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It had to come to this :-)... Handel is particularly famous for his various largos ("Cara sposa", anyone?), but I always felt that some of the most famous of these pieces are really not that good (I can't say I like "Ombra mai fu" or "Where'er you walk") and that some are injustly out of the public's favor (a prime example is Ino's introspective "Turn, hopeless lover" from "Semele" which, I hope, I will come around to posting). And yet, despite my critical view, I really like "Lashia ch'io pianga" which, because of it's evergrowing popularity, seems to have turned into a sort of pop ballad, so many artists have recorded it (Christ, even Charlotte Church gave it a try). But so many versions highlights the fact that not many artists can provide, at the very least, a decent account of the aria. The present post is my personal pick: Arleen Auger. Not only does this recording feature some truly beautiful singing (I especially like the very begining of each A section), but it is also taken at a very slow tempo (it takes a full minute longer to perform that it does usually), though such a tempo actually underlines the music's tragic notes. Hope you enjoy :-)!
P.S. I must stress though that in spite of all I have said here that this aria is still one of the highpoints of Handel's career, especially when sung as here :-)!
Cara sposa, amante cara,
Deh! Ritorna a' pianti miei!
Del vostro Erebo sull'ara,
Colla face dello sdegno
Io vi sfido, o spirti rei!
Beloved spouse, dearest heart
Where art thou?
Woe! Return to him who weeps!
O guilty spirits from thy Erebus altar
My face on of complete contempt,
I defy thee, wicked spirits!