Duetto buffo di due gatti
The Duetto buffo di due gatti ("humorous duet for two cats") is a popular performance piece for two sopranos which is often performed as a concert encore. The "lyrics" consist entirely of the repeated word "miau" ("meow"). Sometimes it is also performed by a soprano and a tenor, or a soprano and a bass.
While the piece is typically attributed to Gioachino Rossini, it was not actually written by him, but is instead a compilation written in 1825 that draws principally on his 1816 opera, Otello. Hubert Hunt, in his biography of Robert Lucas de Pearsall, Robert Lucas Pearsall: the Compleat Gentleman and His Music, 1795-1856 (Chesham Bois,1977), putatively claims that the compiler was Pearsall, who for this purpose adopted the pseudonym "G. Berthold".
In order of appearance, the music consists of:
- the "Katte-Cavatine" by the Danish composer C.E.F. Weyse
- part of the duet for Otello and Iago in Act 2 of Otello
- part of the cabaletta to the aria "Ah, come mai non senti", sung by Rodrigo in the same act
Some albums including this piece are:
- A Tribute to Gerald Moore, EMI Classics: Victoria de los Ángeles (soprano), Elisabeth Schwarzkopf (soprano), Gerald Moore (piano), released 2003 (expanded reissue of 1969 release), also known as "Le Duo des Chats"
- Sweet Power of Song, EMI Classics: Felicity Lott (soprano), Ann Murray (mezzo-soprano), Graham Johnson (piano), released 1990
- Duets for Two Sopranos, BIS: Elisabeth Söderström (soprano) and Kerstin Meyer (mezzo-soprano), Jan Eyron (piano), released 1992
- Wir Schwestern Zwei, Wie Schönen, Nightingale: Edita Gruberova (soprano), Vesselina Kasarova (mezzo soprano), and Friedrich Haider (piano). Last track, also identified as "Katzen-Duett"
- Von ganzem Herzen, Catalyst: Montserrat Caballé, Montserrat Martí, released 1998
- A Most Unusual Song Recital, Seraphim: Christa Ludwig (mezzo-soprano), Walter Berry (bass-baritone) (bass-baritone), Gerald Moore, piano, released 1969
- "Duo miaulé" in L'enfant et les sortilèges
- Woodstra, Chris. All Music Guide to Classical Music, 2005, p. 1126. ISBN 978-0879308650
- Richard Osborne: Rossini. London: Dent (1986), p.179
- Andrew Cooper, "Rossini's Cat Duet", message to OPERA-L, June 17, 2004.
- Duetto buffo di due gatti (Cat Duet), for 2 voices & piano (spurious), QR iv/1 at Allmusic
- Score at el-atril.com