A Due Alti / Mineccia, Pe
La Venexiana; Pé, Raffaele; Cavina, Claudio; Mineccia, Filippo
Filippo Mineccia and Raffaele Pe – two of the most compelling international countertenor voices currently around – unite to deliver a recital of Baroque vocal duets, in A due alti, a programme for Glossa which demonstrates that there was much music of quality being composed in this genre beyond that by Handel. Testament to that is the increasing interest on record in recent years of vocal music by the other composers represented on this recording – Steffani, Bononcini, Caresana and Marcello. Such was the brisk demand in aristocratic circles for these intimate duets from the 1680s onwards (even princesses commissioned them!), especially up through Italy and across the German lands, that active opera composers such as the London rivals, Handel and Bononcini, were as attracted to them as were fervent detractors of opera such as Marcello. In them the Mediterranean sensuality of the vocal line was reconciled with the Northern European taste for counterpoint. With the voices of Pe and Mineccia blending attractively together or taking on distinct characters as demanded by the music, Claudio Cavina brings all his innate musical understanding and experience in shaping this beguiling music and bringing out its delicate subtleties from the cello, harp, theorbo and harpsichord which make up La Venexiana on this occasion. Stefano Russomanno delves into the history of the vocal duet and provides a fascinating commentary to the mellifluous music-making of the two countertenors.