My friend Richard in New York sent me the link to this lovely duet by three of the musical greats of the second half of the 20th century: Victoria de los Angeles, Dietrich Fischer-Dieskau and Gerald Moore. It’s a simple canzonetta by Johann Christian Bach to a text by Pietro Metastasio, the prolific 18th century librettist and poet. Though DFD was always the consummate artist it was Mme de los Angeles that sent me into, much needed I might add, transports of delight on a less than auspicious evening. There just isn’t a voice like that around anymore. Thanks to Richard for brightening my evening.
Ah, remember, beautiful Irene,
that you swore to be faithful to me.
Ah return to that first love.
What comfort is left me, what hope,
for what should I live if your heart is no longer mine!
Who knows the secrets of my soul if you do not know them,
lovely eyes of my love?
You, who, from the first instant when we loved,
awoke hidden fire, hidden love in my soul,
you must know it!
This is taken from duet album that was withdrawn many years ago but fortunately has reappeared on iTunes. It includes a beautiful version of Ar Hyd y Nos (All Through the Night) in a setting by Haydn from one of his volumes of songs of the British Isles.
Metastasio’s lyric is probably better know to classical music lovers in a setting by Donizetti that is a favourite of divas wanting to show their bel canto chops.
On this day in 1249: Coronation of Alexander III as King of Scots.