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6 Degrees Entertainment

Title - A Room of Mirrors
Artist - Emiliano Gonzalez Toro & Zachary Wilder

For those unaware, on March 4th, 2022, the French Baroque ensemble I Gemelli releases the first album on its new imprint: Gemelli Factory.

Entitled A Room of Mirrors, the recording features Swiss tenor Emiliano Gonzalez Toro and his period instrument ensemble I Gemelli with American tenor Zachary Wilder in 17th century duets for tenors.

As a singer and ensemble leader, Emiliano Gonzalez Toro specializes in baroque music, particularly in that of Monteverdi, the giant against whom all Italian composers were measured throughout the seventeenth century and the absolute monarch of vocal music.

With A Room of Mirrors, Gonzalez Toro and Wilder have chosen to focus on the reflections of this tutelary figure, evoking the master rather than the citer.

It was Monteverdi who “invented” the opera duet, and more precisely the tenor duet, in L’Orfeo (1609), representing the dialogue between Orpheus and Apollo in a virtuosic and symbiotic style: the voices entwine in a profusion of melisma in which it is difficult to distinguish which of the two gods is the father and which the son. The technique was further developed in Monteverdi’s seventh book of madrigals.

It was a natural choice for I Gemelli to produce a recital based on twinned voices, and particularly in this tenor tessitura, which dominated the others in the early seventeenth century.

They have chosen to represent the peak of the Baroque era with works by Castelani, Turini, Marini, Falconieri, Frescobaldi, Castello, Castaldi, Gregori, D’India, Notari and Sabbatini.

1. Damigella tutta bella Vincenzo Calestani (1589-after 1617)
2. Dialogo della rosa Sigismondo d’India (1582-1629)
3. Dove ten’vai Francesco Turini (1595-1656)
4. La vecchia innamorata Biagio Marini (1594-1663)
5. Folia echa para mi señora Andrea Falconieri (1585?-1656)
6. Se l’aura spira Girolamo Frescobaldi (1583-1643)
7. Sonata Quarta Dario Castello (1602-1631)
8. Mai non disciolgasi Annibale Gregori (?-1633)
9. Piangono al pianger mio Sigismondo d’India
10. Langue al vostro languir Sigismondo d’India
11. Giunto alla tomba Sigismondo d’India
12. Intenerite voi Angelo Notari (1566-1663)
13. Quella che tanto Bellerofonte Castaldi (1581-1649)
14. Folgori Giove Galeazzo Sabbatini (1597-1662)

The musically exquisite A Room of Mirrors opens on the sturdier flare of Calestani’s Damigella tutta bella and the lighter, flourishing ambiance of d’India’s beautiful Dialogo della rosa and follows those up nicely with the dulcet tones within Turini’s Dove ten’vai, the gently playful, flute-imbibed swirl of Marini’s La vecchia innamorata, the palpable growth found within Falconieri’s Folia echa para mi señora, and then comes the aching yearn of Frescobaldi’s Se l’aura spira and the prospering Sonata Quarta (Castello).

Next up we get brought forth the vivacious Mai non disciolgasi from Gregori and then come three of my favorites works on this set, all once again from d’India, this time in the form of the wholly symbolic Piangono al pianger mio, the stirring ebb and flow of Langue al vostro languir, and the cultured, Choir-like Giunto alla tomba, the recording rounding out on the quietly rhythmic entrancement of Intenerite voi, the rousingly ornate Quella che tanto, finally coming to a close on the harpsicord-embedded wonderment of Folgori Giove.

Gemelli factory is the new label created in 2022 by Emiliano Gonzalez Toro and Mathilde Etienne to represent the projects of the I Gemelli, from large-scale programs such as Monteverdi’s opera Return of Ulysses or Coronation of Poppea, which will be released in the next few years, to chamber music like A Room of Mirrors, and solo performances of instrumentalists and singers emblematic of I Gemelli.

Emiliano Gonzalez Toro tenor
Zachary Wilder tenor

Ensemble I Gemelli
Stéphanie Paulet violin
Jérôme Van Waerbecke violin
Rodrigo Calveyra recorder, cornetto
Myriam Rignol viola da gamba
Julien Léonard viola da gamba
Annabelle Luis cello
Marie-Domitille Murez triple harp
Vincent Flückiger archlute
Nacho Laguna theorbo
Violaine Cochard harpsichord, organ
Amazon Purchase Link

Emiliano Gonzalez Toro @ Facebook

Zachary Wilder @ Facebook