Ensemble Salomone Rossi / Coro Antiche Armonie

Esther, Story of a Queen

Musiche di G.F. Haendel, G.C. Lidarti

Symbol of faith, courage and intelligence, the figure of Esther inspired painters for two thousand years: from medieval miniatures to Botticelli, Rubens to Rembrandt. In the days ahead, the illustrator Emanuele Luzzati told us the story of Esther with pictures of powerful colors. But the Queen who managed to save the people of Israel from the massacre – as the Jewish celebration of “Purim”, the doom of fate, because of the overthrow of the fate is told in the book of Esther – also conquered the hearts of the musicians: that is the case of Georg Friedrich Haendel, who devoted to Esther the earliest oratorio of the history of English music, or a lyric opera on a religious subject.

Another precious opportunity to get to know Esther, an old female figure of surprising modernity and to hear a fascinating and rare repertoire, is offered by another composition: the Oratorium Ester written around 1770 by the Italian-Viennese composer Cristiano Giuseppe Lidarti for the Synagogue in Amsterdam. This masterpiece was known for existence but was thought to have been lost; In the years 1997-1998, it was rediscovered almost casually by the librarian of the department of musicology at Cambridge University and identified by the musician Israel Adler.

Ensemble Salomone Rossi gave the first Italian performance in modern times in 2006 at the Teatro Bibiena in Mantua; more recently it performed for the Effettobibbia Festival in Bergamo, offering a repertoire of arias, duets and choirs, from the two Oratorium by Haendel and Lidarti. The performance took place in the Basilica of Santa Maria Maggiore, in April 2016 and in collaboration with the Coro Antiche Armonie.

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Ensemble Salomone Rossi, conducted by Lydia Cevidalli

Coro Antiche Armonie, onducted by Giovanni Duci

  • Giusi Quarenghi, voice
  • Veronika Kralova, soprano
  • Roberto Mattioni, tenor
  • Giovanni Duci, alto
  • Diego Cantalupi, theorbo
  • Giovanni Togni, organ

Registrazione a cura di Massimo Lombardi di Venice Classic Radio, in occasione del concerto effettuato a Bergamo, nella basilica di Santa Maria Maggiore, domenica 10 aprile 2016. (La registrazione è stata effettuata con microfoni Schoeps, preamplificatore Millennia Media e registratore digitale Tascam).

Ester - Storia di una regina

Georg Friedrich Haendel (1685-1759)
Dall’oratorio “Esther” del 1720

  • Ouverture Andante, Larghetto, Allegro
  • Coro “Virtue, Truth and Innocence
  • Sacerdote – Aria “Tune your harps
  • Ester – recitativo “I go before the king” e Aria “Tears, assist me
  • Coro “Save us O Lord
  • Ester e Assuero – duetto “Who calls my parting soul from death?

Cristiano Giuseppe Lidarti (1730-1795)
Dall’oratorio “Ester” del 1774

  • Ester e Assuero – recitativo “Mi zeh?” e duetto “Mimmawet
  • Coro “Shiru LeElohim” per coro, voci soliste ed orchestra