Cecilia Bartoli and Sol Gabetta – two of the most captivating women in classical music – are joining together for a new album Dolce Duello to be released on Decca Classics today. Performed with Cappella Gabetta led by concertmaster Andrés Gabetta, Dolce Duello is a collection of Baroque masterpieces which showcase the stunning combination of voice and cello in a series of dazzling duets and wondrous arias.
Dolce Duello covers almost a century of music, with music by Antonio Vivaldi, George Frideric Handel, Domenico Gabrielli, Tomaso Albinoni and Luigi Boccherini, as well as three world premiere recordings: Nicola Antonio Porpora’s Giusto Amor, tu che m’accendi from the serenata Gli orti esperidi, and two compositions by Antonio Caldara – Fortuna e speranza from his opera Nitocri and ‘anto, e con sì gran piena’from Gianguir.
This music demands equal commitment from both singer and instrumentalist – engaging them in a friendly duel. If the concerto is the most elaborate and extended of musical duels, the 18th century’s obbligato aria, with its pugnacious instrumental solo part, is easily the most spectacular. From the dawn of the Baroque, the voice and cello were inseparable companions, whether they appeared together for practical reasons with the cello being part of the continuo, or for expressive purposes. The sound of the cello is often considered to be the closest to the human voice, one elegantly complimenting the other.
Dolce Duello reflects the great friendship between Bartoli and Gabetta. The vivacious duo has known each other for years and had long been looking for a project to collaborate on. Together with a musicologist, they discovered some beautiful works for voice and cello – three of which had never been recorded before. There are touching laments, as in Handel’s Ode for St Cecilia’s Day, as well as more vibrant arias such as Di verde ulivo by Vivaldi. While it maybe an album of duels, the true winner is surely the listener – who can bask in the joyous music from two wondrous women.
The tracks: 1. Caldara: “Fortuna e speranza” (Nitocri) */ 2. Albinoni: “Aure, andate e baciate” (ll Nascimento dell’Aurora)/ 3. Gabrielli: “Aure voi, de’ miei sospiri” (San Sigismondo, re di Borgogna)/ 4. Vivaldi: “Di verde ulivo” (Tito Manlio)/ 5. Handel: Ode for St Cecilia’s Day: “What passion cannot Music raise and quell?”/ 6. Caldara: “Tanto, e con sì gran piena” (Gianguir) */ 7. Handel: “Son qual stanco pellegrino” (Arianna in Creta)/ 8. Porpora: “Giusto Amor, tu che m ’accendi” (Gli orti esperidi) */ 9-11. Boccherini: Cello Concerto No. 10 in D major, G 483
*World premiere recordings
Cecilia Bartoli, voice
Sol Gabetta, cello
Andrés Gabetta, concertmaster