Handel’s L’Allegro, il
Penseroso ed il Moderato
The utterly sublime oratorio set to words by one of England's preeminent writers, John Milton, whose poems about the joyful man ("L'Allegro") and contemplative man "Il Perseroso") inspired Handel to new heights of humanist expression. Performed by instrumentalists and singers from the 2014 Academy, a lavish panoply of more than 30 arias and choruses is an exquisite musical delight.
Composed between Israel
in Egypt and Messiah, Handel
created an oratorio combining the texts of two of John Milton’s pastoral poems:
L’Allegro and Il Penseroso, and Charles
Jennens’ (who provided many of the texts for Handel’s oratorios) Il Moderato.
Handel uses his keen ability to express emotions to create a kaleidoscopic, musical
romp through the pleasures of Happiness, Melancholy, and—ultimately—Moderation:
“Thy pleasures, Moderation, give, In them alone we truly live.”