Longing

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3 cantate à voce sola di contralto
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Duetto da camera à soprano e basso
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A Scarlatti: Bei Prati, freschi rivi
Forces: soprano & continuo

A beautiful cantata showing Scarlatti in great inventive mode. The theme is of love lost or gone away: death would be preferable, but even after death he is sure still to long for her. He calls Nature to witness his suffering, but only the merest echo comes back as a reply. RARA format, both arias complicated and chromatic and the recitatives full of harmonic twists and turns.

Source: Münster Santini Sammlung HS 3915(3)

Range: c - g'

Editor: James Sanderson

Cantata à voce sola di soprano
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A Scarlatti: Bella, bella quanto crudel
Forces: mezzo-soprano & continuo

Despite appalling treatment, Irene's lover remains constant and wants more (remind you of anyone?) Complex recits and some exciting chromatic harmonies in the arias. RARA format.

Source: Münster Santini HS 859 (11)

Range: d - e'

Editor: James Sanderson

Cantata à voce sola di soprano
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A Scarlatti: Che Sisifo infelice
Forces: soprano & continuo

The subject deals with that old favourite 'lontananza' or separation using the image of Sisyphus pushing rocks uphill to illustrate the hopelessness of the lover's cause. A cantata with much to recommend it, come great recitative and aria writing. RARA format.

Source: Münster Santini Samlung HS 3977

Range: d - f#'

Editor: James Sanderson

Cantata à voce sola di soprano
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A Scarlatti: Del lagrimoso lido (Euridice dall'inferno)
Forces: soprano & continuo

The Orfeo story as told by Euridice, who implores Orfeo to recover her from hell (Aria 1), then addresses the Furies in the dramatic 2nd Aria with contrasting B section. The text of Aria 3 expresses cautious optimism, but the music undermines this with a fragmented coloratura in f# minor. Powerful recitatives and contrasted arias (b minor, F major, f# minor) make this a strong character portrayal. The edition gives Scarlatti's two settings of Aria 1 - the first a chromatic ground bass, the 'other way' a more modern cantabile aria, both capturing the pathos of Euridice.

Range - e'-a''

Form: R-A-R-A-R-A

Editor: Rosalind Halton

Cantata à voce sola di soprano
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A Scarlatti: Del' Tirreno à le sponde
Forces: soprano & continuo

Source: BL Add MS 14211 ff 58r - 64r

This sad, pastoral cantata sees our hero Fileno languishing for lost love (of Clori of course) on the banks of the Tyrrhenian Sea - the scene of many a fevered brow! In double recit-aria format, both arias andante but vastly different. Some excellent changes from secco recit into arioso.

Range: e - g'

Editor: James Sanderson

Cantata à voce sola di soprano
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A Scarlatti: E come, oh Dio
Forces: soprano & continuo

[ca.1697/8]

Remarkable, dramatic recitatives, female narrator, theme of jealousy caused by separation; range: d'- g

Editor: Rosalind Halton

Cantata à voce sola di soprano
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A Scarlatti: Filli adorata, e cara
Forces: soprano & continuo

Why do these men suffer so? Despite being separated from his beloved, our protagonist sings of his love for her being the reason for his life. His soul yearns and his death will swiftly follow, should she not return. Yeah, right! RARA format, one aria slow and sinuous, the other fast and virtuosic.

Range c - g'

Editor: James Sanderson

Cantata à voce sola di soprano
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A Scarlatti: Il ciel seren, le fresche aurette (La Primavera)
Forces: 2 sopranos & continuo

Source: Santini Collection, 3901 Diözesan Bibliothek, Münster

La Primavera depicts a scene in which two girls await the return of their lovers, Tirsi and Fileno. Spring, the melting of ice, and the return of flowers, happiness and love are the subject of the girls’ conversation.

