Handel: Complete Italian Cantatas For Bass / Raimund Nolte, Batzdorfer Hofkapelle, Composer: George Frideric Handel, Performer: Raimund Nolte, Orchestra/Ensemble: Batzdorfer Hofkapelle, Number of Discs: 1. In their recording of the complete Italian cantatas for bass solo by George Frideric Handel, the bass-baritone Raimund Nolte and the Batzdorfer Hofkapelle have tackled a repertoire which makes extensive demands on the singer. The two cantatas Nell'africane selve HWV 136a and Cuopre tal volta il cielo HWV 98, probably composed for the bass Antonio Manna in Naples in the summer of 1708, belong to the most spectacular works Handel ever wrote with their exorbitant vocal range, breathtaking leaps and bizarre changes of register. As Karl Böhmer illustrates in his informative booklet text, these two cantatas are deeply embedded in the tradition of the Italian "contra basso" singing style mastered only by a few exceptional singers who were able to combine an extremely low register with a sinuous baritone register. The other two cantatas included on this recording, Dalla guerra amorosa HWV 102a (already a 'hit' during Handel's lifetime) and Spande ancor a mio dispetto HWV 165 are somewhat more moderate in their technical demands. These two works also focus on the description of natural phenomena and the metaphor of the war of love for the emotional state of mind expressed by the protagonist.