Sara Mingardo and Francesca Biliotti at Wigmore Hall

Giorgio Dal Monte, Francesca Biliotti, Sara Mingardo, Giovanni Bellini

Three years after my first trip to Wigmore Hall to hear Sara Mingardo sing Italian laments and songs, she’s back, this time with Francesca Biliotti, another contralto under Sara Mingardo’s training wings (she’s been training a lot of the young generation to sing baroque, very endearing!) . Accompanying them is the young harpsichordist Giorgio Dal Monte who, if you follow Sara Mingardo, would recognize as the one in all of her masterclass photos (jeah, it’s getting to the point I now recognizing all younger singers and accompanists who collaborate often with SM 🙂 ), and another young theorbo player Giovanni Bellini, who i have not heard before (I’ve seen her often with Ivano Zanenghi, who I spotted in Venice) . The repertoire covers wonderful duets from Monteverdi. Thanks to Dehggi and her connection, we got row 4 !! from which i have to say how impressed i’m how powerful Sara Mingardo’s voice is, along with the amazing level of depth, details, colors, and resonance. We both had a feeling perhaps Biliotti was a bit to tight when things got started, while Mingardo was completely at ease — i breath Monteverdi in my sleep, [wink], [soft smile] (sigh). It’s also quite endearing the amount of contact she made to Biliotti at the end of each piece.

The first duet, I ‘d have to listen more to get used to as there was a lot of recit and “conversation”.. The bits not needing any re-listening to get used to is … o.m.g.. d.r.o.o.l.i.n.g… “Vorrei baciarti” . What i so love is also how into it S.Mingardo’s expression was, both vocally and physically in her body and facial expression. Actually here one could also distinguish that without knowing the words you can understand so much in SM’s depth compared to Biliotti, who I think will gain more expression with experience. Truly swoooooning… as soon as the piece finished i was already thinking: encore!! TWICE!! please!! This transitioned into “Voglio di vita uscir”, where, as you know, it’s got a fast tempo start, a very sharp turn into simply theorbo and S.Mingardo singing looong line of emotion and piani.. ahh… too precious.. The next two songs i’ll have to re-listen to catch on more details again.. The final being “Zefiro torna”, which D. apparently knew very well and reported having been waiting forever for mezzos/contraltos to sing in place of the only available CT version on tube.. well, this one was broadcast on bbc 3 radio, so yay! They were really having fun alternating their phrases, playful at times, so lovely to watch 🙂 . Imagine Yoda at a Monteverdi night club DJ-ing coloratora runs, jeah, that’s SM in this piece, with her knees bending, body swinging, and leaps in dynamics through those fast note runs. There were also 2 instrumental pieces, but you’ll have to excuse me as I didn’t really manage much, was all focusing on the luscious sound…

Claudio Monteverdi(1567-1643)
Settimo libro de madrigali
Ohimè, dov’è il mio ben, dov’è il mio core? ‘Romanesca’
Con che soavità, labbra odorate

Girolamo Frescobaldi(1583-1643)
Toccata nona

Claudio Monteverdi
Settimo libro de madrigali
Vorrei baciarti
Voglio di vita uscir, voglio che cadano
Settimo libro de madrigali
Non è di gentil core
O come sei gentile

Giovanni Kapsberger(c.1580-1651)
Canzone prima

Claudio Monteverdi
Zefiro torna e di soavi accenti

The noon concert ended with Sara Mingardo hugging and landing warm kisses to her young colleague… ahh, too warm to handel… of course we went back stage to say hi to her, she’s sooooooooooo sweet 🙂 , i of course mentioned I heard her in Detroit and Washington DC (oooooh woooow she replied 😉 ), then Penelope in Hamburg, and of course pointing to Dehggi who joined in for mentioning us hearing her in Dario in Turin, to both she was very happy to hear. I mean we both looked a little bit youngsters who oozed enthusiasm for Monteverdi (to which she said “I love” (singing Monteverdi)) and we parted with her extending her hands out to shake mine and Dehggi’s ❤ ❤ ❤ . ahhh… oh jes, we did ask her for a photo, she was soooooooo charming , with big smile: sure, without my glasses (sooooooooo cute) and so we flanked her.. i snapped it… to our disappointment the camera malfunctioned so in the end it did not register the photo we all saw in the preview… but altogether, yours truly left with smushy knees (ahhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhh) and the lovely exchange in the green room after such a lovely intimate noon concert. ❤ . (no i don't need help yet). you can relisten to the program here. (please excuse spelling and grammar errors.. am off to download that broadcast to re-listen…)

