The Handel Institute
The Handel Institute

The Stanley Sadie Handel Recording Prize 2011

Clori, Tirsi e Fileno

Glossa GCD 921527

Apollo e Dafne (HWV 122)

Apollo: Thomas E. Bauer (baritone)
Dafne: Roberta Invernizzi (soprano)

La Risonanza (on period instruments)
Fabio Bonizzoni (direction)

We are delighted to award first prize to Fabio Bonizzoni, La Risonanza and Glossa for their recording of Handel's dialogue cantata Apollo e Dafne. Probably started in Venice but completed at Hanover in 1710 in the months shortly after Handel left Italy, the enchanting tale of the braggart Apollo falling head over heels in lust with the reluctant nymph Dafne inspired some of the composer‟s most attractive and emotionally diverse early writing. The cantata has rightly become established as one of Handel's most popular "Italian" compositions, and this captivating performance by La Risonanza forms a fittingly essential conclusion to Fabio Bonizzoni's ambitious project to record all of Handel's Italian-period cantate con stromenti for the Spanish early music label Glossa. Thomas E. Bauer and Roberta Invernizzi are to be praised for their outstanding singing, which is always aptly characterised and suavely stylish, and the playing of La Risonanza is gently dramatic and always beautifully detailed. The disc also includes an excellent performance of the dramatic soprano monologue Agrippina condotta a morire and the seldom-recorded bass cantata Cuopre tal volta il cielo (the latter sung by Furio Zanasi). The seventh and final volume of La Risonanza's "Le cantate Italiane di Handel" is the third of the series to be awarded the Stanley Sadie Handel Recording Prize (and another three were also runners-up in recent years); the panel of judges hopes that the critical and artistic success of this special project encourages La Risonanza, Fabio Bonizzoni and Glossa to continue exploring this repertoire.

The panel of judges also congratulate this year’s close runners-up: a revitalising performance of Giulio Cesare conducted by George Petrou (Dabringhaus und Grimm), the Avison Ensemble’s intelligent interpretations of the Op. 6 concerti grossi and the Early Opera Company’s elegant performance of the anti-heroic opera Flavio (Chandos Chaconne). The panel hopes that all of the artists and labels nominated for this year’s prize will be encouraged to continue producing fresh insights into Handelian repertoire.

What is The Stanley Sadie Handel Prize?

It is an annual award given to one distinctive new recording of Handel’s music, chosen by a specially invited panel of scholars and journalists who each possess a special and informed interest in Handel’s music. The winner is carefully selected from a comprehensive list of new recordings of Handel’s music released during the previous calendar year. The winner must satisfy tough criteria: it needs to combine fine interpretive quality with a penetrating or valuable insight into Handel’s genius. Thus this Prize is an indication of a recording’s quality and the significance of its contribution to Handelian knowledge.

One of the prize’s founder panel members was the scholar, author and critic Stanley Sadie, and in 2005 the prize was renamed in his memory (its original title was the International Handel Recording Prize). We hope that this prize is warmly accepted as an appropriate legacy of Stanley’s unusual ease at mingling enjoyable journalism and superb scholarship together. In some respects it was influenced by the now defunct American Handel Society Recording Prize (1991–8), but in 2002 an international panel of judges inaugurated a broader forum to nurture recognition to a new recording of Handel’s music of noteworthy quality. This year’s winner was chosen by judges from Australia, France, Germany, Italy, Russia and Britain.


This Year's Panel of Judges:

Ivan A. Alexandre (Diapason and Le Nouvel Observateur – Paris)
Nicholas Anderson (Producer and writer, BBC Music Magazine – Taunton)
Angela Baier (Handel scholar – Munich)
Sandra Bowdler (Festival Baroque Australia, Opera critic – Perth)
Hugh Canning (The Sunday Times, International Record Review – London)
Colin Coleman (Librarian, Gerald Coke Handel Collection at the Foundling Museum– London)
Mikhail Fikhtengoltz (Handel scholar and Arts Administrator – Moscow)
Matthew Gardner (Handel scholar, Ruprecht-Karls-Universität –  Heidelberg)
Philippe Gelinaud (Handel scholar, Opéra Magazine – Paris)
Stephen Hastings (Editor of Musica – Varese)
Lindsay Kemp (Artistic director of the Lufthansa Festival of Baroque Music, BBC Radio 3, Gramophone – London)
Francis Knights (Editor of Early Music – Cambridge)
Michael Pacholke (Musicologist, Hallische Händel-Ausgabe – Halle)
Benedikt Poensgen (Göttingen Handel Festival)
David Vickers (The Handel Institute,, Royal Northern College of Music, Gramophone – Huddersfield)
Carlo Vitali (Musicologist, Amadeus, Opernwelt, Musical America - Bologna)

