Album: Handel-Caldara, Carmelite Vespers 1709 (Deutsche Harmonia Mundi)

 

Despite the linkage suggested by the hyphen, Handel and Caldara never worked together; rather, the latter replaced the former as composer to Cardinal Ruspoli in Rome.

The “Dixit Dominus” that provides the centrepiece of this reconstruction of a period Vespers was just one sacred work that the protestant Handel wrote for his Catholic patron, delivered with ebullient energy by Alessandro De Marchi's Academia Montis Regalis. It's joined by his “Saeviat Tellus” – notable for “O nox dulcis”, a gorgeous reflective aria – and several of Caldara's liturgical settings, like “Laetatus Sum”, mostly featuring mezzo-soprano or counter-tenor backed by restrained viols, but bursting into surging choral climax with “Rogate quae ad pacem”.

Download: Dixit Dominus; Laetatus Sum

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