Sabine Devieilhe (soprano), Léa Desandre (mezzo) & Le Concert d'Astrée, Emmanuelle Haïm (harpsichord, organ and conductor)
Surprisingly, the cantatas that Handel wrote in the earlier years of his career remain relatively little known. The thrilling theatricality of three works composed in Italy – Armida abbandonata, La Lucrezia and Aminta e Fillide is savoured to the full by conductor Emmanuelle Haïm, soprano Sabine Devieilhe, mezzo-soprano Léa Desandre and the instrumentalists of Le Concert d’Astrée.
Aminta e Fillide (Arresta il passo) HWV 83
Armida abbandonata, HWV 105
La Lucrezia "O Numi eterni", Cantata HWV 145
Trio Sonata, HWV 386b in B minor, Op. 2 No. 1
"Both singers have unblemished voices of beautiful quality: Sabine Devieilhe, as Aminta, pellucid and free-soaring, Lea Desandre with a dark flare in her high mezzo…Le Concert d’Astrée, under Emmanuelle Haïm’s animating direction, are far more than mere accompanists…Playing with words as well as tones, the crucial cello continuo is always acutely alive to singers and text…A disc that even amid fierce competition is a Handelian winner."
Gramophone Magazine - December 2018