Ramee Archive

HANDEL: “Arie per la Cuzzoni” – Hasnaa Bennani, sop./ Les Muffatti/ Peter Van Heyghen – Ramée

HANDEL: “Arie per la Cuzzoni” – Hasnaa Bennani, sop./ Les Muffatti/ Peter Van Heyghen – Ramée

HANDEL: “Arie per la Cuzzoni” – Hasnaa Bennani, sop./ Les Muffatti/ Peter Van Heyghen – Ramée RAM 1501, 69:27 (2/26/16) [Distr. by Naxos] *****: Enjoy Handel at his extrovert best, honoring one of his celebrated singers.  Handel is at his extrovert best on a CD that compiles music made famous by one of his most celebrated and most notorious prima donnas, Francesca Cuzzoni, amidst a flurry of instrumental overtures and other brilliant, purely orchestral pieces. The full details of La Cuzzoni’s fairy tale rise and dramatic fall – “of her last years, little is known, save that she returned to the continent where she lived a poverty-stricken existence, eking out a living, it is said, making buttons” – and more, are all laid out in Peter Wollny’s delicious liner notes. It was about La Cuzzoni the incomparable singer, and not the scandalous diva or Puccini-esque heroine, that Handel’s colleague Quantz wrote, “La Cuzzoni had a very pleasant and bright soprano voice, pure intonation and a beautiful trill. Her style of singing was artless and touching. Because of the dainty, pleasant and fluent way she performed them, her embellishments did not appear artificial; yet so tenderly did she sing them that […]