mid-week music: love duets!

Il ritorno d’Ulisse, from Beaune festival in 2010, as covered by npr here.

I wanted to embed the NPR intro here but wp made it completely impossible.. so now we get this funny thing (if it loads on your computer, i learned from here, i prefer the player to play right on this page but it won’t.. at least the animation is cool! if you don’t see a cute “Ulisse” box, your computer is blocking it, like mine 🙂 ):

As hinted from the cover story, it took all 3 hours before we get to hear *two* happily-ever-after duets: The first one is not exactly by the book, I hear it as a very clear duet however: finally a crack of cheerfulness from Penelope as she floated on the entire string section (their music entirely repeat and complement each other). Then Ulisse entered for the official finale:

Nicely, i’ve just also discovered the school library has VK’s dvd version!! the weekend is now booked :-).
Edit: libretto:

Illustratevi o cieli,
rinfioratevi o prati,
aure gioite.
Gl’augelletti cantando,
i rivi mormorando hor si rallegrino.
Quell’herbe verdeggianti,
quell’onde sussurranti hor si consolino,
già ch’è sorta felice dal cenere troian la mia fenice.

Ulisse, Penelope
Sospirato mio sole.
Rinnovata mia luce.
Porto quieto e riposo.
Bramato, sì, ma caro.
Per te gl’andati affanni a benedir imparo.
Non si rammenti più de’ tormenti, tutto è piacer.
Fuggan dai petti dogliosi affetti, tutto è goder.
Del piacer, del goder venuto è ’l dì.
Sì, vita, sì, sì, core, sì, sì.

About thả diều
writing-challenged opera-addict

11 Responses to mid-week music: love duets!

  1. thả diều says:

    wow, the contrast!! esp. in the orchestra. very interesting tempo too, her phrasing is very different! and the piccolo joined in with her in duet, very much like a dance! And the final duet, almost sounds like a different duet, and flute!
    (ps- note the pretty boy in the background!)

  2. dehggial says:

    oh, pretty boy! you just made my day 😉 hilarious seeing him in Monteverdi. And the other ones are all right 😉

    the best thing with Monteverdi is that you can do pretty much anything you like without an army of people wiggling their fingers that it’s not “what Monteverdi would’ve wanted” as we don’t know what he wanted (haha). As long as you keep it within that 17th century sound you can make this or that instrument carry the tune and god knows what you can do with the recit-y bits…

    this Fall’s Barbican’s Ulisse just got a change of Penelope (Christine Rice dropped out) so we’ll get one I never heard of (Barbara Kozelj). I hope she’s good! It would be nice to discover a new voice.

    • thả diều says:

      now the secret is out on the real reason you *really* wanted to visit munich 😉
      i find Monteverdi quite interesting to listen to because of the style, singers would end up falling into the over-emoting trap (esp. for something like the 10min lament of Penelope’s, or the equiv. of Ulisse’s..), so it’s always interesting to listen to new mezzo/contralto taking a hack at phrasing it!

      • dehggial says:

        I remember there used to be (still is?) a video on youtube with a mix of 5 Penelope laments. I thought all were interesting in their own way and waaaaaaaay different from each other. To my surprise nobody butchered it (ok, none of those 5 and they were all experienced singers…).

        (yes, my bosom is secretly heaving for dreamy tenors 😉 )

        • thả diều says:

          oh? i’ll search for that mix _later_.. got derailed again on the puppet show 😀

          • dehggial says:

            I had that clip you posted on repeat for a good while today (obviously couldn’t get enough of pretty boy 😉 ).

          • thả diều says:

            and i was wondering why you kept getting on toes at bayerische staatsoper even though Harteros was clearly in view 😉

            i really like her first “duet” with the strings! it’s truly like a dance, in fact you can see her dancing and playing the air piano with her fingers! Am still trying to warm to the finale duet.. it’s got this grand scale to it.. and strangely if i didn’t hear the first clip from beaune i might have missed the jolly tune :-)…

          • dehggial says:

            well, I sleep with the Zurich Tito under the pillow for a reason 😉

            the first “duet” is too cute. Playful Penelope, who knew.

          • thả diều says:

            yes, another oper-buddy commandment: leave other’s under-pillow treasure(s) alone.

          • dehggial says:

            quite! you never know what you mind find there (squashed singers).

          • thả diều says:

            ps- your pretty boy sings very lovely here!! very nice when he doesn’t shout.. (though funnily i kept getting him confused with both the other 2 guys there! they all sound about the same, w/ nasal “effect”.. but his phrasing is really nice)

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