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Handel - Duetti Amorosi
Caro amico amplesso! (from Poro)
Troppo oltraggi la mia fede (from Serse)
Quivi, tra questi soltari orr
Ah, sì, morrò (from Admeto)
Alma mia (from Floridante)
Ma come a mar (from Muzio Scevola)
Ritorna, caro e dolce mio tesoro (from Rodelinda)
Non ti bastò (from Rodelinda)
Io t'abbraccio (from Rodelinda)
Fuggi, mio bene
Il fugir, cara mia vita (from Arminio)
Ritorna nel core vezzosa (from Arminio)
Te credo, si ben mio (from Teseo)
Commanda, dunque, o bella (from Teseo)
Quest’è dunque la fede (from Admeto)
Addio, mio caro bene (from Teseo)
Arminio : Overture
Romantic duets from Handel’s operas, including Serse, Rodelinda, Arminio and Teseo.
Performed by Nuria Rial and Lawrence Zazzo, who recently appeared on deutsche harmonia mundi’s recording of rare Handel opera Riccardo Primo (88697174212) in which Zazzo takes the title role.
Accompanied by the Chamber Orchestra of Basel conducted by Handel specialist Laurence Cummings.
Rial and Zazzo are two of the leading exponents of the Baroque genre. The soprano has sung with the early music conductors René Jacobs and Giovanni Antonini.
The repertoire of the Philadelphia-born countertenor Zazzo ranges from the operas of Monteverdi, Scarlatti and Handel to numerous twentieth-century works. He will be appearing at the Royal Opera House during the Autumn of 2008 in a production of Cavalli’s La Calisto.
“The aching longing and ecstatic intertwining of soprano and alto (castrato) voices in the sublime duets for Poro (1731) and Cleofide, and for Rodelinda (1725) and Bertarido, are among the era’s most moving “romantic” music. With her bright, pristine soprano, Rial blends perfectly with Zazzo’s plush countertenor. They are delightful in the comical Romilda/Arsamene duet, from Serse (1738), and moving in the yearning farewell of Clizia and Arcane, from Teseo (1713). Unexpected and enjoyable.” Sunday Times, 10th August 2008 ****
“In duet or solo, two fine singers impress in a delightfully planned Handel recital. Laurence Cummings provides expert musical direction from the harpsichord, ensuring that everything is paced to perfection…” Gramophone Magazine, Awards Issue 2008
“The voices of Rial and Zazzo are engaging on their own and evenly balanced in ensemble… excelling in the…composer's tenderly reflective music such as in the ravishing duet 'Io t'abbraccio' from Rodelinda (1725). Cummings directs all with sensibility and stylistic assurance.” BBC Music Magazine, October 2008 ****
“'Duetti amorosi' is an imaginative and thoughtfully chosen programme of operatic duets (although the singers also get two arias each).
Nothing predictable is included here, except perhaps the two items from Rodelinda, but the lovely performance of 'Ritorna, o cara' and the pathos-laden 'Io t'abbraccio' more than justify their presence. Picking a diverse selection of repertoire that skilfully conveys the expressive and stylistic breath of Handel's writing is certainly one of the often-ignored secrets of planning a successful Handel recital programme, and the performers' enthusiasm for reviving numbers from Arminio (including its fine overture), Teseo, Muzio Scevola, Poro (the gorgeous 'Caro amico amplesso') and Admeto deserves high praise.
Rial and Zazzo sing well, both individually and together: in the duets they are obviously listening sympathetically to each other; they seem to know when to emphasise vocal contrasts or blend closely. Laurence Cummings provides expert musical direction from the harpsichord, ensuring that everything is paced to perfection, and that the musico-dramatic characteristics presented in each piece speak with transparency to the listener; none of these performances would feel out of place in context of their parent works. The policy to dump the texts and translations onto a PDF is detestable.” Gramophone Classical Music Guide, 2010
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Amor e gelosia
Handel Operatic Duets
This very original programme features duets from well-known operas alongside lesser-known works, some of which have never been recorded before. All the works pertain to love and jealousy, hence the title Amor e gelosia.
“The duets in his operas are the special treats, coming at climactic points – most often, two lovers' supposedly final parting, or their ultimate reunion. Try 'Io t'abbraccio', from Rodelinda, or the wonderful 'Per la porte del tormento' from Sosarme. We have several pieces from Poro, first the intense little love duet in Act 2, and later the two arias in which Poro and Cleofide swear eternal fidelity – which they fling back at each other when, in a duet we also hear, both believe themselves betrayed. Then there's the delightful little minor-key duet from Faramondo, the quarrel duet from Atalanta, the charmingly playful piece from Muzio Scevola, and the extraordinary one for the pleading Angelica and the furious, maddened Orlando. Handel's understanding of the shades and accents of love are something to marvel at.
All are most beautifully sung by Patrizia Ciofi and Joyce DiDonato, who has just the right firmness and focus for a castrato role (as the mezzo voices almost always are here); both phrase beautifully, articulate and express the words clearly and tellingly, and ornament the da capo sections in a natural and tasteful fashion. The accompaniments, done by a chamber group under Alan Curtis with much refined timing of detail, add to the pleasures of this truly delectable CD.” Gramophone Classical Music Guide, 2010
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