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Deutsche Arien

Georg Frideric Handel (b. 1685 - d. 1759)

Maria Keohane (photo credit: Anna Thorbjörnsson)

Maria Keohane (photo credit: Anna Thorbjörnsson)

Composer
Georg Frideric Handel (b. 1685 - d. 1759)
Composition Year
1724-26
Work Movements
1. Künftger Zeiten eitler Kummer HWV 202
2. Die ihr aus drunklen Grüften HWV 208
3. Das zitternde Glänzen der spielenden Wellen HWV 203
4. Meine Seele hört im Sehen HWV 207
5. Süsse Stille, sanfte Quelle HWV 205
Artists
Fredrik Bock [lute], Kate Hearne [recorder/cello], Ivan Podyomov [oboe], Peter Whelan [bassoon], Bjarte Eike [violin], Maria Keohane [soprano], Hans Knut Sveen [harpsichord]

Programme Note Writer:
© Francis Humphrys

Handel’s German arias must rank amongst music’s best-kept secrets, you would think such unrestrainedly joyous, and yet also profound, music would be on everyone’s lips. Barthold Brockes' verses are a pantheistic celebration of God-in-Nature, and Handel responded with music of hedonistic enchantment, from the rapt, wondering Süsse Stille to the laughing ebullience of Das zitternde Glänzen.

Handel set only two texts in his native language, both involving the poet Barthold Brocke. As we will hear later in the Festival, Handel’s big break-through came on his famous Italian sojourn from 1706 -1710, which saw the composition of the wonderful Italian cantatas. All of these were settings of Italian libretti. Barthold Brocke was from Hamburg and lived there all his life but he studied at Halle at the same time as Handel so it is likely they got to know each other there and would have continued their friendship during Handel’s time in Hamburg 1703-6. Handel took these German-language texts from a substantial volume of Brocke’s, whose theme was that the abundant goodness of God is evident from the joy and beauty to be found in Nature. It seems likely that Handel composed these delicious settings as a result of a commission from Hamburg (Handel himself would have been in London at that time), but there is no firm evidence for this.

Handel did not specify the treble clef obbligato instrument for the solo instrumental part in the Deutsche Arien and it is generally assumed to have been written for a violin. However by not tying down the performers to a specific instrument, Handel left the door open for  performers to vary the instrumental texture by using different solists to accompany the singer.

These Arias are jewels, composed at the height of Handel’s operatic career, they combine the gracefulness of his Italian arias with the profundity of the German cantata alongside the word painting of a Master. The poet’s ideas are given space to express themselves as the music passes back and forth between voice and instrument. Prepare to be seduced!

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Deutsche Arien

Composer: Georg Frideric Handel (b. 1685 - d. 1759)
Performance date: Tuesday 28th June 2011
Venue: St. Brendan's Church, Bantry, Co Cork, Ireland

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Composer Georg Frideric Handel (b. 1685 - d. 1759)
Work Title Deutsche Arien
Composition Year 1724-26
Work Movements 1. Künftger Zeiten eitler Kummer HWV 202
2. Die ihr aus drunklen Grüften HWV 208
3. Das zitternde Glänzen der spielenden Wellen HWV 203
4. Meine Seele hört im Sehen HWV 207
5. Süsse Stille, sanfte Quelle HWV 205
Lyrics / Translation Barthold Heinrich Brockes (Hamburg poet)
Language German
Artist(s) Fredrik Bock [lute], Kate Hearne [recorder/cello], Ivan Podyomov [oboe], Peter Whelan [bassoon], Bjarte Eike [violin], Maria Keohane [soprano], Hans Knut Sveen [harpsichord]
Performance Date Tuesday 28th June 2011
Performance Venue St. Brendan's Church, Bantry, Co Cork, Ireland
Event Coffee Concert
Duration 00:26:31
Recording Engineer Anton Timoney, RTÉ lyric fm
Instrumentation Category Large Mixed Ensemble
Instrumentation S-solo, vn, ob, bn, vc, lu, hpd
Programme Note Writer © Francis Humphrys
Handel’s German arias must rank amongst music’s best-kept secrets, you would think such unrestrainedly joyous, and yet also profound, music would be on everyone’s lips. Barthold Brockes' verses are a pantheistic celebration of God-in-Nature, and Handel responded with music of hedonistic enchantment, from the rapt, wondering Süsse Stille to the laughing ebullience of Das zitternde Glänzen.

Handel set only two texts in his native language, both involving the poet Barthold Brocke. As we will hear later in the Festival, Handel’s big break-through came on his famous Italian sojourn from 1706 -1710, which saw the composition of the wonderful Italian cantatas. All of these were settings of Italian libretti. Barthold Brocke was from Hamburg and lived there all his life but he studied at Halle at the same time as Handel so it is likely they got to know each other there and would have continued their friendship during Handel’s time in Hamburg 1703-6. Handel took these German-language texts from a substantial volume of Brocke’s, whose theme was that the abundant goodness of God is evident from the joy and beauty to be found in Nature. It seems likely that Handel composed these delicious settings as a result of a commission from Hamburg (Handel himself would have been in London at that time), but there is no firm evidence for this.

Handel did not specify the treble clef obbligato instrument for the solo instrumental part in the Deutsche Arien and it is generally assumed to have been written for a violin. However by not tying down the performers to a specific instrument, Handel left the door open for  performers to vary the instrumental texture by using different solists to accompany the singer.

These Arias are jewels, composed at the height of Handel’s operatic career, they combine the gracefulness of his Italian arias with the profundity of the German cantata alongside the word painting of a Master. The poet’s ideas are given space to express themselves as the music passes back and forth between voice and instrument. Prepare to be seduced!