Release date: 1st February 2019

Joyce DiDonato greets you with a song in her heart and twinkle in her eye. The American mezzo-soprano’s album Songplay unites world-class musicians from the varied worlds of opera, jazz and tango in the pure pleasure of improvisation, experimentation and exchange. Together they create their own musical language, surprising listeners with timeless melodies transformed and universal stories retold over centuries; songs in English, in Italian and – naturally – in the universal language of music.

On Songplay, along with her hand-picked band led by pianist and arranger Craig Terry, Joyce draws inspiration from Cavalli and Chet Baker in equal measure. The languishing heart in Giordani’s Caro mio ben is as emotionally charged as Jerry Bock’s hopeful Will he like me?. Perhaps the most compelling reminder of how the music of Songplay breaks down divides is from DiDonato’s experience leading vocal and composition workshops in the New York prison Sing Sing, where one of the men who is incarcerated was particularly moved upon hearing her rendition of Caro mio ben: ‘I feel like I've known this song my whole life.’

1. Parisotti / Rossa : Se tu m'ami / Star vicino
2. Giuseppe Torelli: Tu lo sai
3. Allie Wrubel (music) & Herbert Magidson (lyrics): (I am afraid) the masquerade is over
4. George Shearing (music) & George David Weiss (lyrics): Lullaby of Birdland
5. Jerrold Bock & Sheldon Harnick: from She Loves Me: Will he like me ?
6. Giulio Caccini: Le nuove musiche : Amarilli, mia bella
7. Gene Scheer (arr. Thomas): Lean Away
8. Antonio Vivaldi: opera Arsilda, regina di Ponto, RV 700, Act 1, Scene 3: Col piacer della mia fede (Nicandro)
9. Antonio Vivaldi - opera Il Giustino RV 717, Act I, scene 7: Vedrò con mio diletto (Anastasio)
10. Kennedy Edward Ellington alias Duke Ellington (music) & Edgar Eddie DeLange + Mills Irving (lyrics): (In My) Solitude
11. Francesco Bartolomeo Conti: Cantata for voice and basso continuo: aria finale: Quella Fiamma – IGT / Single
12. Giuseppe Giordani: Caro mio ben
13. Giovanni Paisiello: Opera La Molinara R 1.76, also called L'amor contrastato, Act. 2, Sc. ND: Nel cor più non mi sento (Rachelina)
14. Richard Rodgers (music) & Lorenz Hart (lyrics): from Spring Is Here: With a Song in my heart