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The Playlist composed of Duets of Love
We have compiled a playlist that crosses a whole range of love feelings, touching all the strings that music is capable of: it will thrill you!

This playlist is all composed of love duets and spans the four centuries of opera history: it ranges from the early seventeenth century to the twentieth century, from baroque and eighteenth-century opera to Belcanto, Verdi and Puccini to Verismo.

The emotions that composers and librettists have enclosed in these musical caskets are as varied as the nuances of love: from the loving tenderness reminiscent of Peynet's sweethearts to the romantic sighs of "tell me you love me", from ecstatic mutual contemplation (" Caro, bella ") to the passion of the senses, from" Get the ring "to betrayal; from love the more intense the more hindered, to the inevitable love stronger than death.

A mix of famous music and pieces to discover, by famous composers and authors that not everyone knows - there are not only the Icy little hand of La Bohème and love mysterious and haughty of the Traviata. . .

Choose your favorite piece.

Valentine's Day, the perfect Playlist
A mix of famous music and songs to discover, by famous composers and authors that not everyone knows - there are not only the Gelida hand of La Bohème and the mysterious and haughty love of La Traviata ...
Choose your favorite piece.
Playlists
Poppæa Sabina (about 30 - Oplontis, 65) was the second wife of the Roman emperor Nero, and therefore empress consort of the Roman Empire from 62 to his death. Historians of antiquity see few qualities in her (apart from her beauty) and describe her intrigues to become empress. Only fifteen centuries later Claudio Monteverdi gave a less gloomy portrait of him in his last work, highlighting his love for the emperor.

Let's start from the beginning of the opera, from Claudio Monteverdi (Cremona 1567 - Venice 1643) - the composer who marks the transition from Renaissance music to Baroque music, the author of what is considered the first masterpiece in the history of melodrama, The Orpheus (1607)

The coronation of Poppea, it is instead the last and most innovative work of the great Cremonese composer; it is also one of the first plays for music to have been written not for a court theater, but for a public theater, the Teatro Santi Giovanni e Paolo in Venice, built by the Grimani in 1638, just one year after the San Cassiano, the first ever public theater. The coronation of Poppea  it debuted there during the Carnival of 1643.

Structured in a prologue and three acts on a libretto by Gian Francesco Busenello, the work revolves around the figure of the emperor Nero, and has among its sources the Annals by Tacitus and The Lives of the Caesars of Suetonius. The story of the scandalous marriage of the emperor Nero to Poppea, preceded by the death of Seneca and the repudiation of Octavia, was familiar to the public. Without judgments of a moral nature, the work stages a crescendo of events, mixing the tragic, pathetic and comic register with a great sense of theater.

The sensual duet between Nero and Poppea, newlyweds, constitutes the end of the work:

While I look at you,

While I enjoy you,

While I hold you,

While you get bored,

I no longer suffer,

I don't die anymore,

Either my life, or my darling.

I am yours ...

I am yours ...

The Demophon it is one of the most successful librettos by Pietro Metastasio, so much so that there are over 70 sets to music. Among these, the work of Niccolò Jommelli (Aversa 1714 - Naples 1774) rediscovered ten years ago by Riccardo Muti and set up as part of his project dedicated to the great Neapolitan school of the eighteenth century, co-produced by the Ravenna Festival, the Pentecost Festival of Salzburg and the Opéra national de Paris. The Demophon by Jommelli - performed for the first time in June 1743 at the Obizzi Theater in Padua - is a lyrical drama in three acts with a very complicated plot: a game between those who are and those who are not. Demophon is the king of Thrace, but Timante is not his son, as he is led to believe. Dircea is believed to be the daughter of Matesi, while she is the secret daughter of Demofoonte. Cherinto and Timante are not brothers, but it will only be learned in the last few bars. For almost three hours, therefore, a story is followed in which the identity of the characters is not what will be discovered in the end. Suddenly, leaving the viewer dismayed as if he had come out of a labyrinth, the story melts, and we quickly reach the revelation of the happy ending. Dircea and Timante, secret spouses, give us a magnificent duet: Timante Ah stop my love. Listen. Dircea What do you want? Timid The right I ask you, my sweet support, lastly, a pledge of love and faith.



