Giovanni Bononcini Cantatas
Candlelight Concert | Rüdiger Lotter | Hofkapelle München
Giovanni Bononcini lost all his money in dubious speculations and could only keep his head above water thanks to a small life annuity endowed to him by Empress Maria Theresa, before he breathed his last in 1747 in Vienna, not only impoverished, but also completely forgotten. Yet during his life Bononcini was star greatly in demand on the international scene: Rome, Venice, Vienna, Berlin – all the leading music capitals of Europe craved for his works, until he was called to London to compete with the great George Frideric Handel, and he succeeded in doing so! It was only posterity that placed him in Handle’s shadow, whereas his coeval public adored his arias, which broke fresh ground in proclaiming love and jealousy, revenge and triumph, despair and abandonment, and “his” singers loved him for his brilliant skill in composing for the human voice.
The multifaceted mezzo-soprano Sonja Runje commands a repertoire ranging from Bach to Britten; together with the Hofkapelle Munich under the Baroque specialist Rüdiger Lotter she is researching Bononcini’s rich oeuvre of cantatas. Whether we lament with the “misero pastorello” or sigh with the “mesta tortorella” – Bononcini’s sometimes movingly poignant, sometimes vivaciously exhilarating sounds ensure no eye remains dry and no heart untouched.