I love music.

I write about the music I like and have purchased for the benefit of better understanding it and sharing my preferences with others.

Duetti - Jaroussky and Cencic

Screen Shot 2013 04 20 at 12 25 35 AM I've collected just a few of Philippe Jaroussky's recordings. Probably among the countertenors, he's a favorite. I've found his collaborations with Christina Pluhar among my favorites. I'd likely collect more if I was a real opera fan. Max Emanuel Cencic is a newer name to me, without me owning any of his solo recordings. In this recording with veteran director William Christie and continuo players from Les Arts Florissants, we are treated to a number of duet and solo pieces by the likes of Bononcini, Mancini, Conti, Porpora, Marcello, and A. Scarlatti. Yes, the composers already famous for writing for the castrato voice. Our two soloists have very distinctive voices that you'd never mistake for one another; yet together they blend well and enhance one another with good support from Christie and team. It's quite clear to me that I prefer Jaroussky's voice, it sounding more natural and sweet. When they are singing together, as in the third track's challenge of fast thirds, the two are very well matched in terms of volume, style, and support. Violins come in when they're called upon, as in Marcello's cantata that takes up 8 tracks. No one really stands out in the instrumental texture, leaving all the dramatic affect to the voices. What I don't understand about this release on the Virgin Classics label is the odd Photoshopping they did on the cover and booklet. Cencic looks at you, Jaroussky, from further away, off to the side; each are obscured by half-opaque images of something else, then poor Christie has a keyboard going through him. It looks like a graphics design project gone terribly wrong. Put on 1-3 of these pieces on at a time for a very musical treat. I found the collection far more enjoyable than the Bartoli recital Sacrificium with IGA. I think it's rare that you'll hear duets such as these so equally-approached by two singers. Stylistically, they're supporting each other, which, unfortunately, comes across more unusual to me than maybe it should. Recommended.

Concert Review - Christophe Rousset

Concerti per violino per Pisendel