Thursday, September 19, 2013

Prince Philippe and Baroque Love Songs

As one often does when one is procrastinating (in my case, from packing to move to England), I found myself in a section of youtube that I little expected to be. Discovered an incredible French countertenor named Philippe Jaroussky.

Here was the first video I stumbled into- a Vivaldi aria called Vedro con mio diletto:

Damn. I like how he sings "l'alma dell'alma mia" (soul of my soul) in the second half, with that little lilt.

And then, I found this video of Prince Philippe singing with French-Canadian contralto Marie-Nicole Lemieux, whose velvety, dulcet tones meld so perfectly with his. So sensual it's almost obscene. This is Pur ti miro by Monteverdi from a 17th century opera about the pyromaniac tyrant Nero and his ruthless and calculating lover Poppaea. This opera totally goes the opposite route of a morality play, with these illicit lovers triumphing over everyone who tries to stand in their way of being together. And not only that- they get such a sensual, gorgeous love duet at the end. But I guess the dramatic irony of knowing that Nero kicked Poppaea to death after the story ends just makes it more bittersweet?

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