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Georg Frideric Handel

Janet Baker in Handel’s ‘Lucrezia’

1970
Janet Baker sings Handel's early cantata 'Lucrezia' in a version with Raymond Leppard (harpsichord) and Bernard Richards (cello continuo)
Composer Georg Frideric Handel
Singer Dame Janet Baker
Instrumentalists Raymond Leppard, Bernard Richards
Genre Recital

Before he came to London and to rise to greatest fame, Handel spent time in Italy, where he was invited by the Medici family.  It was in this period that he wrote the cantata Lucrezia, which had its premiere in Florence.  Its libretto is by Cardinal Benedetto Pamphili and it is an extended, quasi-operatic scena, pre-figuring the great arias in his stage works in the range if emotional states it depicts.  The classical figure of Lucretia here plunges from remorse and despair to fury as she reacts to her rape by the tyrant Tarquinius.

Janet Baker made a commercial recording of this work with the English Chamber Orchestra, conducted by Raymond Leppard, but this version in Music Preserved is with harpsichord and cello continuo only.  Janet Baker worked often with Leppard, not least in the Monteverdi and Cavalli operas mounted at Glyndebourne.  Bernard Richards was cellist with the English Chamber Orchestra.

Georg Frideric Handel (1685 – 1759)

Lucrezia

This recording is from the Saul Collection in Music Preserved.

The recording was made in 1970.

  • Dame Janet Baker
    Mezzo-soprano
  • Raymond Leppard
    Harpsichord
  • Bernard Richards
    Cello

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