G.F. Handel – Fiamma bella from Aminta e Fillide (HMV 83)

G.F. Handel (1685-1759)

G.F. Handel was a German baroque composer, organist, harpsichordist, and violinist.  He is most well known today for works such as his Messiah, Water Music, and Royal Fireworks Music.

Here is a soprano aria from called Fiamma bella from a Cantata by Handel entitled Aminta e Fillide.  The aria is sung by Catalan soprano Nuria Rial.  Enjoy!


G.F. Handel – Nine German Arias

G. F. Handel (1685-1759)

Georg Frideric Handel was a German baroque organist, violinist, conductor, and composer who spent most of his working life in London, England.  He composed more than 40 operas, oratorios, sacred music, orchestral music, chamber music, and keyboard music.  Today Handel is known for works such as the oratorio Messiah, Water Music, and the Royal Fireworks Music.

Handel’s nine German arias are not from any of his 40 operas.  They are Da capo arias (an A section followed by a B section which is followed by the A section one last time).  This form (ABA) was a popular form of opera aria in the baroque period.

Here are the German arias by G.F. Handel.  Dame Emma Kirkby is the soprano. She is accompanied by the London Baroque.

“Ad Coelum” by Bonporti

Francesco Antonio Bonporti (1672-1749)

Bonporti was an Italian composer, violinist, and priest.  Bonporti may have studied with the Italian violin virtuoso and composer Arcangelo Corelli.  His music is full of imaginative harmonies, lively part writing, and an unusual concentration to melodic detail.  J.S. Bach copied out some of Bonporti’s Inventions.  For a long time, four of Bonporti’s Inventions were attributed to J.S. Bach.  Recent scholarship has shown that the inventions Bach copied out are actually by Bonporti.

Here is a recording of a motet by Bonporti.  It features a soprano, Ellen Hargis, and Ensemble Ouabache.

Vivaldi – Piccolo Concerto in C major, RV 443 – Il Giardino Armonico

Antonio Vivaldi (1678-1741)

Vivaldi is known today among music lovers and the general public for his four violin concertos, the ‘Four Seasons.’  He also composed sacred and secular vocal music, about 50 operas, several sonatas for various instruments, and 550 concertos (more than half of them are written for the violin).

The Concerto in C Major, RV 443 is often referred to as a concerto for piccolo because the first edition of the concerto referred to the piece as a piccolo concerto. The concerto has been performed on the piccolo but it is most often performed on a recorder. Vivaldi originally wrote the concerto for the flautino (a small flute that is a baroque cousin of the recorder).

Giovanni Antonini (recorder soloist)

Giovanni Antonini is an Italian conductor, recorder and transverse flute soloist.  He is one of the leading period instrument performers.  In 1985 he founded the early music ensemble Il Giardino Armonico with Luca Pianca, a Swiss lutenist.

Here is a recording of Giovanni Antonini on a sopranino recorder (the highest pitched instrument of the recorder family) performing Vivaldi’s Concerto in C Major, RV443 with the early music ensemble, Il Giardino Armonico.  Enjoy!



Vivaldi Opera Andromeda liberata Aria ”Sovente il sole” by Philippe Jaroussky

Antonio Vivaldi (1678-1741)

Antonio Vivaldi was an Italian composer and violin virtuoso.  He is known by music lovers today for his four violin concertos, ‘The Four Seasons.’ Vivaldi composed 550 concertos.  230 of Vivaldi’s concertos are for the violin.  Vivaldi also composed other works for instruments including 40 violin sonatas, 9 cello sonatas, 10 flute sonatas, 27 trio sonatas, and 22 chamber concertos.  He also composed sacred vocal music and secular vocal music including around 50 operas (20 operas survive).

This recording is of an aria “Sovente il sole” from an opera by Vivaldi entitled Andromeda liberata.  It is sung by Philippe Jaroussky (a French countertenor) and Ensemble Matheus under the direction of Jean-Christophe Spinosi.



Rebel -〈Les Elemens〉1737 / 1. Le Cahos (Reinhard Goebel / Musica Antiqua Köln)

Jean – Fèry Rebel (1666-1747)

Jean – Fèry Rebel was a French Baroque composer and violinist in the court of Louis XIV.  Les Élémens (a ten movement tone poem) was his final composition and his most striking.  The movement entitled Le Cahos  is a piece that is quite daring harmonically.  The piece has been compared to Stravinsky’s Rite of Spring because it is so shocking for its time. It begins with an incredible cacophony of sound (in the beginning of the piece, all seven notes of the d minor scale are sounded at once as a harsh dissonant chord).  Les Élémens was first premiered at the Académie Royale de Musique in Paris on September 27, 1737.  Here is a recording of the first movement Le Cahos.  It is performed by Musica Antiqua Köln (a well known early music ensemble) conducted by Reinhard Goebel.