Maria Madre di Dio by Arion Baroque Orchestra with Agnes Mellon and Matthew White

Maria, Madre di Dio


Arion Baroque Orchestra
Guest Conductor: Monica Huggett
with Agnès Mellon, soprano
and Matthew White, countertenor.
2003, EMCCD 7757

The recording features 4 works dedicated to the Virgin Mary (2 in Italian, 2 in Latin). The soloists are accompanied by a luscious 15-piece orchestra.

*** Early Music Record of the year 2004 ***
(Opus Magazine, Toronto, Canada)

Features: VIVALDI, A. : Stabat Mater (for alto)
HANDEL, G.F. : Ah! Che troppo ineguali (for soprano)
SCARLATTI, A. : Salve Regina (for soprano & alto)
HANDEL/FERRANDINI : Il Pianto di Maria (for soprano)

The voices are gorgeous, and perfectly matched. But ultimately it’s the conjunction of sensual beauty and intense sorrow that floors the listener. – Tamara Bernstein,The National Post (Canada).

Much of the credit for this must go to Monica Huggett, who directs Arion to play brilliantly, emotionally, and with impeccable style. Recordings of these ‘Handel’ works are few and far between, so this release is of obvious interest to collectors. But, far more importantly, this is an exceptionally fine recital of baroque sacred vocal music that deserves all the recognition it can get.  – David Vickers, GF (England)

Product Description

Arion Baroque Orchestra
Guest Conductor : Monica Huggett
Agnès Mellon, soprano
Matthew White, countertenor

See Program notes here.

Stabat Mater Vivaldi, A
for alto, strings and continuo RV 621
1 Stabat Mater 2 :21
2 Cujus animam 1 :27
3 O Quam Tristis 1 :25
4 Quis est homo 2 :26
5 Quis non posset 1 :32
6 Pro Peccatis 1 :23
7 eja mater 2 :37
8 Fac, ut ardeat 1 :22
9 Amen 0 :58


Ah! Che troppo ineguali Handel, G. F.
Cantata for soprano, strings and continuo, HWV 230 Manuscrit London, British Library
10 Récitatif Ah ! Che troppo ineguali 0 :51
11 Aria O del ciel Maria regina 8 :28


Salve Regina Scarlatti, A.
for two voices, in f minor RV 621
12 Salve, Regina 3 :55
13 Ad te clamamus 2 :14
14 Ad te suspiramus 1 :14
15 Eja ergo 1 :40
16 Et Jesum benedictum 2 :00
17 O clemens 2 :12


Il pianto di Maria « Giunta l’ora fatal » Handel, G.F. /
Ferrandini, G.
Sacred Cantata for soprano, strings and continuo HWV 234 Manuscrit Münster, Santini-Bibliothek
18 Recitativo Giunta l’ora fatal dal ciel prescritta 1 :53
19 Cavatina Se d’un Dio fui fatta Madre 2 :10
20 Recitativo accompagnato Ah me infelice ! 2 :25
21 Cavatina da capo 2 :21
22 Recitativo Ahimè ch’Egli già esclama ad alta voce 1 :11
23 Aria Sventurati miei sospiri 6 :42
24 Recitativo accompagnato Si disse la gran Madre 2 :13
25 Aria Pari all’amor immenso 6 :50
26 Recitativo accompagnato Or se per grande orror tremo la terra 0 :51


agnes mellonAGNES MELLON, soprano

French soprano Agnès Mellon entered in 1980 successively at the Chapelle Royale, directed by Philippe Herreweghe, and at Les Arts Florissants, directed by William Christie. Her career as a soloist has led her to sing under the direction of many noted conductors, such as Gardiner, Malgoire, Koopman, Leonhardt, Sigiswald Kuijken, and René Jacobs.

Agnès Mellon has performed in some of the world’s most prestigious concert venues, such as the Opéra de Paris, the Théatre des Champs-Elysées, the Salle Pleyel, Carnegie Hall, as well as the Amsterdam’s Concertgebow and Opera and numerous halls in Japan.

Agnès Mellon created her own ensemble “Barcarole ” with harpsichordist Kenneth Weiss and can be thus given to her passion: chamber music with voice. She is accompanied, in her recitals of Lieder and French melodies by various pianists: Claude Lavoix, Jean-François Heisser, Marie-Joseph Jude, Billy Heidi, François Kerdoncuff, Christian Ivaldi and Laure Colladant with the pianoforte. Her discography (over a hundred recordings) covers a broad repertoire.

