Saturday, May 21, 2011

Handel - Cantatas & Sonatas - Lee Ragin, Divitia Cologne







All the cantatas but Carco sempre di gloria are products of Handel's Italian period and all but Carco sempre are with basso continuo only, though the information on the disc is misleading on that point. Ragin is attentive to the texts and his declamation is lively, articulate and skilfully coloured with dynamic shading. Ragin's recital contains the Oboe Sonata in F, better known in its published version in G for flute and continuo (Op. 1 No. 5), and the Oboe Sonata in C minor (Op. 1 No. 8). These are stylishly played by Alison Gangler, one of the members of Cologne Divitia Ensemble; and Derek Lee Ragin that goes for the Ensemble as a whole, in providing Ragin with lively and sympathetic continuo support throughout. Carco sempre is especially successful for the evenly matched partnership sustained by the voice and the oboe obbligato in the first aria. Not every one of the oboe's notes hits its target in the centre but the playing none the less is admirable for the sensibility shown towards the voice. In short an enjoyable recital and a thoughtfully constructed programme, well recorded and including texts.


flac, scans

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