Vocal Ranges
Clori: d’- g’’
Lidia: d’- g’’

Editor: Rosalind Halton

Cantata per Camera a due Soprani Clori e Lidia Compagne
£5.95
A Scarlatti: La dove a Mergellina
Forces: Soprano & continuo

There at Mergellina where the sea kisses the shore, the lovelorn Elpino went alone one day, addressing the waves: "Love him that loves you..." A stunning example of the genre in a long-awaited edition from Rosalind Halton and a must have for the lovers of cantate de camera. In RARA format and taken from two sources, Naples and London.

Editor: Rosalind Halton

Cantata à voce sola di soprano
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A Scarlatti: Lontan dall' Idol mio
Forces: soprano & continuo

Sources: 7 MS sources, as described in the notes, dated 1699 in one source (Bodleian Library, Oxford).

Subject: the illusion of love being present, though far away. This is one of the most profound and passionate settings by Scarlatti on the theme of distance and separation, from its opening interval - a minor 9th - to the wild despairing modulations within the final Siciliano aria.

Featured on chacona's recording 'Olimpia: cantatas of Alessandro Scarlatti'.

Vocal range: d'-g''

Editor: Rosalind Halton

Cantata à voce sola di soprano
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A Scarlatti: Notte cara, ombre beate
Forces: soprano & continuo

'Dear night, blessed shadows...I only enjoy my dreams and cry in the day...' Very much a nocturnal lover in one of Scarlatti's stunning night cantatas. Beautiful harmonies, sinuous dreaming vocal lines capturing that special air of quiet and suspense. In ARARA format and compiled from two copies in the Naples Conservatorio Library.

Editor: James Sanderson

Cantata à voce sola di soprano
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A Scarlatti: O pace del mio cor
Forces: soprano & continuo

O peace of my heart, where do you wander? So begins this delightful cantata, one of Alessandro Scarlatti’s most frequently copied. The principal source of this edition is held in the Royal College of London, Ms. 583, a copy in a Neapolitan hand. ARAR format.

Editor: Rosalind Halton

Cantata à voce sola di soprano
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A Scarlatti: Ombre tacite, e sole
Forces: mezzo-soprano, strings & continuo

Source: British Library Zweig 76

This is an autograph work dated October 31. 1716.

In four sections, recit-aria-recit-aria with both recits accompanied. It has two exquisite arias, the last a particularly fine Siciliano. The text deals with unrequited, requited and then spurned love and has it's high point in the last aria: 'Why cruel one do you leave me? Why spurn me? Why betray me? Why search out a new love? Why leave me?'

Range: c' - e'' flat

Editor: James Sanderson

Cantata à voce sola con stromenti d'arco
£5.95
A Scarlatti: Qual'ora io veggio
Forces: mezzo-soprano, violins & continuo

"Irene is so beautiful when she wears white - it reminds me of the colour of my devotion to her." A delicious work for low soprano (or high counter tenor) and violins, in Scarlatti's later Neapolitan galant style. Transparent textures and buoyant melodic lines are the colour of this sparkling work.

Vocal range: c' - f#''.

Editor: Rosalind Halton

Cantata à voce sola di soprano con violini
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A Scarlatti: S'io t'amo s'io t'adoro
Forces: soprano & continuo

Dated on the first page as June of 1704. Amore is playing his tricks again and has had his usual effect! RARA format with a complicated first aria largo.

Source: Münster Santini Sammlung Hs 3907(2)

Range: d - a''

Editor: James Sanderson

Cantata à voce sola di soprano
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A Scarlatti: Scompagnata tortorella
Forces: soprano & continuo

Our litte turtle-dove is caged and kept away from his beloved again in this charming cantata and once again death is preferable to this continued condition of estrangement from the beloved! In ARA format.

Source: Münster Santini Sammlung HS 861

Range: e flat - g'

Editor: James Sanderson

Cantata à voce sola di soprano
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A Scarlatti: Solitudini care
Forces: soprano & continuo

Sources: BL Add MSS 14213 & 31509

Tirsi seems to be unhappy sotto l'ombra again, calling for his beloved Climene in this extraordinarily chromatic cantata Dall'occulto A.S.. In double recit-aria format with frequent tempo changes in the last aria.

