bremen and Halle in , gives a very fair idea of the work.

Andrew Lawrence-King, who took over the direction of the recording when the original conductor Thomas Albert withdrew through illness, paces it well and generally keeps the recitative moving along. Where it is allowed to slow down one is sometimes reminded of the world of German Passion music.

The continuo instrumentation is varied a good deal; often a bassoon alone is used, and sometimes violone alone, both of which seem to me unsatisfactory, and the effect is not infrequently rather bass-heavy.

The dance pieces that survive only as melody and bass are played that way when they should surely have inner parts added. Among the singers, Ann Monoyios makes a generally sympathetic Almira, light and bright in tone, and often phrasing her music gracefully; she does well in her demanding Act 3 aria although it really calls for a higher level of virtuosity. There are three tenor roles no castratos in Hamburg! Handel Almira Almira.

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Handel’s Almira

Composer or Director: George Frideric Handel. Handel composed Almira , his first opera, in , when he was a violinist in the opera orchestra at Hamburg; it was performed at the beginning of , six weeks before his twentieth birthday. The models were of course the Hamburg operas of the time, in particular those of Reinhard Keiser; indeed the Almira libretto is derived from a text by F. Feustking, partly a translation from an Italian original by Pancieri, that Keiser had earlier set. Almira has a plot about a young Spanish queen and her marital affairs, with the usual complications of deceptions and misunderstandings, stray would-be suitors, and the rediscovery of a long-lost heir; but there is also a comic, earthy servant, in the old Venetian manner, which leads to a mixture of styles and moods. There is a good deal of variety, however, about the arias of which a high proportion are in minor keys.

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Handel: Almira

See also: Handel's lost Hamburg operas. It was first performed in Hamburg in January On later occasions, he also played the harpsichord in the orchestra. His first opera — announced as a Singspiel although it has no spoken dialogue [1] — was premiered on 8 January , after being composed in the months directly preceding this. Almira is the sole example among Handel's many operas with no role for a castrato.

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