George Frideric Handel: Agrippina
Schwetzingen is a tiny town near Heidelberg which has a famous palace with magnificent gardens, not unlike those at Versailles. The Schwetzingen Festival is held every Spring in the palace and commissions a small-scale opera for the palace's exquisite Rococo theatre, built in 1752. Agrippina is brilliant, early Handel. Composed when he was just twenty-four, it was his first big hit in the theater. It’s full of his fresh, exuberantly inventive music and sets one of the finest librettos Handel worked with. Agrippina, was the choice and opening performance, duly recorded under the baton of Arnold Östman, a renowned specialist in music of the 17th and 18th centuries. The London Baroque Players accompany Barbara Daniels, Janice Hall and David Kuebler in Michael Hampe's elegant and colorful production of the perfidious intrigues of the power-crazy Empress Agippina, and the criminal power struggles in classical Rome.