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10 of 10 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Both voices shine without eclipsing the other, 18 Nov 2011
By 
Philip Herring "vaslav" (soudley, UK) - See all my reviews
(REAL NAME)   
This review is from: Duetti (Audio CD)
What luck to have two of the best counter-tenors coming together on this CD of duets. These duetti are, in fact, a combination of duets, solo and dialogue recitatives and arias, largely composed between 1680 and 1720. In Bononcini's 'Pietoso nume...'the two men blend and synchronise perfectly, both voices shining without eclipsing the other. Jaroussky is given the solo in Mancini's 'Quanto mai...' and sings like a bell throughout. Conti's 'Nightingale' is full of clever musical trills for the continuo,especially at the end. Jaroussky soars on the supporting wings of Cencic and both sing as one when imitating the nightingale's song penetrating the night. Bononcini's'Chi d'amor...'is a slow lament of undulating harmonies, whereas his 'Bella si'...is a display of vocal sprinting by the two men, with much spurting,surging and elbowing. Cencic is awarded the solo in Porpora's'Ecco che...',showing his voice, comfortably in his range, to beautiful effect, with some sweeping arabesques. Marcello's 'Chiaro e limpido' is the highlight of the disc, with richer orchestration. Jaroussky is flamboyant in his solo whereas Cencic is more sedate but shows equal virtuosity. There is an exquisitely flowing duet in which the singers are totally complementary followed by a lament in which Cencic is more anguished - before they gallop off after the beloved in the conclusion. This is followed by a divine and emotional seven minutes of elegant and melodic intertwinig of soprano and alto as abashed admirers. Scarlatti's'Nel cor...'enables both to show off their technical artistry, the voices moving at a brisk pace in parallel and in adroit counterpoint, leaving the listener abruptly stranded in mid-air - a very dramatic end to this collection of colourful and moving duetti.
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5 of 5 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Incredible singing; variable music, 7 Jan 2012
By 
Caddie "caddie" (Helensbugh, Dunbartonshire United Kingdom) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: Duetti (Audio CD)
In terms of preference Jaroussky's sweet voice, unbelievable virtuousity still commands attention in this unusual recital but Cencic's deeper and blade-like intensity complements it wonderfully. For this repertoire this recording is likely to remain the benchmark for the forseeable future. The music, though, often seems rarely worthy of these exceptional talents, though they bring every interpretitive nuance to bear in making it as interesting as possible. There are times when my attention simply strayed and periods when the music seemed to go through formulaic motions. But the outstanding singing and interpretation trumps everything else so magnificently that I would recommend it.
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19 of 21 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Cencic shines, 11 Nov 2011
By 
pseudopanax (London) - See all my reviews
(VINE VOICE)   
This review is from: Duetti (Audio CD)
This lovely disc of baroque chamber duets and cantatas is not quite the revelation that was anticipated when I first heard that Cencic, Jaroussky and Christie were planning to record together. That said, the little known work from Conti and Marcello are revelations, outstandingly subtle and beautiful. The Porpora selection only confirms that his work must continue to be rediscovered and recorded. Cencic is particularly stunning in the Porpora, and it is great to hear him go softly softly rather than setting the vocal fireworks off as he did on his Handel disc and the recent excellent Farnace recording. His is a truly distinctive countertenor voice and he is a wonderful performer on stage and on disc. Jaroussky's beautiful but far more limited voice is not always the best foil for Cencic. He sounds a bit sharp and shrill on the initial Bononcini, but is much better with the Porpora and Scarlatti. His technique is often strained (I've noticed this on stage as well) and he, like Andreas Scholl, is a lovely singer but no performer. Cencic's vivid tones and range make him (and Christie and players) the highlight of this disc, and offer more evidence that he is the heir presumptive to the great David Daniels.
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15 of 17 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars At last!, 11 Nov 2011
By 
E. L. Wisty "World Domination League" (Devon, UK) - See all my reviews
(TOP 500 REVIEWER)    (VINE VOICE)   
This review is from: Duetti (Audio CD)
Now I don't normally go for these compilation type discs at all, slicing and dicing several works & composers and rolling them all together, but the opportunity to hear what for my mind are the two greatest vocalists in the world today who sing like they've had their balls chopped off perform together is far too good to miss. Apparently, according to the booklet, they have previously performed on the stage together for Christie's productions of Landi's "Il Sant'Alessio" - this Christie disc does not include either of them however - and Monteverdi's "L'incoronazione di Poppea", but for me this is a first.

