Handel Operatic Arias - Emma Belt & SCO - Early Music Review

01 October 2005
Early Music Review
Early Music Review

I'm not sure if an advert for your previous disc of songs by Richard Strauss is the right invitation to entice Hendelians. But once you get over the shock of a sound that seems over-large to be accompanied by even a modern-instrument chamber orchestra, there is much to enjoy. There is, however, a problem in that drama occasionally replaces intonation, and not all the ornamentation works. That apart, Emma Bell deserves all the praise that has been bestowed on her. The accompaniment is very stylish. A good thing about the booklet is that instead of separating them, the text and translation follow the contextualisation (a word I never believed I would ever use) of each aria rather than being separate at the end - but that only works because the notes are only in English: I imagine that her next CD will come from one of the big internationals with multilingual packaging.

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