The name of the composer, Niccolò Jommelli, certainly unfamiliar to most people, is absolutely to be rediscovered and listened to: he is one of the major representatives of the Neapolitan school, at the time famous throughout Europe thanks to the splendid orchestra he had created when he was Maestro di Chapel in Stuttgart, at the court of Charles Eugene II of Wüttemberg, where he worked for a long period, from 1753 to 1769.

Georg Friedrich Händel, or George Frideric Haendel (Halle 1685 - London 1759), was one of the greatest composers of the European Baroque, counted among the greatest in the entire history of music. After an initial training in his native Halle and later in Hamburg, he spent four years in Italy (1706 - 1710) before settling in London in 1712; became a naturalized British citizen in 1727 and spent the rest of his life in England.

Handel's compositions include 25 oratorios, more than 120 cantatas, trios and duets, numerous arias, chamber music, sacred music for the English court, odes and serenades, 18 large and 12 concertos for organ and as many as 42 operas.

Not only did his artistic production extend to all musical genres of his time, but he was also very active as an opera impresario.

The Julius Caesar (original title Julius Caesar in Egypt) is an opera in three acts on a libretto in Italian by Nicola Francesco Haym. The libretto derives from the homonymous one by Giacomo Francesco Bussani, which had been performed for the first time in 1677 in Venice with music by Antonio Sartorio.

Handel's opera was first performed on February 20, 1724 at the King's Theater in London. For the occasion, the libretto, translated into English by the composer himself, was made available to the public to facilitate understanding of the plot. In the cast of the highest level the two protagonists shone, real stars of the time: the prima donna Francesca Cuzzoni and the castrato Francesco Bernardi, the famous  Senesino, protagonist of 17 Haendelian works. The success was sensational, and the work was resumed several times; today it is one of the most loved and most represented Baroque works.

It tells the famous story of Julius Caesar in Egypt, and ends with the magnificent love duet between Caesar and Cleopatra:

CLEOPATRA

Dear!

CAESAR

Beautiful!

CLEOPATRA AND CAESAR

Most lovable beauty

It will never be found

Of your beautiful face.
...
... so the bitter pain came from the heart,

and only love, constancy and faith remain there. 

Rodelinda, Queen of the Lombards  is an opera in three acts on a libretto by Nicola Haym, in those years a regular collaborator of Händel, based on the libretto by Antonio Salvi set to music by Giacomo Antonio Perti (Pratolino 1710) and inspired in turn by the tragedy Pertharite, roi des Lombards by Corneille.

The work premiered with great success at the King's Theater in London on February 13, 1725, with an exceptional cast (already used

by Handel for  Tamerlane last year). The title role was played by the first woman Francesca Cuzzoni, that of Bertarido dal Senesino. The work was a great success and was replicated thirteen times. In modern times Rodelinda marks the revival of interest in Handel's works: in 1920 it was the composer's first opera presented in Göttingen by Oskar Hagen, the initiator of the Händel-Renaissance.

The story dates back to an episode narrated in Paolo Diacono's Historia Langobardorum and takes place in the seventh century in Milan: the Lombard throne was usurped by the Duke of Benevento Grimoaldo, and the legitimate heir Bertarido fled abandoning his wife Rodelinda and son Flavio. . Grimoaldo, promised to Bertarido's sister Eduige, wants to marry Rodelinda to strengthen her power, but the queen refuses his attention and mourns her husband who is believed dead.

An intricate plot full of twists leads to the happy ending, in which Rodelinda and her husband can happily reunite in the general riot.

The duet we have chosen closes the II. Act of the opera:

RODELINDA

IS

BERTARIDO

I embrace you,

and more than death, harsh and strong,

this farewell is for my heart,

that your sen from mine divides.

Ah my life,

ah my darling, if I don't die,

that anxiety is more tyrant,

that gives death, and does not kill.

Concerti di Classica per festeggiare il Natale
A musical portrait of Frederick, Prince of Wales, and his sisters by Philip Mercier, dated 1733, using Kew Palace as an en plein-air backdrop

Giovanni Paisiello (Taranto 1740 - Naples 1816), one of the best known opera players of the late 18th century, is one of the last great representatives of the Neapolitan musical school; leading exponent of musical events in the last thirty years of the eighteenth century, he made the Neapolitan comedy for music a genre of international success, appreciated throughout Europe.

