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Two star countertenors, Philippe Jaroussky and Max Emanuel Cencic, join William Christie and Les Arts Florissants, for a programme of chamber-scale duets and arias by Italian composers of the early 18th century. As Jaroussky says, these are “duets of great beauty, where the two voices entwine in a way that is sometimes very sophisticated, but also very sensual.”
The contrasting and complementary talents of two star countertenors, Philippe Jaroussky and Max Emanuel Cencic, come to the fore in this programme of chamber-scale duets and arias by Italian composers of the early 18th century: Porpora, Mancini, Bononcini, Marcello, Conti and Alessandro Scarlatti. Two instrumental items by Corelli are also included in this richly filled programme, based on concerts presented by Jaroussky, Cencic and Les Arts Florissants under William Christie’s direction in France and Spain in early 2011.
Both countertenors are virtuosic performers, but Jaroussky is especially famed for the gracefulness of his vocalism, whether in brilliant castrato arias or his Virgin Classics album of belle époque song, Opium, while Cencic favours a more assertive and athletic style, which served him well in his breathtaking recital of Rossini arias for Virgin Classics.
Giovanni Bononcini: Pietoso Nume Arcier
Duetto: 'Pietoso Nume Arcier'
Duetto: 'Se L'idolo Che Adoro'
Francesco Mancini: Quanto Mai Saria Più Bello
Aria: 'Quanto Mai Saria Più Bello'
Recitativo: 'Irene, Che Ne Dici'
Aria: 'La Costanza Nell'amore
Francesco Bartolomeo Conti: Aria 'Quando Veggo Un'usignolo'
Aria 'Quando Veggo Un'usignolo'
Giovanni Bononcini: Chi d'Amor Tra Le Catene
Duetto: 'Chi d'Amor'
Duetto: 'Bella Si Ma Crudel'
Nicola Porpora: Ecco Che Il Primo Albore
Recitativo 'Ecco Che Il Primo Albore'
Aria 'La Pecorella Contenta'
Recitativo 'Pastor Gentil'
Bendetto Marcello: Cantata 'Chiaro E Limpido Fonte'
Aria 'Se Andrà Senza Il Pastore'
Recitativo 'Chiaro, E Limpido Fonte'
Aria 'Al Partir Della Fronte Serena'
Recitativo 'Voi Pur Leggiere Aurette'
Aria 'Un Solo Respiro'
Recitativo 'Mirtillo, A Che Si Cerca'
Duetto 'Dunque Voi Cristalli Erranti'
Recitativo 'Mà, Che Pianger Mirtillo?'
Duetto 'La Nobile Luce'
Benedetto Marcello: Cantata 'Tirsi E Fileno'
Duetto No.1: 'Veggio Fille/Parlo A Clori'
Alessandro Scarlatti: Nel Cor Del Cor Mio
Nel Cor Del Cor Mio
“Each singer brings his own individual vocal and expresive qualities to the fore in a solo cantata: Jaroussky is sweetly beguiling in Francesco Mancini's 'Quanto mai saro piu bello'...whereas Cencic's theatrical talent for gutsier declamatory coloratura takes centre stage in Porpora's 'Ecco che il primo albore'. The intuitive duet-singing works charmingly, not least becuase the adaptable Cencic sings intimately and softly in order to match Jaroussky's gentler timbre.”
“What is startling in this recording is the power of initmacy, as entwining voices and instruments ensnare the listener...Jaroussky's sense of nuance is especially fine: he caresses words and gestures with a painterly delicacy...when singing with Jaroussky, Cencic allows their vocal timbres to blend gorgeously...Above all, the artists collectively adhere to the sine qua non of performing this repertory: seeming effortlessness.”
12th January 2012
“the contrast between the two is wonderfully exploited in the duets by Bononcini and the cantatas by Conti, Marcello and Alessandro Scarlatti, in which Cencic calibrates his naturally more powerful sound to balance the dimensions of Jaroussky's voice. Christie, it almost goes without saying, organises perfectly judged accompaniments”
“how well Cencic and Jaroussky work together...Their respective abilities in producing their tone and dispatching it through the intricate music are on a par with each other. The five instrumentalists...make attractive sounds, adding to the pleasure given by the singers.”
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