First recording in collaboration between il pomo d’oro, the conductor Maxim Emelyanychev, and the star mezzosoprano Joyce DiDonato.

In War and Peace: Harmony through Music was recorded with Il pomo d’oro under its principal conductor Maxim Emelyanychev. The programme comprises 15 arias divided into two sections: ‘War’ and ‘Peace’. Both contain music by Purcell and Handel – including, to close ‘War’, Dido’s dignified, but searing lament from Dido and Aeneas and Almirena’s haunting and heartbreaking ‘Lascia ch’io pianga’ from Rinaldo. An excerpt from Monteverdi’s Il ritorno d’Ulisse is included in ‘Peace’, which concludes with Cleopatra’s spirited and defiantly optimistic ‘Da tempeste il legno infranto’ from Giulio Cesare. A further aria from Giulio Cesare is the bonus track for the album (on iTunes/Apple Music and vinyl formats only); it is Sesto’s touching apostrophe to hope, ‘Cara speme’.

In her search for peace and harmony, the American singer did not entirely desert her musicological quest, and the album also contains no fewer than three world premiere recordings: a ‘War’ aria from Andromaca by the Neapolitan composer Leonardo Leo (1694-1744), and two ‘Peace’ arias, from the operas Attila and Attilio Regolo, by another Neapolitan, Niccolò Jommelli (1714-1774).

The world tour of ‘In War & Peace’ will start on November 17th in Brussels and will continue this season across Europe and North America. Find calendar and tour dates here. In the upcoming seasons there will be further concerts in the Middle East, Asia and South America.

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