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The Jewels of Paradise
Product Description: Donna Leon has won heaps of critical praise and legions of fans for her best-selling mystery series featuring Commissario Guido Brunetti. With The Jewels of Paradise, Leon takes readers beyond the world of the Venetian Questura in her first standalone novel.
Caterina Pellegrini is a native Venetian, and like so many of them, shes had to leave home to pursue her career. With a doctorate in baroque opera from Vienna, she lands in Manchester, England. Manchester, however, is no Venice. When Caterina gets word of a position back home, she jumps at the opportunity.
The job is an unusual one. After nearly three centuries, two locked trunks, believed to contain the papers of a baroque composer have been discovered. Deeply-connected in religious and political circles, the composer died childless; now two Venetians, descendants of his cousins, each claim inheritance. Caterinas job is to examine any enclosed papers to discover the testamentary disposition of the composer. But when her research takes her in unexpected directions she begins to wonder just what secrets these trunks may hold. From a masterful writer, The Jewels of Paradise is a superb novel, a gripping tale of intrigue, music, history and greed.
Donna's comments about this new novel:
"There's another book that will come out in October, The Jewels of Paradise. Cecilia Bartoli asked me to write a novel about the composer of the music on the disc she will issue in October, and I did. In it, a contemporary musicologist, in Venice, is asked to examine documents dealing with the life of this composer to settle a question of inheritance. The novel deals with the mystery of the composer's life as well as with the strange dealings of the people who are today concerned with the papers and objects he left behind."
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 and the acknowledged master of the vocal duet (Colin Timms, author of the booklet note).
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.
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.
A cinematographic vision of the album directed by Olivier Simonnet and filmed in the historic Galerie des Glaces (Hall of Mirrors) and in the gardens of the Chateau de Versailles will be available on DVD and for TV broadcast later in the year.
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