Joyce DiDonato‘s new album is launched today in North America and Warner Music is giving readers of this blog the opportunity to win one of five signed copies.
To open the Wigmore Hall season last year, DiDonato teamed up with Antonio Pappano on the piano, and gave two recitals, which were recorded, and the result is the double-cd Joyce and Tony which boasts one of the best pieces of cover-art that classical music has seen in a long while.
The first part of the programme has an Italianate flavour , kicking off with Haydn's fiendish Arianna a Naxos: a twenty-minute concentration of contrasting emotions and DiDonato and Pappano make the most of each one. After two Rossini canzoni they interpret Francesco Santoliquido's I canti della sera (Evening Songs) written at the beginning of the twentieth century – four songs which are well worth airing – and finish with that old favourite, Non ti scordar di me, which Pappano lends appropriate period touches, including a slightly slushy rubato!
The mainly American second half is a winning mix, with some of the finest examples of the songs that make up the musical theatre canon as well as a nod to DiDonato's ancestry with Havelock Nelson's touching Irish song, Lovely Jimmie. The Wigmore crowd appreciatively lap up DiDonato's easy banter and Pappano's witty accompaniment. Berlin's I Love a Piano and Bolcom's cabaret song Amor are delightful, but even better is DiDonato's approach to the more intimate songs on the programme: Moross's languid Lazy Afternoon; Rogers's tender My Funny Valentine; and All the Things You Are and Can't Help Lovin' Dat Man from that supreme tunesmith, Jerome Kern. Bliss.
Warner's have put the discs out on the Erato label and are offering “gramilano” Twitter followers five signed copies of Joyce and Tony to celebrate today's release.
CLICK ON THE RETWEET LINK BELOW – TO RETWEET THIS TWEET FROM MY TIMELINE – FOR A CHANCE TO WIN
— Graham Spicer (@gramilano) September 10, 2015
Graham Spicer is a writer, director and photographer in Milan, blogging (under the name ‘Gramilano') about dance, opera, music and photography for people “who are a bit like me and like some of the things I like”. He was a regular columnist for Opera Now magazine and wrote for the BBC until transferring to Italy.
His scribblings have appeared in various publications from Woman's Weekly to Gay Times, and he wrote the ‘Danza in Italia' column for Dancing Times magazine.