Freiburg Baroque Orchestra: Dixit, Dixit

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George Frideric Handel:
Dixit Dominus HWV 232
Silete Venti HWV 242
Organ Concerto

Robin Johannsen, soprano
Zürcher Sing-Akademie
Freiburger Barockorchester
Kristian Bezuidenhout, organ & conductor

Silete venti and Dixit Dominus are two sacred works from the pen of George Frideric Handel,
which could not be more different and demonstrate his enormous stylistic range
Handel composed his psalm setting Dixit Dominus during his stay in Italy and
completed it on April 11, 1707 at the age of 21. The exact background of the composition
and its premiere are obscure, but it is likely that the choral composition
was first performed in Rome as part of the annual celebration of the Carmelite Order. Handel's music
is characterized by great expressivity and coquettish rhythms - very fiery Italian.
16 years later, Handel wrote his solo cantata Silete venti, the occasion and premiere of which
are also not known. One hears that Handel had now advanced to become an established
opera composer in London. In large, theatrical arcs, Handel
shapes the vocal line, which demands not only an extremely long breath from the singer, but also high
virtuosity and athletic condition. A special feature of the composition is the
overture, in which the soprano intervenes in the instrumental action as if out of nowhere - an
absolute novelty!
As befits an evening of Handel sacred music, an organ concerto by the
composer will also be performed. Handel's organ concertos are true gems of Baroque music, which
still impress today with their wealth of ideas, filigree virtuosity and exuberant joie de vivre

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