Range: c - f#'

Editor: Kate Eckersley & James Sanderson

Cantata à voce sola di soprano
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A Scarlatti: Son contenta di soffrire
Forces: soprano & continuo

'I am content to suffer the cruelty of my beloved, because he means more to me than life itself' Yeah right! Another example of Alessandro Scarlatti's sinuous style, with some tremendous chromaticisms. ARA format.

Range: d - g

Editor: James Sanderson

Cantata à voce sola di soprano
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A Scarlatti: Su le sponde del Tebro
Forces: soprano, trumpet, strings & continuo

A virtuosic and taxing cantata in 10 sections. "...on the banks of the Tiber...faithful Aminta, from his infinite sadness cried to Heaven and Earth of the scornful Clori “I am betrayed”...'

Source: Florence, Conservatorio Luigi Cherubini D 2364

Range: d# - a''

Editor: James Sanderson

Cantata à voce sola di soprano con tromba e stromenti d'arco
£7.95
A Scarlatti: Su'l margine fiorito d'un limpido ruscello
Forces: soprano & continuo

In this large and complex cantata, the protagonist is sitting on the flowery banks of a limpid stream bemoaning the absence of his beloved. He calls to the waves and the wind in the first aria (adagio) to take his love to her, he sings how her image is carved on his heart in the second aria (à tempo guisto) and the final aria is a chromatically complex andante in cut common time. Dated 13th December, 1704 on the first page.

Source: Münster Santini Sammlung 3907(5)

Range: d - f'

Editor: James Sanderson

Cantata à voce sola di soprano
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A Scarlatti: Tu che una dea rassembri
Forces: soprano, violins & continuo

An paean to the beloved who '..resembles a goddess...' with eyes like archers and his heart the target. A considerable piece with string introduction, three arias and two recit/arioso movements.

Source: Münster Santini Sammlung HS 860

Range: d - g'

Editor: James Sanderson

Cantata à voce sola di soprano con violini
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Astorga: Cangia loco, e cangia sorte
Forces: soprano & continuo

In the mistaken belief that removing himself from the presence of his love will make him feel better, our young shepherd learns a hard lesson about the power of love. In ARA format, both arias in the 'pathetic' style and the second making one wonder whether Handel had heard it...?

Source: Münster Santini Sammlung HS 859(2)

Range: d# - g'

Editor: James Sanderson

Cantata à voce sola di soprano
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Astorga: Che Sisifo infelice
Forces: soprano & continuo

Just like pushing stones up-hill, maintaining a relationship! No matter how close or how far (this is a lontananza cantata) the pain is constant. "Distance only brings pain". A wonderfully sinuous first aria and a straighforward, no-nonsense final andante. RARA format.

Range: d - ab''

Editor: James Sanderson

Cantata à voce sola di soprano
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Astorga: Non lasciarmi o bella speme
Forces: soprano & continuo

For once love and constancy is rewarded. Although the lover fears jealousy and distance from the beloved, 'hope springs eternal' for "...the distance between us is nothing when I know of your sweet constancy..." Some wonderfully chromatic moments in the first largo aria and the closing allegro is fully of rhythmic shifts.

Source: Santini HS 859 (last)

Range: e flat - g'

Editor: James Sanderson

Cantata à voce sola di soprano
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Bononcini: 3 alto cantate da camera
Forces: alto & continuo

The three alto cantate da camera from the 1721 edition 'Cantate e Duetti dedicati alla Sacra Maestà di Giorgio Rè della Gran Bretagna'

Gia la stagion d'amore
Lasciami un sol momento
O mesta tortorella

See individual titles for more information.

Editor: James Sanderson

3 cantate à voce sola di contralto
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Bononcini: Anche i tronchi
Forces: alto & continuo

'Even the trees and rocks know of my suffering - only you ignore it'. The demanding cello part especially in aria 2 reflects the virtuosity of the composer Bononcini (presumably Giovanni). A-R-A-R-A

Sources: MÜs 3903 & BL Add MS 31547

Alto: g-c''

Editor: Rosalind Halton
Cantata à voce sola di contralto
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Bononcini: Dolente, e mesta vò sospirando
Forces: soprano & continuo

Sadly sighing she longs for her lover Elpino. She searches the shepherd's hut, the fields and can't find him, finally singing a con spirito aria calling to him to come to her. In ARA format with a deliciously chromatic opening cantabile, et affettuoso. Interestingly, the continuo line drops to a BB, which would require some retuning.