Although he practiced almost every musical genre of his time (especially in the sacred sphere), leaving cantatas, oratories, masses, symphonies, concerts for harpsichord and orchestra, quartets, sonatas, the historical importance of Paisiello is linked to his theatrical production, which it includes a hundred works, both serious and funny. He made a decisive contribution to the development of the latter genre, but with his comedy for music Nina, or be it mad for love (1789) also pointed the way to a new proto-romantic taste.

Paisiello, trained in Naples, where he lived and worked for most of his life, also had a significant international career that led him to cross Europe to St. Petersburg, where he stayed from 1776 to 1784 in the service of Tsarina Catherine II. and after stops in Warsaw and Vienna, he went to Paris (1802-04) at the explicit request of Napoleon.

Nina, or be it mad for love it made its debut at the Belvedere of San Leucio (Caserta) in June 1789; is a musical comedy to a libretto by Giovanni Battista Lorenzi, based on Giuseppe Carpani's translation of Nina ou la Folle par amour by Benoît-Joseph Marsollier de Vivetières, in turn libretto for an opera by Nicolas Dalayrac. The work enjoyed tremendous success, and remained on the bill throughout Europe until the nineteenth century.

Paisiello's work is innovative for the intensive use of choirs and for the dramaturgy that mixes the serious and the comic; above all, we see the beginning of a change of cultural climate, which will lead to a new romantic sensibility.

Nina it also gave rise to a particular melodramatic vein centered on a heroine with an unstable psyche, a role that required extreme skill as an actress as well as a songwriter, and which will soon experience great fortune.

From Nina we chose the tender duet of Nina and Lindoro (2nd act):

LINDORO

Oh lucky moment!   

What content, loved well.

......

NINA

I love you.

LINDORO

To me?

NINA

Yes I love you, yes.

NINA

Ah! What lovely moments!

These dear and sweet accents

Trust each one I will repeat.

….

NINA

By my side will you each be?

LINDORO

I will never leave from you.

… ..

Vincenzo Bellini (Catania 1801 - Puteaux 1835), one of the most famous operas of the nineteenth century, with Gioacchino Rossini and Gaetano Donizetti is considered the composer par excellence of the Italian Belcanto era.

In his short life he composed a total of ten works, among which the most famous and represented are A sleepwalkerNorm is The Puritans.

Bellini's music has been defined as a singular marriage between classicism and romanticism. The form is classic, the pathos of his works romantic, where passions and feelings take on great importance; the point of connection between the two trends is the melody, those melodies long long much appreciated also by Verdi. And as a chiseller of melodies of clear beauty, evocative of dreamy, sensual and melancholy atmospheres, Bellini enjoys an undying fame.

Born into a family of musicians, trained in Naples, he enjoyed success with his work at a very young age Bianca and Gernando presented at the San Carlo in Naples in 1825. The following year the famous impresario Domenico Barbaja commissioned him a work for the Teatro alla Scala, where this is -  The pirate (1827) - both The foreigner (1829) achieved triumphal success.

After having composed other works for various Italian theaters, where he collected many triumphs and some failures (the sensational fiasco of Norm at the Scala on December 26, 1831, which later became one of his most acclaimed works), Bellini lived briefly in London in 1833, before leaving for Paris. Here he came into contact with some of the greatest composers in Europe, including Chopin, and his musical language was enriched with new colors and solutions; Rossini's influence secured him a commission for the Théâtre-Italien, for which he composed The puritans (1835), the last of his works. His career and life were tragically cut short that same year by an intestinal infection that led to his death at the age of 34.

-

La sonnambula, premiered in 1831 at the Teatro Carcano in Milan, is a melodrama in two acts with a libretto by Felice Romani. With Norm is The Puritans constitutes the apex of Bellini's opera production.

For the creation of the opera Bellini could count on two extraordinary protagonists, the first woman Giuditta Pasta, one of the most famous singers of the century, and the tenor Giovanni Battista Rubini, a legend of the early nineteenth century opera.

