The programme presented by Ann Hallenberg (Deutsche Harmonia Mundi) is a homage to the historical roman figures of Agrippina, one of the earliest historical women to inspire the fantasy of librettists and composers. Ann Hallenberg and her husband Holger Schmitt-Hallenberg, musicologist, researched the musical archives to unearth all surviving operatic manuscripts containing the figure of Agrippina (two sisters and one daugther).
Twelve the arias are WORLD PREMIERE RECORDINGS. Apart from Handel’s famous opera ‘Agrippina’ and Telemann’s ‘Germanicus’, all music on this album has been recorded for the first time. This album is also a fascinating journey through the history of baroque opera. The earliest piece, Legrenzi’s ‘Germanico sul Reno’ dates from 1676 and is a typical example of early baroque style. The latest work, Graun’s ‘Britannico’ from 1752, was written only four years before the birth of Mozart, at the very end of the musical baroque period.
The Swedish mezzo-soprano Ann Hallenberg regularly appears in opera houses and festivals all over the world. Her repertoire includes a large number of leading roles in operas by Rossini, Mozart, Gluck, Handel, Monteverdi, Vivaldi, Purcell, Bizet and Massenet. Equally at home on the concert platform she has built an unusually vast repertoire that spans music from the early 17th century with Mozart, Beethoven, Schumann, Brahms and Berlioz to 20th century composers such as Mahler and Waxman.
Violonist and conductor Riccardo Minasi was born in Rome in 1978. He has performed both as soloist as well as concertmaster with many period orchestras. As a conductor he directed the Orchestra and Choir of the Opéra National de Lyon, Kammerakademie of Potsdam, Zürcher Kammerorchester, Balthasar Neumann Ensemble. In 2010 he worked as assistant conductor, concertmaster, curator and editor of the critical edition of the opera Norma by Vincenzo Bellini with Cecilia Bartoli and Thomas Hengelbrock. Since its foundation in 2012 he is the conductor of the ensemble Il Pomo d’Oro, with whom he has a full calendar of performances and has already realized many highly awarded recordings.
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