Handel in Rome 1707: Donna, che in ciel, HWV233; Ah che troppo ineguali, HWV230; Dixit Dominus, HWV232

Reviewed on Mon 29 Aug, 2016

Giulio Prandi and his choir and consort are based in Pavia in Italy, though his soloists include British soprano Rachel Redmond (in the Dixit Dominus) and Spaniard Maria Espada.

Three live recordings of three works dating roughly from Handel’s visit to Rome in 1707. The relatively familiar Dixit Dominus was recorded in a slightly unflattering acoustic at the Festival d’Ambronay in 2014; more compelling and more sympathetically captured at the Gottingen Handel Festival 2015 is the relatively unfamiliar sacred cantata, Donna, che in ciel, a substantial work from about 1703 that Handel probably also performed during his Roman visit. Giulio Prandi and his choir and consort are based in Pavia in Italy, though his soloists include British soprano Rachel Redmond (in the Dixit Dominus) and Spaniard Maria Espada, who is especially effective in the other novel item on this album, the short-ish sacred aria, Ah che troppo ineguali, recorded on Prandi’s home turf Pavia also in 2015. Live recordings rarely become canonical, but by offering two rare Handel vocal works, vibrantly performed, Prandi’s recital will tempt all Handelians.
–Mark Walker