Sogno Barocco is themed around female heroines of early Italian opera, particularly those afflicted with what Francesco Cavalli, in "Vivo per Te", calls "my resplendent pain".
Monteverdi and Cavalli dominate the collection, notably on "Pur Ti Miro", a beautiful duet of interlacing lines by Von Otter and Sandrine Piau, which may have been written by Cavalli as part of Monteverdi's workshop. It's simply gorgeous, and modern-sounding. Also of note are Luigi Rossi's "Lamento de la Regina di Suezia", about the Queen of Sweden's reaction to her husband's death, and Francesco Provenzale's "Squarciato Appena Havea", a parody of the same event featuring sudden switches between dolorous narrative and Neapolitan folk-dance refrains.
Download: Pur Ti Miro; So Dolce é 'l tormento; Squarciato Appena Havea