This selection also gives an opportunity to hear some of the lesser recorded Baroque composers - A. Scarlatti is reasonably famous, but Popora & Bononcini are still sadly under-represented in terms of recordings, and Conti, Mancini & Marcello remain almost unknown.

The booklet provides notes and libretti with translations (English, French, German).

Programme:

Bononcini - cantata "Pietoso nume arcier"
Mancini - solo cantata "Quanto mai saria più bello" (Jaroussky)
Conti - aria à 2 from cantata "Quando veggo un'usignolo"
Bononcini - duets from cantata "Chi d'amor tra le catene"
Porpora - solo cantata "Ecco che il primo albore" (Cencic)
Marcello - cantata "Chiaro e limpido fonte"
Marcello - duet from cantata "Tirsi e Fileno"
A. Scarlatti - duet from cantata "Amore e Virtù"
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Worth a listen., 6 Nov 2012
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This review is from: Duetti (Audio CD)
Phillipe Jaroussky always a delight, Les Arts Florissants crisp and entertaining and although I hadn't heard too much Max Cencic, he certainly lived up to his billing. The vocals were clearly distinctive and while neither dominated proceedings, I'm just not sure how complementary they are. For me, the sum of the parts were rarely greater than the whole, although certainly never less. Also not very likely to seek out many recordings by a couple of the more obscure composers and in that regard I felt the performers rescued this overall. Individually, great perfomances and if these composers are up your street, you'll enjoy this.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Sublime Countertenors, 4 Sep 2012
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This review is from: Duetti (Audio CD)
This beautiful and moving disc met all expectations. Cencic of course, a one time member of the Vienna Boys' Choir, is a genuine male soprano and the selected repertoire with the wonderful Jaroussky embraces that most uncommon quality of voicee. Rush to buy this triumph!
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A true artistic partnership, 29 Jun 2012
By 
This review is from: Duetti (Audio CD)
As I can't add any better comments than the ones already posted,I thought you might like a complete tracklisting.
As you will see on this disc you get Duets(naturally given it's title) but you also get solos by the two singers, plus some orchestral work by Les Arts Florissants alone.
I will say that it IS nice to have duets etc by some lesser know composers,but sung by excellent artists and interpreters.

1. Giovanni Bononcini: 'Pietoso nume arcier': Duetto: 'Pietos... Philippe Jaroussky/Max Emanuel Cencic/Les Arts Florissants...

2. Giovanni Bononcini: 'Pietoso nume arcier': Recitativo: 'Co... Philippe Jaroussky/Max Emanuel Cencic/Les Arts Florissants...

3. Giovanni Bononcini: 'Pietoso nume arcier': Duetto: 'Se l'i... Philippe Jaroussky/Max Emanuel Cencic/Les Arts Florissants...

4. Francesco Mancini: 'Quanto mai saria più bello': Aria: 'Qu... Philippe Jaroussky/Les Arts Florissants/William Christie

5. Francesco Mancini: 'Quanto mai saria più bello': Recitativ... Philippe Jaroussky/Les Arts Florissants/William Christie

6. Francesco Mancini: 'Quanto mai saria più bello': Aria: 'La... Philippe Jaroussky/Les Arts Florissants/William Christie

7. Francesco Bartolomeo Conti: Aria 'Quando veggo un'usignolo' Philippe Jaroussky/Les Arts Florissants/Max Emanuel Cencic...

8. Giovanni Bononcini: 'Chi d'Amor tra le catene': Duetto: 'C... Philippe Jaroussky/Les Arts Florissants/Max Emanuel Cencic...
i

9. Giovanni Bononcini: 'Chi d'Amor tra le catene': Duetto: 'B... Philippe Jaroussky/Les Arts Florissants/Max Emanuel Cencic...

