Songs & Arias
This CD contains the remarkable cantata Arianna a Naxos Haydn composed in 1789. Unlike the later cantata Berenice composed in London in 1795, Arianne is not scored for orchestra. Here the piano is given a virtuoso role especially in the recitatives. The drama of Arianna's desertion by Theseus is superbly realized by Haydn. The songs on this CD all resulted from a dinner in Vienna on December 1790. Haydn, Mozart and the violinist and impresario Salomon were discussing Haydn's trip to London. It was on this trip that Haydn became friendly with Anne Hunter, a talented poet, and wife of the eminent surgeon John Hunter. She was a friend of Walpole, and soon Haydn was in the 'polite society' of London. Anne either supplied the text, or selected texts by other writers, especially Shakespeare. This was a happy time in Haydn's life, and the songs are heartfelt, and emotional, foreshadowing the romanticism of Schubert, and reflecting possibly the romantic attachments the composer had made in London. A new recording featuring one of the most famous and best-loved of all early-music sopranos, Emma Kirkby. Marcia Hadjimarkos performs on a superb modern copy of a Walther fortepiano.