Stradella: Duets

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Composer: Alessandro Stradella
Artists: Emma Kirkby (soprano), Susanna Rydén (soprano), Harmonices Mundi
Claudio Astronio (harpsichord, organ & director)

Alessandro Stradella led a particularly colourful life worthy of a sumptuous Hollywood costume drama. Born in Nepi in around 1639, he had become a successful composer in Rome by the time he was 20 years old. Among his more adventurous day-to-day pursuits were his attempt to embezzle money from the Catholic Church, his affairs with the wives and mistresses of important members of the aristocracy, and his occasional need to flee cities in order to escape his would-be aggressors. Unbelievably, Stradella still found time to write more than 300 compositions including operas, oratorios, instrumental music and chamber works.

This special collection brings together the vocal duets of this audacious and prolific composer. The duets – each of which is difficult to pinpoint in the chronology of Stradella’s output – are written for varying pairs of voices, sometimes at the same pitch and sometimes at differing pitches. Rather than adopting a hard and fast rule for the composition of the works, Stradella has let the text govern the manner in which the vocal lines are played out, and many of the works include imitation between the two voices (Si, quella tu sei che il mio cor sempre adorò is unique in that it presents a dialogue between the two characters). Also featuring Trionfate, invitti colli, the trio for two sopranos and bass, the collection brings together esteemed singers Susanne Rydén, Emma Kirkby, Sergio Foresti, Christine Marsoner and Alessio Tosi interpret the repertoire in varying combinations. The instrumentalists are the acclaimed early ensemble Harmonices Mundi, directed by Claudio Astronio.

Tracklist

00:00:00 Duet. Care labbra che d’amore
00:01:15 Duet. Aure fresche, aure volanti
00:03:15 Duet. Me ne farete tante che più non soffrirò
00:05:26 Duet. Pazienza, finirà l’influenza
00:11:14 Duet. Ahi, che posar non puote
00:17:45 Duet. Fulmini, quanto sa quel sembiante severo
00:23:20 Duet. Si, quella tu sei che il mio cor sempre adorò
00:26:18 Duet. Dietro l’orme del desio
00:32:54 Duet. Ardo, sospiro e piango
00:38:34 Duet. Sarà ver ch’io mai disciolga
00:43:20 Duet. Occhi belli, e che sarà
00:49:48 Duet. La bellissima speranza che nutrisce
00:56:43 Duet. Non si move onda in fiume
00:58:09 Duet. Trionfate, invitti colli

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