Handel full of rage and romance

Soprano Johannette Zomer and oboist Bart Schneemann come together with spellbinding results in music by Handel

Composer: Handel
Repertoire: Arias; Oboe Concerto
Artists: Johannette Zomer (sop), Bart Schneemann (ob) Musica Amphion/Pieter-Jan Belder
Rating: 5/5 
Genre: Instrumental 
Label: Channel Classics CCS SA 29209 

Dutch soprano Zomer alternates rage and romance in Handel arias written for his highly strung prima donnas. She opens meltingly with ‘Che t’intende’ from Berenice, then tips over, with the capriciousness she has just praised, into the spitting fury of ‘Moriro’ from Amadigi. She has the character and emotional range to pull this off, especially when abetted by Baroque oboist Schneemann who imitates, flatters, cajoles and argues in a tone that is as sexy as a sax. Zomer sings ‘Lascia ch’io pianga’ oboe-free like an abandoned lover before Schneemann assumes the limelight in the Concerto in G minor. Belder directs Musica Amphion with a matchmaker’s tact.