Handel: Aminta e Fillide

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LABELS: Hyperion Helios
WORKS: Aminta e Fillide
PERFORMER: Gillian Fisher, Patrizia Kwella (soprano); London Handel Orchestra/Denys Darlow
CATALOGUE NO: CDH 55077 Reissue (1984)
Handel wrote ‘Arresta il passo’ (which Hyperion has renamed after its hero and heroine) for Rome’s Arcadian Academy in 1708. A suitably pastoral cantata for two voices, strings and continuo, it depicts the shepherd Aminta’s wooing of the initially reluctant nymph Fillide in a series of charming arias (some of which Handel reused in Agrippina and Rinaldo). Though relatively minor Handel, there are some lovely moments, notably ‘Fiamma bella’ and ‘Se vago rio’. Denys Darlow’s 1984 recording has the requisite light touch, and both Gillian Fisher and Patrizia Kwella are in persuasive voice. A pity Hyperion’s CD access points don’t separate arias from recitatives. Graham Lock