The Candidate List

(*denotes recordings nominated by the panel during the first round of voting)

Theatre Works:

Alexander’s Feast
Junge Kantorei; Frankfurt Baroque Orchestra; Joachim Carlos Martini; Naxos

*Athalia (1735 bilingual version)
Kammerorchester Basel; Paul Goodwin; DHM

Il Complesso Barocco; Alan Curtis; Virgin

*Brockes Passion
Collegium Carthusianum; Peter Neumann; Carus

Early Opera Company; Christian Curnyn; Chandos

*Giulio Cesare
Orchestra of Patras; George Petrou; Dabringhaus und Grimm

Israel in Egypt
Chor des Bayerischen Rundfunks; Concerto Köln; Peter Dijkstra; BR Klassik

*Israel in Egypt
Arsys Bourgogne; Concerto Köln; Pierre Cao; Eloquentia

Judas Maccabaeus
Namur Chamber Choir; Ensemble Les Agrémens; Leonardo García Alarcón; Ambronay

Judas Maccabaeus
Schleswig-Holstein Festival Choir; Elbipolis Barockorchester; Rolf Beck; Deutsche Harmonia Mundi

Musica Saeculorum; Philipp von Steinaecker; ORF

La Grande Écurie et la Chambre du Roy; Jean Claude Malgoire; K617


Sacred works:

*Utrecht De Deum
The Netherlands Bach Society; Jos van Veldhoven; Channel Classics



*Apollo e Dafne (‘Le Cantate Italiane di Handel VII’) [the final volume of the series]
La Risonanza; Fabio Bonizzoni; Glossa

*Apollo e Dafne
Halle Festpieleorchester; Bernhard Frock; Avi

*Venus & Adonis [and other chamber vocal and instrumental works]
Gemma Bertagnolli (sop); Zefiro; DHM

Cantatas, vol. 2 [Un’alma innamorata, Tra le fiamme, etc.]
Stefanie True (sop); Contrasto Armonico; Marco Vitale; Brilliant

Solo cantatas
Marianne Beate Kielland (mez-s); Bergen Barokk; Ars Produktion


Vocal recitals:

“Handel with Care”
Lautten Compagney; Wolfgang Katschner; Sony DHM

9 German Arias
Nuria Rial; Austria Baroque Company; Sony DHM [also includes Music for the Royal Fireworks in chamber arrangement]

Max Emmanuel Cencic (countertenor); I Barocchisti; Diego Fasolis; Virgin

Rosemary Joshua (sop); Sarah Connolly (alto); The English Concert; Harry Bickett; Chandos

*Ombra Cara
Bejun Mehta (countertenor); Freiburger Barockorchester; Rene Jacobs; Harmonia Mundi


Orchestral / Instrumental:

Concerti grossi, Opus 3
Kammerorchester Basel; Julia Schröder; Deutsche Harmonia Mundi

*Concerti grossi, Opus 6
Avison Ensemble; Pavlo Beznosiuk; Linn

*Water Music
Les Musiciens du Louvre; Marc Minkowski; Naïve

Eight Great Suites
Laurence Cummings (harpsichord); Somm

Flute Sonatas
Jan de Winne; Lorenzo Ghielmi; Evil Penguin

The Gentleman’s Flute (arrangements of miscellanous works for flute and a battery of continuo)
Stefan Temmingh & Ensemble; Oehms



A Handel Celebration [BBC Proms concert]
The Sixteen; Harry Christophers; Coro

Aci, Galatea e Polifemo
Cappella della Pietà de’ Turchini; Antonio Florio; Dynamic

*Acis & Galatea
Royal Opera House; Orchestra of the Age of Enlightenment; Christopher Hogwood; Opus Arte

Festpiele-orchester Göttingen; NDR Chor; Nicholas McGegan; C Major

Ensemble Matheus; Arnold Schoenberg Choir; Jean-Christophe Spinosi; C Major

The International Handel Recording Prize was inspired by The American Handel Society's Recording Prize. The AHS Recording Prize was awarded on an annual basis between 1991-1998.

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Last updated: August 30, 2020  · Site design: Duncan Fielden, Matthew Gardner and David Vickers