The Justly Celebrated Mr. Handel 2015

The Bright Paths of Sound” – Italian Cantatas
Thursday, 19 February 8pm

Largely unnoticed in Handel’s great repertoire are around 100 chamber cantatas, a legacy Pacific Baroque Thumbof his early years in Italy. During these formative years (1706-1710), Georg Frideric Handel composed these cantatas for a series of important patrons, yet in spite of their uplifting and inspirational character, his larger operas, oratorios, concertos and orchestral suites have tended to attract the greater attention.

The chamber cantata flourished in Italy as a counterpart to public opera and oratorio, cultivated by aristocratic patrons for their personal enjoyment, sometimes to entertain or at gatherings of intellectual circles such as the Accademia dell’Arcadia. Perhaps because of these essentially private origins, many of these enlightened chamber cantatas remain little known today.

Continuing the Festival’s desire to make Victoria audiences aware of beautiful less familiar music, this year’s Pacific Baroque Festival will devote a full evening to bringing to light a small portion of this remarkable treasure. Handel himself recognized their musical value.  After settling in London, he frequently returned to these cantatas for inspiration so it is very possible that some of our audience will recognize familiar themes during the performance on Thursday, 19 February.

Victoria is indeed fortunate that Nancy Argenta, one of the world’s foremost interpreters of G. F. Handel, is a member of the Voice Faculty at the Victoria Conservatory of Music.  During this concert evening, her vast experience will be reflected in the performances of five of her protégés whose wonderful voices will bring this extraordinarily beautiful music to life.

Alix Goolden Performance Hall, 907 Pandora Ave
Information and Tickets on

Video of “Per trofei di mei constanza” from cantata “Ah! Crudel, nel pianto mio” HWV 78. This cantata was written for Cardinal Pietro Ottoboni, a great promoter of the arts.

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