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Baroque violinist Davina Clarke performs Handel’s aria Meine Seele with soprano Mary Bevan. They are accompanied by Alexander Rolton on cello, Tom Foster on harpsichord and Sergio Bucheli on theorbo. The work features on Clarke’s new album Sweet Stillness.
’Mary and I chose Meine Seele due to its glorious and upbeat energy,’ Clarke told The Strad. ’The text talks of laughing and the splendour of spring. Although it is not quite spring here, I feel the aria conjures up images of final summer days where we are all enjoying nature’s delights before the season turns. It is a warm, welcoming, inviting aria and hopefully our interpretation of it will entice eager ears to join us on the rest of the album journey.’
Sweet Stillness features Handel’s Nine German Arias, set to the text of Barthold Heinrich Brockes. A challenge for the ensemble was staying true to the text: ’Text is absolutely the key in works such as this,’ said Clarke. ’As an ensemble we try to mirror this, not only in our phrasing but also in ornamentation, imitation, articulation and the general flow of the musical line.
’These arias also have an added joy of two equal melodic lines through Handel’s obligato writing, meaning that the vocal line and the violin line should be weaving in and out of each other as equals throughout. Each let the other ebb and flow, boom and recede where the tessitura, writing and text allows.’