Listen to this for: Porpora, Bononcini et al
This is one of a number of CDs I’ve bought which focus not on the showy operatic pieces but on quieter, smaller-scale chamber pieces: it’s good for me to broaden my horizons. This album unites the two current idols of the countertenor world, and it’s a treat to hear them together, especially because their voices are distinctive but very complementary. One of my favourite tracks is the immensely refined Chi d’amor tra le catene, the eponymous duet from Giovanni Bononcini’s opera, which is stately and very close to divine. By contrast, La nobile luce from Benedetto Marcello’s cantata Chiaro e limpido fonte, is a trippingly cheerful duet which frankly makes me want to dance around the room. And the album concludes with a bit of a fireworks show from Scarlatti, courtesy of Nel cor del cor mio, which is a sparkling twining of the two voices which ripple in and out of one another like a waterfall. The album was the brainchild of William Christie of Les Arts Florissant, who had the idea after working with the two singers in Sant’ Alessio.