OP0079. Poro (Handel), w.Biondi Cond. Europa Galante Ensemble; Gloria Banditelli, Rossana Bertini, Bernarda Fink, Gérard Lesne, etc. 3-Opus 111 Naïve 30113, Slipcase Edition w.Elaborate 97pp. Libretto-brochure. Very long out-of-print, Final Copy! - 3386700301133
“With PORO, which of all Handel’s dramatic works is the opera set the furthest from western Europe in distant India, it seems that the composer wanted to lend the work a particular exotic colour musically; without any knowledge of non-European musical cultures, this was possible only by departing from the norm. The use of the baroque trumpet, with its range particularly suited to D major, in the final chorus in b minor is a stroke of genius; the key note of the piece does not occur in the instrumental part. In contrast to other operas by Handel, in four musical numbers, three of which are particularly long, flutes and recorder are used extensively.
A further feature unique in Handel’s operatic output, which has nothing to do with the exotic, is the use of musical recall in Cleofide and Poro’s duet at the end of Act I. The lovers repeat here with ironic intent, in text and music, the vow made to each other from a previous aria – broken in the case of Poro, and in the case of Cleofide regarded as broken by Poro. Like this duet and the two other lovers’ duets, many of the arias are amongst the high points in Handel’s music. Handel’s opera PORO, is now unfortunately rarely heard, despite its exceptional musical attractiveness. ”
- Michael Pacholke