A selection of solo cantatas, both secular and sacred, from the Italian, German, and English traditions. Including works by Handel, Vivaldi, and Bach in settings large and small, with obbligato instruments ranging from oboe to chimes, the magnificent cantatas on this album create a portrait of this intimately transcendent repertoire.
“This is by far the most personal recording I have ever made. Unlike Lieder, which as miniatures often work their magic in impressionistic ways, or opera, which unleashes human passions to their largest and most raw expression, solo cantatas lie in the middle and take the singer on a highly specific conversation with himself as he grapples with the subject at hand. There is a direct line between the sweet and secular soliloquy of ‘Mi palpita il cor’ and the overtly religious soliloquy of the mighty ‘Ich habe genug’: in both cases you experience in real time a human being grappling alone with a subject of the soul. ‘Yet Can I Hear That Dulcet Lay’ is ultimately a soliloquy within a single aria, as Hercules struggles to make his choice. To me, this conversation with the self, this humanist spirituality, is the unifying and defining characteristic of this profound and intimate repertoire.”
– Bejun Mehta