Cecila Bartoli and Sol Gabetta at the Barbican
What an intelligent musician Cecilia Bartoli is. She has been assembling very interesting programmes for recordings and tours since more than 20 years ago. And she still keeps innovating and making them interesting.
This time the idea was combining baroque repertoire for voice and an instruments. Something similar to what Katherine Battle did many years ago with the trumpet:
but with a cello:
Cecilia chose as partner Sol Gabetta, a brilliant young cellist. And as always the repertoire was carefully chosen.
This time the baroque orchestra was not as good as the previous ones. We were used to top tier ones (Akademie für Alte Musik Berlin for the Gluck album, I Barocchisti for the Steffani and Petersburg ones, Les Musiciens du Louvre for the Opera Proibita, Il Giardino Armonico for the Vivaldi album and Sacrificium, The OAE for the Salieri album…) and only La Scintilla for the Malibran album and the Norma were not so good. Here the Capella Gabetta is not brilliant being his 1st violin/conductor the worst of it.
That was the idea and the recording. Regarding the tour she added quite an adventurous staging, with lighting effects and dramatic entrances. Everything well measured. And voila, you get the magic and the complicity even on a stage as unfriendly for small ensembles as the Barbican.
Very enjoyable long night with 4 encores: an interesting Nebra but barely audible, a wonderful Vivaldi (the best of the night), the typical Rossini danza that is a house special and a final rendition to Curtis.