Trained as a singer, Steffani was an impeccable composer for the voice. His ingratiating melodies, held by sure-footed harmony, subtly convey every nuance of the words that he set. In his chamber duets these qualities are enhanced by a richness of vocal textures ranging from parallel motion to intricate counterpoint. Like the trio sonatas of Corelli (their instrumental counterparts), the duets of Steffani were the pinnacle of their genre, providing models for Handel and others. That the magnificent examples on this CD are presented as a story demonstrates that they approach the subject of love from an ingenious variety of angles.
Composer: Agostino Steffani
Performing artists: Jory Vinikour
August 1, 2018