Tuesday, 8 May 2018

Handel Opera Duets

Handel's operas and oratorios are a goldmine of good tunes and memorable arias. Wandering through my collection of recordings this evening, happy chance saw me taking out a CD of operatic duets from Handel's operas, recorded 15 years ago by Patrizia Ciofi (soprano) and Joyce DiDonato (mezzo). The late Alan Curtis directs Il Complesso Barocco, and Virgin turns out a first-class recording. Which is really just what you need for Handel: first-class singers, a first-class band, expert direction, and a well-balanced recording. The music does the rest.

The two singers are superb, and a mezzo-soprano such as DiDonato spares us the embarrassment of a counter-tenor or a castrato. 73 minutes of pure gold. Handel never fails.

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