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Anthony Rooley writes: ‘“Amorous Dialogues” perfectly describes this unusual repertoire – although the variations on the theme of erotic love familiar to all of us tells the basic story of amatory exploits, desires and dreams in fresh ways. For example, can we be expected to believe that “He” doesn’t know what a kiss is and asks “She” to teach him step by step? None of us is fooled by his pretended ignorance, yet every one of us is delighted with the humour of the unfolding “game”.
‘Since I first began my exploration of the “dialogue” repertoire of the seventeenth century in the mid-1970s, we have had occasion to use this material on innumerable occasions for teaching purposes (singing and performing teaching, not amatory!). Its vitality and freshness, its humanity, humour – and dignity, too – has fired so many young performers, focused their enthusiasm and honed their performing skills.
‘We might be unfamiliar with some of the social graces of the seventeenth century nobility as they played their games of Arcadian Shepherds and Nymphs, but we can still be mightily entertained by the music and poetry created for them.’
Featuring leading singer Emma Kirkby and Martyn Hill, this L’Oiseau-Lyre recording makes its first appearance on CD on this Decca Eloquence reissue. Also issued on CD for the first time is Pastoral Dialogues, the companion recording to Amorous Dialogues. The extensive booklet includes the original notes, a new introduction by Anthony Rooley and full texts and translations.
“The singing is of a very high order, the accompaniments are managed with real sympathy, and the balance is ideal. An unusual and highly enjoyable record.” Gramophone
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