Conductor, keyboard player, and champion of the Baroque repertoire, French Maestra Emmanuelle Haïm, made her Philadelphia Orchestra debut with her performances on this Philadelphia Orchestra in Concert re-broadcast on WRTI 90.1 on Sunday, February 9th at 1 PM and Monday, February 10th at 7 PM on WRTI HD-2.
Ms. Haïm is the founder of Le Concert d’Astrée, a vocal and instrumental ensemble dedicated to Baroque music, and she's in her element leading the Philadelphians in music by George Frideric Handel and Henry Purcell.
Before intermission, Ms. Haïm conducts the Philadelphia Orchestra in selections from Purcell's The Fairy Queen, and Handel’s Music for the Royal Fireworks, and after the break, a special treat: Handel’s rarely heard cantata for soprano and orchestra, Il Delirio Amoroso (The Delirium of Love), which brings to the Kimmel Center stage the Dutch soprano Lenneke Ruiten, enjoying a busy career in the world's opera houses and concert halls.
The small Baroque orchestra will feature prominently the lute playing of the early plucked-string specialist Charles Weaver, and the recorder virtuosity of Sébastien Marq, professor of recorder and chamber music at the Paris Conservatory.
Purcell’s The Fairy-Queen is a masque or semi-opera; the libretto is an anonymous adaptation of William Shakespeare's A Midsummer Night's Dream, composed three years before Purcell's death at the age of 35, and first performed in 1692. The score was lost, and only rediscovered early in the 2oth century.
Handel’s popular Music for the Royal Fireworks, commissioned to celebrate the 1748 signing of the Treaty of Aix-la-Chapelle that ended the War of the Austrian Succession, rounds out the first half of the concert.
Following intermission, the first-ever Philadelphia Orchestra performance of Handel’s Il Delirio amoroso, a work of exceptional color and charm, incisive oboe playing, refined violin playing, some delightful timing and singing from the cello, and with Philadelphia Orchestra Associate Principal Cello Priscilla Lee, Concertmaster David Kim, Associate Principal Oboe Peter Smith, and recordist Sébastien Marq all doing start turns in this extraordinary work.
This is also a perfect work for soprano Lennike Ruiten’s clarity of timbre, exactness of pitch, agility, and feeling for style. She’s a natural Handel singer!
During intermission, WRTI’s Debra Lew Harder speaks backstage with both guest conductor and soprano.
Don’t miss one of the most satisfying concerts of last year's Philadelphia Orchestra season!
Purcell: Selections from The Fairy-Queen
Handel: Music for the Royal Fireworks
Handel: Il delirio amoroso, cantata for soprano and orchestra
Lenneke Ruiten, soprano
The Philadelphia Orchestra, Emmanuelle Haïm, conductor
Gregg Whiteside is producer and host of the Philadelphia Orchestra in Concert broadcasts on WRTI, every Sunday at 1 pm on WRTI 90.1 FM, online at WRTI.org, and on the WRTI mobile app! Listen again on Monday at 7 pm on WRTI HD-2.