Just the Two of Us: A Festival of Classical Duets

One good voice on a great song is a treat, but when two great voices or instrumentalists come together in an inspired pairing, that is truly special. Featured below are four unforgettable duets performed by some of the world’s leading singers and instrumentalists.

‘Caruso’, Luciano Pavarotti and Lucio Dalla

The late opera tenor, Luciano Pavarotti performs “Caruso” in a duet with Lucio Dalla in 1992 at the first of the Pavarotti & Friends concert in Modena, Italy.  Dalla dedicated this song he composed to the Italian opera tenor, Enrico Caruso.


‘Flower Duet’ (Lakmé), Delibes, Anna Netrebko and Elina Garanca.

First performed in Paris in 1883, this beautiful duet written for soprano and mezzo-soprano is taken from Act One of Léo Delibes’ opera Lakmé. This version is sung by Anna Netrebkl and Elina Garaca, with the pair singing lyrics that translate to ‘Come, let us drift down together’ as the opera’s main character Lakmé and her servant Mallika gather flowers by a river.


‘Time to Say Goodbye’, Andrea Bocelli, Sarah Brightman

This moving track will surely warm even the coldest of hearts. ‘Time to say Goodbye’ was originally released as a single in 1995 under the title ‘Con te partirò’, which means ‘I’ll leave with you’. Here is the elegant duet by Andrea Bocelli with soprano Sarah Brightman that became an instant hit after it was performed in 1996.


‘Palladio’, Camille and Julie Berthollet

Another type of duo in classical music is the double concerto, in which two instruments (either the same or different) from the orchestra are featured instead of just one. ‘Palladio’ is a modern classical work written in 1995 by Karl Jenkins (b. 1944) with the title referring to the Italian Renaissance architect Andrea Palladio (1508–1580). The work in three movements is in the form of a baroque-style concerto grosso. The piece is performed on the violin by sisters, Camille and Julie Berthollet and the Monte Carlo Philharmonic Orchestra.


Encore

‘Storm’, from the second (summer) concerto of Antonio Vivaldi’s famous Four Seasons concerto quartet. Here’s an electrifying performance of the fast presto movement by Ukrainian cellist, Antons Trocjuks and Latvian violinist, Daniil  Bulayev.

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