Fiona Campbell breathes new life into an unfairly neglected Baroque masterpiece.
Concert-goers who heard Fiona Campbell last week in the Australian Brandenburg Orchestra’s Haunting Handelprogram will delight in a piece by Handel she has dusted off for its premiere recording.
The mezzo-soprano sings Caro autor di mia doglia(“Dear author of my grief”) with countertenor David Walker on a new collection of Baroque duets released this month.
Although the eight-minute work has not previously been recorded and represents a major revelation on disc, it was never actually lost. “The reason it’s been overlooked is not clear”, says the album’s executive producer Lyle Chan, “but it’s probably because the music exists in two manuscripts: one for soprano and tenor, and the other for two altos.
One of Handel’s earliest duets, the first version was completed in 1707. Some thirty years later the composer rescored the work for two altos in the version now catalogued as HWV 182b. “He was at the height of his powers then, and he made many significant improvements. The third movement is completely different”.
It is this final movement that Limelightis offering as a sneak preview for our readers (see below). The jubilant duet revels in love’s triumph...