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Another series of duets are offered by mezzo Cecilia Bartoli and cellist Sol Gabetta. Never judge a CD by its cover, in this case a curious photo of the two women in cocktail dresses, both on bicycles, one twirling a parasol, the other clutching a cello. Anyone expecting some jolly Neapolitan romps will be disappointed by the seriousness that lies within: a series of Baroque duets for voice and cello, including world premiere recordings of two pieces by Caldara and one by Porpora. Bartoli is on her best vocal behaviour, so fear not for any machine- gun coloratura, but enjoy a smooth vocal line. In fact the selection could do with an injection of something to offer a bit more contrast and pep – qualities eventually found in Gabetta’s Boccherini Concerto that closes the album. Meanwhile relish some beautifully expressive work from both performers, the aria by Gabrielli from the oratorio San Sigismondo being particularly moving, with its echoes or ‘sighs’.

Francis Muzzu Read the full review on Agora Classica

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