The libretto is based on the ballet-pantomime (1827) and the  comédie-vaudeville (1819)  The Somnambule by Eugène Scribe.

The story is set in a Swiss village in an unspecified time; the inhabitants are celebrating the imminent marriage of the orphan Amina with the rich farmer Elvino. The feudal lord Rodolfo, returned home after his father's death, is preparing to stay at the inn, where suddenly a window opens through which Amina enters, in an evident state of sleepwalking.

She remains asleep on a sofa in the inn; Elvino, not believing in his sleepwalking, is certain of his infidelity and cancels the marriage. Amina's innocence becomes evident when she is seen walking on top of the rooftops - Elvino repents, the plot dissolves, and the work ends with the happy ending of the longed-for marriage.

From Sleepwalking comes one of the most famous arias of the opera repertoire, the sublime  Ah, he didn't believe he was looking at you; for our playlist we propose instead the duet of Amina and Elvino from Act I, scene I:

Elvino

Take: the ring I give you

That a di went to the altar

The blessed and dear alma

Who smiles on our love.

… ..

Spouses or we are.

Amina

Newlyweds! ...

Oh! Tender word

...

Gaetano Donizetti (Bergamo 1797 - 1848) is another great protagonist of the opera scene of the first half of the nineteenth century.

He is the author of over 70 works, the main of which are now represented in major theaters around the world. His vast musical production also includes a copious catalog of chamber lyrics, numerous cantatas, instrumental music and over 100 sacred compositions.

Among the best known works, L'Elisir d'amore, La Fille du régiment, Don Pasquale, Lucia di Lammermoor, Anna Bolena, Maria Stuarda, Roberto Devereux.

Born in Bergamo into a very poor family, at the age of nine Donizetti was welcomed into the Charitable School of Music in Bergamo, directed by Giovanni Simone Mayr, and then continued his studies in Bologna.

The first recognition came in 1822 with the representation of Zoraide of Grenade (Rome, Argentina Theater); in 1830 Donizetti experienced his first major international success with theAnna Bolena, written for the Teatro Carcano in Milan, followed by another masterpiece, this time in the comic genre, The elixir of love (1832).

The most famous of Donizetti's serious works, Lucia of Lammermoor, debuted at the Teatro San Carlo in Naples on September 26, 1835 with a first-rate cast: the roles of the protagonists were in fact played by Fanny Tacchinardi (Lucia), Gilbert Duprez (Edgardo) and Domenico Cosselli (Enrico). The first was a triumph, and Lucia soon became an international success, being presented in London ne! 1838, in Paris (in the French version) in 1839, in New Orleans in 1841.

The work, tragic drama in two parts and three acts, it is composed on a libretto by Salvadore Cammarano, taken from The Bride of Lammermoor (Lammermoor's Bride) by Walter Scott, considered the father of the historical novel, and author at the time very much in vogue.

Among the most famous pieces of the opera are the scene of Lucia's madness, the poignant final cabaletta You who explained your wings to God, considered one of the finest tenor opera pieces, and the poignant duet They will come to you on the aure:

 Lucia, then Edgardo:

They will come to you on the aure

my burning sighs,

you will hear murmuring in the sea

the echo of my complaints ...

Thinking that I groans

I pass myself and of pain,

shed a bitter tear

on this pledge then! ...

Don Pasquale is a comic opera in three acts by Gaetano Donizetti, with a libretto by Giovanni Ruffini and Donizetti himself, and is based on the playful drama of Angelo Anelli Ser Marcantonio, set to music by Stefano Pavesi in 1810.

The first representation of the Don Pasquale took place at the Théâtre-Italien in Paris on January 3, 1843 with an exceptional cast, formed by Giulia Grisi (Norina), Luigi Lablache (Don Pasquale), Antonio Tamburini (Malatesta), Mario (Ernesto) and Federico Lablache (notary) in the presence of the composer. Donizetti was in the prime of his artistic maturity and the work, which achieved immediate success, is one of his masterpieces in the comic genre; it is generally considered the high point of the 19th century comic opera tradition and, in fact, marks its end.

