HANDEL Neun Deutsche Arien (Daniel Saether)

Handel: Neun Deutsche Arien
Daniel Saether, Ensemble C4

Already well represented on disc and regularly reviewed in these pages, Handel’s Nine German Arias need little introduction save for a reminder that there is evidence to date them in the 1720s, somewhere among that glittering trio of operatic masterpieces Julius Caesar, Tamerlano and Rodelinda. [...]

In ‘Das zitternde Glänzen der spielenden Wellen’ (‘The shimmering gleam of dancing waves’), Ingrid Økland’s violin is indeed shimmering and dancing, especially in the B section. It’s not as fast as others and taps into a sense of serenity that I adore. Similarly, ‘Süsse Stille, sanfte Quelle’ (‘Sweet quiet, gentle source’) immediately captures an atmosphere of ‘peaceful serenity’ in a warm and passionate performance and is quite my favourite on this album. I find the crucial sense of spring frivolity is too subtle at the start of ‘Meine Seele hört im Sehen’ (‘My soul hears, through seeing’). Similarly in the majestic ‘Die ihr aus dunklen Grüften’ (‘You who from dark vaults’), which is surely a distant cousin of the twin arias ‘Va tacito’ and ‘Camminando lei pian piano’, although one could argue for more contrast at ‘Sprecht nicht: es ist nur Farb und Schein’ (‘Do not say: it’s merely light and colour’).

Having said all that, this is a superb recording and a strong debut for Ensemble C4. It’s characterised by the voice of Daniel Sæther: sure-footed, stylish and confident. There’s a bright future ahead for these musicians, I’m sure.

For the full text of this review please click here: Gramophone April 2024


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