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music for wednesday


(please also note the conductor and the band!! (Marc Minkowski and Les Musiciens du Louvre!) )

Nathalie Stutzmann stream alert


today, 9/May/2018, live from China, Nathalie Stutzmann conducting her orchestra Orfeo55 and , if i’m correct (need verification), also performing music from her “heroes from shadow” “Quella Fiamma” cd . You can follow this link here, i believe.

Time: 1:30pm central europe time, 7:30pm local time, 7:30am East Coast time (grrrrrrrrrrrr, who can be awake?, arrrrgh).

music to start wednesday

(jeah jeah, i know, am a creature of habit.. love the swing very much. per usual, please excuse the religious content.)

music to start saturday

music to bridge Wed-Thur

clip from a channel called “Barock’n roll”, very appropriate! I have been quite curious for a while where this aria fits in, especially because E.Haïm seems to cut it in all her versions… here it is, along with the growling (in low notes) and finger pointing! Bonus: Mezzo in glasses and lots of female players in the orchestra.


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Händel Il trionfo del tempo e del disinganno; Disinganno’s aria (translation text also thanks to the poster).

Chi già fu del biondo crine
consigliero, al suol cadrà.

Soffra pur le sue ruine,
se sovente egli compose
con i gigli e con le rose
tanti inganni alla beltà

He who was once the counsellor of
blond tresses shall fall to the ground.

Let him indeed suffer ruin,
since so often he devised,
with lilies and roses,
so many deceits for beauty.

Mingardo and Invernizzi radio alert

link

It was earlier today from Amsterdam, luckily still available for relistening, very lovely, Scalatti’s Stabat Mater. Don’t miss the (waaaaay too short) very charming interview at intermission to both Roberta Invernizzi and Sara Mingardo. Too bad, because it was in English, there wasn’t much the singers could say… but still quite lovely to “hear” how these two singers interact.. and the funny thing that they have to travel all the way to Amsterdam to sing this lovely piece.

The orchestral piece during intermission is also super lovely, by the same orchestra Cappella Neapolitana led by Antonio Florio.

I now on 3rd repeat.. but will continue to the end, for Veneziano – La passione secondo Giovanni.
(i quit, couldn’t handel their voice for too long.. and excerpts include two CTs in very small voices.. whatever.. please listen to the excerpt below for why I’d like to hear more mezzos/contraltos in Bach… and please, when will i ever get to hear SM singing it?!)

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While there, you can also check out Ton Koopman’s conducing Bach Matthäus Passion today, with a contralto (Wiebke Lehmkuhl) . It’s even quite rare now to find a mezzo/contralto singing Bach Matthäus and St. John Passion! So i’m listening with open ears. And I’ve already liked Klaus Mertens , in his previous recording with Koopman.

J.S. Bach – Matthäus Passion BWV 244
Koninklijk Concertgebouworkest
Ton Koopman, dirigent
Tilman Lichdi, tenor (Evangelist)
Manuel Walser, bas (Christus)
Christine Landshamer, sopraan
Wiebke Lehmkuhl, alt
Mauro Peter, tenor
Klaus Mertens, bas
Amsterdam Baroque Choir
Nederlands Kamerkoor
Nationaal Kinderkoor

ah yes, veeeery warm and nice tone, and a nice bounce to this lovely aria:
Buß und Reu (alto)

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of course, i should take an opportunity to mention the last time i saw these two singers together…