Don Pasquale is an elderly and rich bachelor who is angry with his nephew Ernesto, the future heir of his fortunes, because he refuses to marry a rich and noble spinster as his uncle would like. Ernesto is instead in love with Norina, a young and pretty widow of modest conditions. Don Pasquale then decides to take a wife to punish the young man and disinherit him ...

From the third act, the languid duet of Ernesto and Norina, Come back to tell me you love me:

Ernesto and Norina

Come back to tell me you love me,

tell me that you are mine / mine;

when your well you call me

life doubles in me.

...

Giuseppe Verdi (Roncole, Busseto, 1813 - Milan 1901) needs no introduction: the greatest Italian opera player of the nineteenth century, one of the most celebrated of all time, is the author of unforgettable music and works among the most loved and represented in all the world.

A masked ball underwent a troubled path before arriving on the scenes of the Apollo Theater in Rome on February 17, 1859. The work, originally planned for Naples, in fact had to undergo numerous changes dictated by the first Bourbon and then pontifical censorship, due to the subject based on a fact that really happened: Gustavo III, king of Sweden from 1771 to 1792, was wounded by a man of the court during a ball on March 16, 1792, which caused his death a few days later.

The story is resumed in Eugène Scribe's libretto for grand opera by Daniel Auber Gustave III, ou Le Bal masqué, which had debuted in Paris in 1833, and was still reaping successes; it was set to music several more times before becoming the source of the  Masked ball by Verdi. In the libretto by Antonio Somma then set to music by Verdi, precisely because of the censorship, the place of the action is moved to Boston.

From Act II, scene II the passionate and desperate love duet of Riccardo and Amelia:

Riccardo

I am with you.

Amelia

Great God!

….

Amelia

But, Riccardo, I belong to someone else ...

Of the most trusted friend ...

Riccardo

Shut up, Amelia ...

Amelia

I am of him,

That will give life to you.

… ..

Riccardo

My life ... the universe,

For a saying ...

Amelia

O pitiful heaven!

Riccardo

Say you love me ...

Amelia

Ah go, Riccardo!

Riccardo

One saying ...

Amelia

Ebben, yes, I love you ...

Giuseppe Verdi in Russia

Othello, Verdi's masterpiece of maturity, is his penultimate opera. It made its debut in Milan on February 5, 1887 as part of the Teatro alla Scala Carnival season. The libretto, by Arrigo Boito, is taken from Shakespeare's tragedy of the same name. 

Verdi returned to the scene after a very long silence, which could seem definitive - the previous opera, Aida, was from 1871 and returned with an innovative musical language, in which closed forms appear increasingly dissolved in a continuous musical flow.

From Act I, one of Verdi's most intense love duets: Otello and Desdemona, Already in the dense night:

 

OTHELLO

Already in the dense night

All clamor dies out.

Already my heart quivering

It treats itself in this embrace and strengthens itself.

Thunder the war and the world sank

If after the immense anger

This immense love comes!

DESDEMONA

My proud warrior! How many torments,

how many sad sighs and how much hope

led us to sweet embraces!

Oh! How sweet it is to murmur together:

do you remember!

When you told the exile your life

And the proud events and your long sorrows,

and I listen to you with a kidnapped soul

in those fears and with the ecstasy in my heart.

...

OTHELLO

Death come! And catch me in ecstasy

Of this embrace

The supreme moment!

Such is the joy of the soul that I fear,

I fear that I will no longer be granted

this divine moment

in the unknown future of my destiny.

DESDEMONA

Disperses the skies the worries

And love don't change with the changing of the years.

...

OTHELLO

Ah! Joy floods me

Yes proudly ... how panting I lie ...

A kiss…

DESDEMONA

Othello!

OTHELLO

One kiss ... one more kiss,

Already the burning pleiad in the sea descends.

DESDEMONA

Late is the night.

OTHELLO

Come… Venus shines.

DESDEMONA

Othello!

Giacomo Puccini (Lucca 1858 - Brussels 1924), the most important Italian composer of the post-Verdian generation, was born in Lucca to a family of musicians: for many generations the Puccinis were masters of the Duomo chapel.

Considered one of the greatest and most significant operas in musical history, Puccini wrote only twelve operas, but most of them are masterpieces with perfect theatrical mechanisms, which have firmly entered the international opera repertoire: works such as  La Boheme (1896), Tosca (1900), Madama Butterfly (1903) and Turandot (1926) are repertory in most of the world theaters.

