CD Recording of “Mira Lilla” Unpublished Handel Cantatas

Project location: ITALY, Rome
Project start date: June 2011 - Project end date: April 2012
Project number: 2011-24
Beneficiary: Associazione Culturale Musica Perduta


This project presents the recordings of four cantatas: Mira Lilla gentile by sig. Federico Hendel (sic!) for soprano, obbligato violin and thorough bass; La caduta di Icaro, cantata for soprano, two violins and thorough bass; Mira Lilla gentile by sig. Federico Hendel (sic!) for soprano, obbligato cello and thorough bass; Tra le fiamme HWV 170 by Georg Friederich Haendel. The two versions of the cantata Mira Lilla gentile are one of Georg Friederich Haendel's most valuable unpublished pieces, whose manuscripts have been found out by the MVSICA PERDVTA research group within the Library the "V. Bellini" Conservatoire in Palermo, where they had been correctly catalogued, though actually neglected. The recording of this piece is also meant to be the right opportunity to formally present academic musicology with an exquisite cantata by the Halle composer, not least in order to add it to the catalogue HWV. The cantata La caduta di Icaro is instead an alternative version of the cantata Tra le fiamme HWV 170 and both share the same libretto, written by Cardinal Benedetto Pamphilij. Some stylistic similarities might even lead to attribute to Georg Friederich Haendel the authorship of this cantata, which is also here intended to present to academic criticism. The recording project thus contains a double performance of two versions of two cantatas: the "comparative performance" of the two versions of Mira Lilla gentile (both by Haendel) and of the anonymous La caduta di Icaro with Tra le fiamme HWV 170, which are now definitely correlated.


Before the actual recording, MVSICA PERDVTA research group has entrusted the performance of the cantatas to the homonymous Baroque ensemble, playing authentic musical instruments. The musicians are: Monika Toth and Danuta Zawada, Baroque violins; Jasmina Capitanio, viola da gamba; Renato Criscuolo, Baroque cello, five-string cello and art director; Luca Marzetti, Baroque double bass; Michele Carreca, theorbo; Carolina Pace; recorder and Baroque oboe; Alberto Bagnai, harpsichord and recorder. The solo soprano part has been sung by Valentina Varriale, a promising young opera singer of ancient music who is in active collaboration with important international Baroque ensembles and has performed in famous, national and international opera houses.

All the musicians played for free. The recording took place from 13th to 15th of December 2011 in the theatre of the Barnabite Fathers in Rome, who also offered hospitality to both musicians and singer. The microphone check, sound engineering and recording were by Fabio Ferri's mobile studio Millennium Audio Recording, who provided MVSICA PERDVTA with all the most up-to-date technologies and equipment in the field of digital recording. Master Andrea Dandolo, a real professional in this field with a long, active collaboration with such record labels as Stradivarius in Milan, was in charge of art direction and supervised all the recording process. Afterwards, Audiomaster post production studio in Cologno Monzese (Milan) carried out the long post-production stages, consisting in editing, mixing and mastering the multiple recorded sounds. This process involves a long, creative treatment, in order to produce an accurate result of high artistic level: for this reason, it often takes several months between the recording and the actual release date of a CD. Here again, Master Andrea Dandolo, who is been collaborating with Audiomaster post production studio for long, also followed this post production stage, personally cutting and equalizing the source signals' levels, as well as carrying out the mastering process. The final master format has been later handed in to the prestigious Dutch record label Brilliant Classics, a real leader in the international record industry with an almost worldwide distribution of its products. Finally, on 1st November 2012 Brilliant Classics released the CD Handel, Italian Cantatas, WORLD PREMIERE RECORDINGS, now available for purchase in the best music stores and on the Brilliant Classics website.


Once ready, the final master format has been presented to the Dutch record company Brilliant Classics, which appreciated the high level of both artistic rendition and technical performance, thus taking on the release of a CD. Such a prestigious record label, boasting about a worldwide distribution, is a guarantee of the widest circulation of the project, as well as being a bridge to notoriety for the latest discoveries which can finally be added to the work catalogue of the "Great Saxon". MVSICA PERDVTA has made a free downloadable trailer of the CD from YouTube, and is further sending the CD to festivals of ancient music, radios and magazines throughout the world, in order to best promote the project with its sponsor. Lately, MUSICA PERDUTA has worked out a concert project to perform the music recorded on the CD in the major ancient music festivals, in the belief that any possible live performance, especially in a prestigious and international context, will help to make the projects goals widely known.

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