10. Nicola Porpora: 'Ecco che il primo albore': Sinfonia Les Arts Florissants/William Christie

11. Nicola Porpora: 'Ecco che il primo albore': Recitativo 'Ec... Les Arts Florissants/Max Emanuel Cencic/William Christie

12. Nicola Porpora: 'Ecco che il primo albore': Aria 'La pecor... Les Arts Florissants/Max Emanuel Cencic/William Christie

13. Nicola Porpora: 'Ecco che il primo albore': Recitativo 'Pa... Les Arts Florissants/Max Emanuel Cencic/William Christie

14. Nicola Porpora: 'Ecco che il primo albore': Aria 'Se andrà... Les Arts Florissants/Max Emanuel Cencic/William Christie

15. Bendetto Marcello: Cantata 'Chiaro e limpido fonte': Recit... Les Arts Florissants/Philippe Jaroussky/William Christie

16. Bendetto Marcello: Cantata 'Chiaro e limpido fonte': Aria ... Les Arts Florissants/Philippe Jaroussky/William Christie

17. Bendetto Marcello: Cantata 'Chiaro e limpido fonte': Recit... Les Arts Florissants/Max Emanuel Cencic/William Christie

18. Bendetto Marcello: Cantata 'Chiaro e limpido fonte': Aria ... Les Arts Florissants/Max Emanuel Cencic/William Christie

19. Bendetto Marcello: Cantata 'Chiaro e limpido fonte': Recit... Les Arts Florissants/Max Emanuel Cencic/Philippe Jaroussky...

20. Bendetto Marcello: Cantata 'Chiaro e limpido fonte': Duett... Les Arts Florissants/Max Emanuel Cencic/Philippe Jaroussky...

21. Bendetto Marcello: Cantata 'Chiaro e limpido fonte': Recit... Les Arts Florissants/Max Emanuel Cencic/Philippe Jaroussky...

22. Bendetto Marcello: Cantata 'Chiaro e limpido fonte': Duett... Les Arts Florissants/Max Emanuel Cencic/Philippe Jaroussky...

23. Benedetto Marcello: Cantata 'Tirsi e Fileno': Duetto No.1:... Philippe Jaroussky/Les Arts Florissants/Max Emanuel Cencic...

24. Alessandro Scarlatti: 'Nel cor del cor mio' Les Arts Florissants/Max Emanuel Cencic/Philippe Jaroussky...
Composer: ALESSANDRO SCARLATTI
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9 of 12 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Brilliant countertenor duets, 15 Nov 2011
This review is from: Duetti (Audio CD)
There are many recital CDs with duets from the Baroque, many of them sung by a soprano and an alto, but normally, those are women ... and the albums splendid. That Baroque duets sung by two countertenors can sound at least as good and present the most euphonious and virtuoso musical dialoguing thinkable, comes as a bit of a surprise. Especially Philippe Jaroussky, who sings in the soprano range all through the album, shines with his incredibly clear voice tone, perfect modulation and deeply moving interpretation all through, and with a coloratura technique that is simply stunning. The voice of Max E. Cencic, who mostly sings in the alto range, has its rough edges, the tone in the middle register is often harsh, and in the higher range and with some of the more complex passages he sounds quite strained, but together with Jaroussky he obviously does his best, and the result is very pleasant. Not forgotten should be the excellent "Les Arts Florissants" chamber ensemble with basso continuo and two violins which is led and inspired by the great William Christie ... to whom, by the way, the career of Cencic owes a lot. And before all that, the today mostly unknown brilliant composers Benedetto Marcello, Giovanni Bononcini, Francesco Conti, Nicola Porpora and Francesco Mancini (everyone knows Alessandro Scarlatti) composed simply wonderful chamber duets and cantatas, which truly deserve to be heard more often.
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5.0 out of 5 stars two great artists, 17 Mar 2013
By 
J. Gabrielson (Kirkland, Wa) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: Duetti (Audio CD)
Both singers are in top form. I won't add much to what previous positive reviews had to say except to recommend that lovers of this art form should snap up any album they produce.
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5.0 out of 5 stars Duetti, 12 Jan 2013
By 
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This review is from: Duetti (Audio CD)
This is a first rate recording of some of the best period duets for counter-tenors and is wonderfully performed, particularly by Jaroussky. I would recommend this Cd and this seller to anyone who is interested in this period of music-making.
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Duetti by Nicola Porpora (Audio CD - 2011)
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