Manon Lescaut, Puccini's third opera, marks the composer's first major international success. The opera, in four acts, was staged at the Teatro Regio in Turin in 1903. The libretto, inspired by the novel by Abbot Antoine François Prévost Histoire du chevalier Des Grieux et de Manon Lescaut  (1731), had a difficult gestation - it passed into the hands of many writers, in particular Marco Praga, Domenico Oliva, Giuseppe Giacosa and Luigi Illica, before being set to music, so much so that it was published by Ricordi without the names of the authors.

The first performance, in the presence of the composer, was a resounding success: the work was resumed by various Italian theaters and paved the way for Puccini's international success: in the same year of his debut, But not it was staged in Buenos Aires, Rio de Janeiro, St. Petersburg and Madrid; in 1894 it was resumed in Prague, London, Montevideo, Philadelphia and Mexico City, in 1895 in Santiago de Chile, in 1898 it was staged at the Wallack's Theater in New York, in Athens and Amsterdam.

The duet You, you, love? You?  between Manon and Des Grieux in Act II:

BUT NOT

You, you, love? You?!

Ah! my immense love? … God!

DES GRIEUX

Ah, Manon!

BUT NOT

You don't love me

So more?

You loved me so much!

Oh, the long kisses! Oh, the long spell!

The sweet friend of yore waits

Your revenge.

Oh, don't look at me like that: it wasn't

Your pupil

So severe!

...

BUT NOT

I thought

To a future of light;

Love leads you here ...

I betrayed you, it's true!

At your feet I am!

I betrayed you!

Wretched tell me,

at your feet I am!

Ah! I want your forgiveness.

Don't deny it! I am perhaps

Della Manon of a day

Less attractive and beautiful?

DES GRIEUX

O temptress! And this

The ancient charm that blinds me!

BUT NOT

It is the charm of love; yield, I'm yours!

DES GRIEUX

I can't fight anymore! I am defeated!

Umberto Giordano (Foggia 1867 - Milan 1948), realist composer and exponent of the so-called 'Giovine Scuola' with Puccini, Mascagni, Leoncavallo and Cilea, had his first success with the opera Bad life, represented in Rome in 1892.

Other notable titles were Siberia (Milan 1903), Madame Sans-Gêne (New York 1915), The dinner of pranks (Milan 1924).

The best known works and still in the repertoire today, are however Fedora (Milan 1898) to whose success Enrico Caruso contributed decisively, who with this work obtained his first important success, and above all Andrea Chénier, Giordano's masterpiece.

The opera, with a libretto by Luigi Illica, is a historical milieu drama inspired by the life of the French poet André Chénier, who was executed 31 years after the guillotine of the French Revolution. The first, with a triumphal outcome, took place at La Scala in Milan in March 1896, starring the tenor Giuseppe Borgatti, the soprano Evelina Carrera and the baritone Mario Sammarco, the success was triumphal.

The dramatic story of the poet Chénier - first revolutionary and then proscribed by Robespierre - of the beloved, the noblewoman, Maddalena of Coigny, and of the citizen Gérard is outlined with an overlapping of twists of an almost cinematic style,

underlined by rousing melodies. 

The story finds a tragic and sublime epilogue in the death of the two lovers, who calmly meet their destiny, kidnapped in the ecstasy of a love so invincible that it is eternal triumphing over death.

The duet Near you it is quiet is what concludes the work:

Chénier

Near you it is quiet

my restless soul;

you are the goal

of every desire and need

and every dream

and every poem! ...

I enter your gaze

the iridescence scerno

of the infinite spaces. I am already eternal!

...

Magdalene

Ours is the love of souls!

Chénier

That you live if I die, say, what is it worth?

It is the immortal soul;

wherever you will be, yes, I will be there!

Magdalene

Not to leave you

I am here; it's not goodbye!

I come to die,

I come to die too

with you!

Chénier - Magdalene

Our death is the triumph of love

...

Chénier and Maddalena

In the hour that you die

we become eternal! ...

Eternally we love! ...

Death is infinite, it is love! ...

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