Handel: Rinaldo: La crudele lontananza (4:59); Pirro e Demetrio: No, non così severe (3:08); Hornpipe (2:04)
Ann Hallenberg, mezzo-soprano; Il Complesso Barocco / Alan Curtis
The Handel arias and orchestral pieces on this disc span a narrow spectrum from the comparatively unfamiliar to the practically unknown. Nine of the twelve arias are recorded here for the first time. They were mostly composed for insertion in later performances of existing operas to accommodate a different cast of singers. Some have come to light only recently or have previously been inadequately identified. Yet, despite the sometimes shadowy origins of this music, it is all vintage Handel and ranks among the composer’s most eloquent dramatic utterances.