Autumn 2012 marks the release of Mission, a sensational release from the world's best-selling classical artist Cecilia Bartoli and a project with international politics, religious conflict, diplomatic secrecy, spying and sensational music at its heart.
Following the exceptional artistic and commercial success of 2009's Sacrificium (which earned Cecilia her fifth Grammy award), Cecilia Bartoli now turns to the early baroque period for the first time in her recording career and uncovers a treasure of beautiful music in an album almost entirely composed of world premiere recordings.
The album showcases the music of little-known Italian composer Agostino Steffani (1654-1728), and will include solo arias of various moods and styles, several duets, solo numbers with chorus - all sung in Italian - and instrumental interludes that create an organic transition from one piece to the next and an arc that reaches from the beginning to the end of the album.
Steffani's story is mysterious at the very least; his name is largely absent from studies of Italian music despite holding senior court positions during his lifetime and contemporary accounts acknowledging him as one of the greatest opera composers of the period, as well as ''the acknowledged master of the vocal duet'' [Colin Timms].
Such was the appeal of the project that longtime Bartoli admirer and global best-selling author Donna Leon decided to write a mystery novel - Jewels of Paradise - to accompany Cecilia's album, which uses the mystery surrounding the composer's story as the centre of its plot. Jewels of Paradise will be released simultaneously with Cecilia Bartoli's album in English (UK and USA), German, French, Spanish and Catalan.
Among the distinguished names appearing on Mission is star French counter-tenor Philippe Jaroussky who features in a first-time collaboration with Cecilia on a selection of duets, alongside the Coro della Radiotelevisione Svizzera, the period orchestra ''I Barocchisti'' from Lugano, Switzerland, and conductor Diego Fasolis.
New media techniques will be exploited even further, for example webisodes and a playful and imaginative iPad App, which is designed especially for this project.
1. Schiere invitte, non tardate
2. Ogni core puo sperar
3. Ove son? Chi m'aita? In mezzo all'ombre...Dal mio petto
4. Piu non v'ascondo
5. Amami, e vederai
6. T'abbraccio, mia Diva...Ti stringo, mio Nume
7. Mie fide schiere, all'armi!...Suoni, tuoni, il suolo scuota
8. Sposa, mancar mi sento...Deh non far colle tue lagrime
9. Non prendo consiglio
10. Si, si, riposa, o caro...Palpitanti sfere belle
11. Notte amica al cieco Dio
1. Combatton quest'alma
2. A facile vittoria
3. Tra le guerre e le vittorie
4. Foschi crepuscoli
5. Dell'alma stanca a raddolcir le tempre...Sfere amiche, or date al labbro
6. La cerasta piu terribile
7. Serena, o mio bel sole...Mia fiamma...Mio adore
8. Dal tuo labbro amor m'invita
9. Deh stancati, o sorte
10. Svenati, struggiti, combatti, suda
11. Padre, s'e colpa in lui
12. Timori, ruine
13. Moriro fra strazi e scempi
14. Non si parli che di fede
DON'T JUST LISTEN TO MUSIC EXPERIENCE IT.