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23 of 23 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A sumptuous feast of Handel, 22 July 2004
This review is from: Patrizia Ciofi & Joyce DiDonato ~ Amor e gelosia (Handel Operatic Duets) (Audio CD)
Alan Curtis has here chosen to bring to life some of the more memorable duets of Handel's many operas. Quite apart from chewing over some of the more well-known operas he has chosen some duets from Silla, Sosarme (Per le porte del tormento), Faramondo, Atalanta, Poro and Muzio Scevola, few of which have had decent recordings in the last number of years.
His band is small, one player per part, withe the resultant effect rather to make the duets seems like chamber music. There is a danger in that with duets such as Io t'abbraccio (end of Act 2 Rodelinda) taken out of context that the dramatic moment of the music would be lost. However, by arranging the duets in a sequence (as Curtis writes in the notes) from love's joy through self-doubt and jealousy, back to undying love, the duets out of context sound superb.
Both singers, Patrizia Ciofi (Soprano) and Joyce di Donato (Mezzo) sound thoroughly at home in the idiom of baroque opera, and in fact their cadenzas and ornamentation are delightfully understated, rather than the sort of shrieking 'I can go higher still' of some more lauded performers. I look forward to Curtis' forthcoming recordings of Lotario, Rodelinda and Radamisto, if these performers are to be retained.
In short this is a delightful enterprise showing the genious of Handel in dealing with the most basic of human emotions - love and jealousy. Well done Alan Curtis!
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Two of the Kind Voices, 10 Oct. 2008
This review is from: Patrizia Ciofi & Joyce DiDonato ~ Amor e gelosia (Handel Operatic Duets) (Audio CD)
I always thought Patrzia Ciofi one of the most interesting sopranos around, comparing well with the likes of Roberta Invernizzi, Gemma Bertagnoli, Nathalie Dessay and the incomparable Sandrine Piau. Her voice has a deep, soothing quality of the bel canto best; nothing of the panic stricken shrieks of some of today's divas whose superior (and often the only redeemeing) quality is their photogenity. On the other hand, Joyce Di Donato is for me a delightful, and earful surprise never heard of before this record in any serious repertoire. The law of dialectics make these two lovely ladies mesh into a supreme duet of a heavenly quality rarely heard of or heard from. Handal's duets might not be the world's best but you would never know that after hearing Amor e Gelosia. It starts with a caress and ends with a bang as any respectable Baroque recital since now ought to. The playing is exceptional throughout and the fabric of the women's voice woven with such a precision and gusto over and above the instruments that it leaves a precious liitle room for breathing. Absolute triumph.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars wonderful, 8 April 2014
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This review is from: Patrizia Ciofi & Joyce DiDonato ~ Amor e gelosia (Handel Operatic Duets) (Audio CD)
We can not stop listening to this wonderful music and the voices seem to be from heaven.
Beautiful choice of musical pieces.
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6 of 8 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Gorgeous music understatedly sung and lacking drama, 18 Sept. 2007
By 
Marcolorenzo (Italy) - See all my reviews
(TOP 1000 REVIEWER)   
This review is from: Patrizia Ciofi & Joyce DiDonato ~ Amor e gelosia (Handel Operatic Duets) (Audio CD)
The duets that comprise this compilation are for the most part ravishing musical works. Here they are presented in a chamber music fashion (one instrument to a part) and sung in a most understated way, creating an intimate refined atmosphere but not of operatic or dramatic quality. The virtue of this recording is that the singing is technically fine but taken out of context and performed on such a small scale, these pieces, whose stunning quality shines out when heard on the stage, here out of context and intimately sung, lose their dramatic power and emotional impact. So they seem to be just one lovely melody after another finely made but not very moving emotionally. Many of the duets are from seldom performed Handel operas and this is a positive aspect of this disc.
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4.0 out of 5 stars Listen!, 27 Nov. 2014
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This review is from: Patrizia Ciofi & Joyce DiDonato ~ Amor e gelosia (Handel Operatic Duets) (Audio CD)
The mix of two female voices is perfect, as always. And beautifully sung.
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