Source: 1721 edition in the British Library

Range: d - g'

Editor: James Sanderson

Cantata à voce sola di soprano
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Bononcini: Ecco Dorinda il giorno
Forces: soprano, violins & continuo

The first cantata in the 1721 edition dedicated to George I. 2-part prelude then RARARA format. All arias most singable with a virtuosic presto in the middle. Our young lover is leaving his Dorinda and makes a real song and dance about it!

Source: British Library copy of the 1721 edition

Range: B flat - f'

Editor: James Sanderson

Cantata à voce sola di soprano con violini
£5.95
Bononcini: Filli, dell' tuo partire
Forces: soprano & continuo

Deserted by cruel Filli our lover remains alone and suffering. "...remember the sighs of the one who dies for you..." RARARA format with a lovely triple time largo and two sprightly arias to follow.

Source: BL Add MS 31545

Range: c - g'

Editor: James Sanderson

Cantata à voce sola di soprano
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Bononcini: Io son lungi alla mia vita
Forces: soprano & continuo

Typical of cantatas with the subject matter of distance and longing, Bononcini gives his singer a difficult time with the third note forming a major seventh over the bass. Full of plangent harmony and some lively coloratura. ARARA format.

Source: Münster Santini Sammlung HS 3977

Range: c - g'

Editor: James Sanderson

Cantata à voce sola di soprano
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Bononcini: Irene Idolo amato
Forces: soprano & continuo

Within the classic 'partenza' cantatas this is unusual as it refers directly to going off to war and perhaps dying in battle. Some lovely linguistic turns and this RARA format cantata.

Source: Münster Santini Sammlung HS 3915(16)

Range: c# - f#'

Editor: James Sanderson
Cantata à voce sola di soprano
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Bononcini: O mesta tortorella
Forces: alto & continuo

The image of the turtle dove taking away sorrow and bringing contentment to the unhappy shepherdess longing for her beloved Tirsi. In RARA format with a throbbing affettuoso and a sprightly con spirito, ma non presto. Great writing for the continuo as well!

Source: British Library copy of the 1721 edition

Range: a - d'

Editor: James Sanderson

Cantata à voce sola di contralto
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Bononcini: O penosa lontananza
Forces: soprano, bass & continuo

Here we see both sides of the coin with the soprano lamenting the pain of separation and the bass rejoicing that being so far apart there is less pain... This is a wonderful duetto da camera in Duet - recit - aria - recit- aria - duet format. One for each and the two duets surrounding all.

Editor: James Sanderson
Duetto da camera à soprano e basso
£5.95
D Scarlatti: Selve caverne e monti
Forces: soprano & continuo

Source: BL Add 14182

An attractive cantata by D. Scarlatti in recit/arioso - aria - recit - aria form with a text concerning the lover's search for his fleeing beloved.

Range: d' - g''

Editor: James Sanderson

Cantata à voce sola di soprano
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Fago: Come viver poss'io
Forces: soprano & continuo

'How can I live far from that lovely face?' asks our protagonist. Not far it would seem as Cupid burns him with desire and '...lights up his heart with a devouring flame' in this effective lotananza cantata. RARA format with very expressive recitatives and two really enjoyable arias.

Source: Biblioteca del Conservatorio di musica S. Pietro a Majella - Napoli: Cantate 114(9)

Editor: James Sanderson

Cantata à voce sola di soprano
£4.95
Fago: Se gelosia crudele
Forces: soprano & continuo

Source BL Add 14211 f 20r - 25v

Here a more contemplative setting than most, the philosopher discusses how love creates joy from pain and torment.

Range: d' - g''

Editor: James Sanderson

Cantata à voce sola di soprano
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