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Track Listing:

Handel: Disseratevi (Resurrezione)
Handel: Per dar pregio (Rodrigo)
Handel: Lascia la spina (Trionfo)
Handel: Tecum principium (Dixit Dominus)
Handel: Agrippina overture
Handel: Salve Regina - i. Salve regina
Handel: Salve Regina - ii. Ad te clamamus
Handel: Salve Regina - iii. Eia
Handel: Salve Regina - iv. O, Clemens
Handel: Pensieri (Agrippina)
Handel: Un pensiero (Trionfo)
Handel: Felicissima (Dafne)
Handel: Come nembo (Trionfo)
Handel: Recit Pure del cielo (Trionfo)
Handel: Tu del ciel (Trionfo)
Handel: Rejoice from 'Messiah'

Julia Lezhneva :


Handel, the new album from Russian coloratura soprano Julia Lezhneva, is a vibrant showcase of George Frideric Handel's Italian compositions, works known for their vocal virtuosity, sense of drama and melodic beauty. Released on November 6, 2015, Handel offers a selection of both sacred and secular arias for the soprano voice. Lezhneva is joined by leading period-instrument ensemble Il Giardino Armonico under the direction of Giovanni Antonini. This is Lezhneva's second album for Decca, following 2013's Alleluia.

Three centuries ago, countless aspiring and established artists from all fields made a creative pilgrimage to Italy seeking to bask in, and draw inspiration from the post-Renaissance glories of the refined cultural climate. One of them was the young German composer Handel, who settled in Rome in 1707. With the support of influential patrons of the arts, Handel, still in his early twenties, was very productive and wrote a wide range of commissioned works for the church, the concert hall and private salon audiences.

That Italian-inspired repertoire is the thematic focus of Lezhneva's Handel, which includes Salve Regina, written for the church at the Marquess Ruspoli's country estate in 1707; "Un pensiero nemico di pace" and "Tu del Ciel ministro eletto" from the oratorio Il Trionfo del Tempo e del Disinganno; "Per dar pregio all'amor mio", a standout number from Handel's first all-Italian opera, Rodrigo; and the seductive "Felicissima quest'alma" from the dramatic cantata Apollo e Dafne. Lezhneva also sings the sublime "Lascia la spina" from Il Trionfo del Tempo e del Disinganno.

Over the past two years, the 25-year-old soprano has refined her performance of many of the works on this release in concert halls across Europe, from Moscow to Vienna and London, often accompanied by Il Giardino Armonico and Giovanni Antonini, while receiving great critical acclaim. Lezhneva then recorded Handel at the Giovanni Arvedi Auditorium in Cremona, the northern Italian city famous as the home of great violin and string instrument-makers Amati, Guarneri and Stradivari.

Handel's music will continue to occupy a prominent place in Lezhneva's 2015/16 schedule. In November she joins countertenor Max Emanuel Cencic and Il Pomo d'Oro in concert performances of Tamerlano at the Amsterdam Concertgebouw and London's Barbican Centre before travelling with Concerto Köln to Frankfurt, Zurich, Munich and Handel's birthplace, Halle, to perform a program of works by the composer and his contemporaries. The following month, she resumes her partnership with Il Giardino Armonico for an all-Handel concert at the Pushkin State Museum of Fine Arts in Moscow. Lezhneva's season also includes a tour to Japan with Sir Antonio Pappano and the Royal Opera House, Covent Garden, to sing Zerlina in Mozart's Don Giovanni, and concert performances of Hasse's Siroe, re di Persia with Max Emanuel Cencic in Krakow, Moscow and Amsterdam.