Riccardo Minasi applauds Handel’s lesser-known works.
Handel’s Partenopeis still a relative rarity. What attracted you to it?
From my point of view, Partenopeis one of the most interesting operas by Handel. Especially the fact that there are not so many borrowings like in other Handel compositions; it’s only new music; this is a demonstration of how much Handel was taking care of the composition. It’s an amazing piece. The plot is very interesting, the libretto is inspiring. It seems that Handel is playing a lot with it. I had worked previously with Karina Gauvin (Partenope); this is the first time with Philippe Jaroussky (Arsace), and we found each other quite easily. We have the same feeling about this music.
In its structure it has some curious musical forms – shorter arias, unusual duets etc. How innovative a work do you find it?
I don’t think the intention of Handel was to be so innovative in terms of musical form. He was using the libretto as an opportunity not to be a slave to the usual forms. Instead of an aria with recitative and da capo, he quite often uses arietta without da capo, and...