Handel's Queens: Cuzzoni and Faustina (2CD)

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Lucy Crowe, Mary Bevan, London Early Opera, Bridget Cunningham

Handel’s Queens features some of the most exquisite pieces of music written by G.F. Handel and his contemporaries for the two finest singers of the eighteenth century, Faustina Bordoni and Francesca Cuzzoni. Often wrongfully framed as rivals, these dazzling new recordings with Mary Bevan and Lucy Crowe reveal the distinctive yet versatile talent of the Italian vocalists.

Led by London Early Opera Director, Bridget Cunningham, Handel’s Queens features fifteen world premiere recordings, and serves an example of the group’s dedication to imaginative programming and outstanding period performance that places them at the forefront of baroque research.

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Gramophone Magazine

"This soundly made programme is both pleasing and intriguing…Crowe plays Cuzzoni as a bright soprano whose technical precision and agile upward-leaping ornaments combine with musicality to impress and move, while Mary Bevan offers a Bordoni with a lower centre of gravity, generally darker and more directly theatrical."

The Times

4 Stars

"Lucy Crowe, clear as a bell, is outstanding in arias reflecting Cuzzoni’s higher vocal range. Mary Bevan can’t shine as strongly in Bordoni’s lower register, but she remains an enjoyable guide to delectable titbits by Hasse, Bononcini and other oddments, as well as Handel."

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1. Sinfonia
From Pollarolo Ariodante (1718)

2. Da tempeste il legno infranto 
From Handel Giulio Cesare HWV 17

3. Se fosse il mio diletto 
From Hasse Dalisa

4. Recit: È tale Otton? and Aria: Falsa immagine 
From Handel Ottone HWV 15

5. Son prigioniera d’amore 
From Porpora Poro

6. Stelle, tiranne stelle 
From Orlandini Nerone

7. Solitudini amate 
From Handel Alessandro HWV 21

8. Serba le belle lagrime
From Pollarolo Ariodante (1718)

9. Recit: Elisa che ricerchi and Aria: Voglio amore 
From Handel Tolomeo HWV 25

10. Fra catene ognor penando 
From Vivaldi Scanderbeg RV 732

11. Nelle mie selve natìe 
From Vivaldi Scanderbeg RV 732

12. Placa l’alma 
Duet from Handel Alessandro HWV 21


1. Scoglio d’immota fronte
Handel From Scipione HWV 20

2. Recit: La sua disperazione and Aria: Se a ammollire il crudo amante
From Torri Amadis di Grecia

3. Gelosia, spietata Aletto 
From Handel Admeto HWV 22

4. Quel nome se ascolto 
From Leo Il Ciro Riconosciuto (1739 Carnivale version)

5. Il volo così fido al dolce 
From Handel Riccardo Primo HWV 23

6. Alla sua gabbia d’oro 
From Handel Alessandro HWV 21

7. Sento che già il pensier 
From Bononcini Astianatte

8. Deh! lascia o core 
From Bononcini Astianatte

9. Menuet 
From Bononcini Astianatte

10. Ascolta o figlio 
From Bononcini Astianatte

11. Dea triforme, astro fecondo 
From Vinci / Handel L’Elpidia HWV A1

12. Mi credi spietata? 
From Hasse Artaserse (1740 Dresden Version)

13. Rendi al Padre in me la figlia Attilio 
From Ariosti Caio Marzio Coriolano

14. Greene La Libertà Cantata (Aria di camera)