Friday, January 4, 2013

Gratuitous Friday - Ann Hallenberg Sings Handel

I mentioned my "discovery" of Ann Hallenberg earlier this week. I actually picked up that recording because of Sonia Prina and Pavol Breslik. And of course, I admire the early music adventures of Emmanuelle Haim. But I really fell for Ann. I also mentioned Monday that there were some familiar tunes in Il trionfo del Tempo e del Disinganno. One of them is the aria Lascia la spina, which also appears, reworked into Lascia ch’io pianga in Rinaldo. Below is the Il Trionfo recording.

As I was listening to Ms. Hallenberg sing the da capo, I was so moved. Not just by her marvelous ornamentation of the melody, but by the timbre of her voice. She sounded so familiar and so touching, just like another Swedish singer I love....hmmm.. now who is that? vibrato...approach to trill.. [light bullb]!! Miah Persson. 

Ann Hallenberg: Lascia la spina

Incidentally, for some strange reason, the person (people) who put these videos on YouTube used pictures of Emmanuelle Haim, instead of Ms. Hallenberg. 

Out of curiosity, I decided to look and see if she had recorded the much more well-known Lascia ch’io pianga. And here it is, in a live performance: same melody, different text, and wow what a different approach to the da capo (with Mme. Haim in the lead again.) 

Ann Hallenberg: Lascia ch’io pianga

Actually, she really starts in on the ornamentation in the first time through the A section. It's amazing, though I'm not sure I am convinced by the extreme liberties with the melody. (I am sure Ms. Hallenberg will not lose sleep if I don't approve.) But back to the first one. Wow! 

Then, out of more curiosity, I decided to see if Ms. Persson recorded either aria. So here she is in the more familiar version.

Miah Persson: Lascia ch’io pianga

Slooooooow but still gorgeous. Do Persson and Hallenberg still sound alike to me? A bit less so, but I'd still love to hear them together in Cosi Fan Tutte. Incidentally, the Taminophile blog published an interview with Ann Hallenberg about a year and a half ago. He also posted several other videos of her


  1. If you can find her Farinelli recital @ Beaune, it's quite something.

  2. Thanks for the tip. I will look for it.


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