She is frequently invited as a guest of the academy of French Music in Kyoto, where she gives masterclasses with the professors of the CNSM of Paris.

matthew whiteMATTHEW WHITE, countertenor

Matthew White was born in 1973 and began singing as a treble with St.Matthew’s Men and Boys Choir in Ottawa, Canada. He graduated in English Literature at McGill University and currently studies with Jan Simons in Montreal. His singing career has already taken him all over North America, to Europe, South America, Asia, and New Zealand. Upcoming operatic engagements include work with Glyndebourne Festival Opera, the Houston Grand Opera, and Chicago Opera Theater. He has also worked for Glyndebourne Touring Opera, Cleveland Opera, Opera Atelier, and Pacific Opera Victoria.

On the concert stage he works regularly with groups such as, Bach Collegium Japan, Arion, Les Violons du Roy, Tafelmusik, the Boston Handel & Haydn Society, Le Concert Spirituel, Oregon Bach Festival, the Nederlands Bach Vereniging, the Capella Brugensis, the National Arts Centre Orchestra, Poland’s Arte dei Suonatori, Aradia Ensemble, Le Parlement de Musique, the Carmel California Bach Festival, Israel Camerata, the Pacific Baroque Orchestra, and the Portland Baroque Orchestra. He has also appeared as a soloist at the Vancouver, Boston, and Utrecht Early Music Festivals.

Matthew is the programming director for Montreal’s Ensemble Les Voix Baroques.

Arion Baroque Orchestra

Arion is a Montreal-based baroque orchestra performing on period instruments. The ensemble was founded in 1981 by flautist Claire Guimond, violinist Chantal Rémillard, gambist Betsy MacMillan and harpsichordist Hank Knox. Claire Guimond has been Arion’s artistic director ever since its first concerts.

From the outset, Arion’s concerts were unanimously hailed for their clarity and gusto as well as their refined and expressive performances, chosen from a vast array of early music works. A meticulous attention to detail has placed Arion’s artistic achievements amongst those of the greatest current early music ensembles.

The orchestra calls upon world-renowned guest conductors to perform vocal and instrumental works in its high-profile series of concerts in Montreal. They include Barthold Kuijken, Monica Huggett, Jaap ter Linden, Daniel Cuiller and Elizabeth Wallfisch.

A recipient of numerous awards and grants, Arion has toured extensively throughout Canada, Europe, Mexico, the United States and Japan.

Arion’s discography features 25 CDs, distributed internationally both as a quartet and in a larger setting with the collaboration of such fine artists as sopranos Agnès Mellon and Suzie LeBlanc, mezzo Kimberly Barber, countertenors Matthew White and Daniel Taylor, baritone Max van Egmond, violinist and conductor Monica Huggett, Barthold Kuijken and Jaap ter Linden, as well as several talented baroque soloists.

Arion is a member of, a site committed to the promotion of some of the world’s finest early music artists.

Arion Baroque Orchestra :

Monica Huggett, violin and concertmaster
Chantal Rémillard, violin
Chloe Meyers, violin
Megan Chapelas, violin
Hélène Plouffe, violin
Olivier Brault, violin
Jacques-André Houle, violin
Élisabeth Comtois, viola
Margaret Little, viola
Phoebe Carrai, cello
Isabelle Bozzini, cello
Sylvain Bergeron, theorbo
Éric Lagacé, double-bass
Alex Weimann, organ

Arion is a member of, a site committed to the promotion of some of the world’s finest early music artists.

Recorded 25, 26 and 27 February, 2003 at Saint-Augustin-de-Mirabel Church, Québec

Producer : Ensemble Arion., tous droits réservés / all rights reserved
Executive Producers : Claudia Berardi & Claire Guimond
Recording Producer : Anton Kwiatkowski
Sound Engineer : Anton Kwiatkowski
Artistic Direction : Claire Guimond
Organ preparation and tuning : Robin Côté for Juget-Sinclair, organ builders
Graphic Design : Lucie Arsenault for Luz Design + communications
Photos : Yanick Macdonald

We would like to thank André Guimond for his overwhelming devotion.

The sheet music of the HWV 230 and HWV 234 cantatas were generously given to Arion by Dominique Visse, who has prepared and edited these works using the manuscripts.

© Ensemble Arion, 2001 under exclusive license with Les Productions inc. Made in Canada

EMCCD 7757.