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Detail from the autograph of the Cantata pastorale, 1716: Non sò qual più m'ingombra
Source: Musiksammlung der Staatsbibliothek, Berlin

Detail from the autograph score of Cantata da camera: Ombre tacite e sole, 31.10.1716
Source: British Library

Both the above cantatas are available for purchase through this site.
The Composer's Words
"Where it is marked grave, I don't mean melancholy; where andante, not quickly, but pleasing. Where allegro, not rushing; where allegrissimo, so that it doesn't trouble the singer nor choke the words..."

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Scarlatti, Alessandro | Please scroll down to view...

Scarlatti, Alessandro (born Palermo, 2 May 1660; died Naples, 22 October 1725)

Cantata with violins
  • Cantata notturna
    Forces: soprano, violins & continuo
    'Filli che fra gl'orrori di notte si tranquilla'
    Outpourings of the lover to Filli in the quiet of night A concise yet heartfelt composition, dated 1706, for low-mezzo soprano and unison violins: an ideal introduction to the art of singing with an obligato part in Scarlatti's style.
    Vocal range: d'-f''

    Editor: Rosalind Halton
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  • Cantata Pastorale, 1716
    Forces: voice, 2 violins & continuo
    'Non sò qual più m'ingombra': the first published modern edition with parts of 'the other' Christmas solo cantata, based, with kind permission, on the autograph score in the Deutsche Staatsbibliothek zu Berlin.
    The low soprano range of the vocal part lends itself to performance by various voice types, e.g. mezzo soprano or countertenor. The work opens with a masterly accompanied recitative on the wonder of the Christmas story. The two arias beautifully contrast Scarlatti's most ornate 'modern' style with the simplicity of the final Siciliano, with its message of peace to the whole world.
    Range: d'-e''

    Editor: Rosalind Halton
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  • Cantata pastorale: O di Betlemme altera
    Forces: soprano/alto, strings & continuo
    Source: BL Add 14165 ff202r - 217v
    Scarlatti's beautiful narrative Christmas Cantata, made up of introduzzione (allegro/[pastorale]), recitative, andante, recitative, andante, recitative, pastorale.
    Range: c - a''

    Editor: James Sanderson
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  • Hor che di Febo
    Forces: soprano, violins & continuo
    One of Scarlatti's masterpieces for soprano with violins. This solo Serenata, introduced by its Corellian Sinfonia, traces the journey of a lover who aims to steal a glimpse of the sleeping beloved. The image of love as a flower pushing through the icy ground, with shivering violin figures, leads to the final sublime aria and unaccompanied farewell of the lover. Includes score.
    Range: d'- a'''
    Aria 3, violins marked 'soli' in one source.

    Editor: Rosalind Halton
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  • Imagini d'orrore
    Forces: bass, violins & continuo
    Cantata for bass and strings, 2 arias and 1 recit.
    Source: autograph dated 16 July, 1710, Bibliothèque Nationale, Paris. Fileno is tormented by doubt and constant visions of Clori's unfaithfulness. Aria 1 features a fully integrated texture of voice and 2 violin parts, with Aria 2 a vigorous piece for unison violins. Fine dramatic scoring.
    Range: G - e flat'

    Editor: Rosalind Halton
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  • La Fenice
    Forces: soprano, violins & continuo
    The phoenix which rises immortal from its ashes is the symbol of freedom from the bonds of love in this cantata - a mascot for the nymphs and shepherds of Arcadia. Aria 1 shows an unusual example of a theme from the Introduction being reworked into an aria. Arias in C major, G minor, A minor and B minor range from brilliant to pensive, robust to elusive, leading to the serene conclusion of the phoenix's ascent to heaven - in recitativo accompagnato.
    Source: Münster, Santini Collection, HS.3928
    Range: eb'-g''.

    Editor: Rosalind Halton
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  • Mentre Clori la bella presso un ruscel sedea
    Forces: soprano, violins & continuo
    Another fine example of how many things can happen by a stream! Here we have the happy neeting of Clori & Tirsi (for a nice change). 3 arias (2 with violins) and three recits, the first pair for a narrator character, the second for Tirsi and the third for Clori herself.
    Source: Münster Santini Sammlung Hs 3904(18)
    Range: c# - a''

    Editor: James Sanderson
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  • Nel silentio commune di notte si tranquilla
    Forces: soprano, 2 violins,viola & basso continuo.
    A great work based on the Petrarchan theme of the lover who sighs alone while nature sleeps. Beginning with a hushed recitative accompagnato, the cantata has a total of 4 recitatives and arias, portraying the lover's brightly-coloured dream of love returned. A handwritten version of this edition was premiered memorably in the 1980s by tenor Nigel Rogers for the BBC, with the Taverner Players.
    Range: d'-a''
    Source: British Library, London.

    Editor: Rosalind Halton
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  • 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
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  • Silentio, aure volanti
    Forces: soprano, strings & continuo
    'Silentio, aure volanti - the pain of unrequited love in a sinuous cantata of the night. Soprano, 2 violins, b.c.
    Arioso interwoven into a contrapuntal 4 part texture is a feature of this early work, whose central aria 'Piangerò' is a profound lament in C minor. 'Silentio, aure volanti' can be heard on 'Olimpia and other Cantatas by Alessandro Scarlatti', chacona (ABC Classics 461 687-2).
    Range d'-a''.

    Editor: Rosalind Halton
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  • Sotto l'ombra d'un faggio
    Forces: bass, violins & continuo
    Conservatorio di Musica, Napoli: 34.5.10
    Happy meeting of Tirsi and Clori; virtuoso writing for bass in the first recitative.
    Range: G-e'. B minor/A minor.

    Editor: Rosalind Halton
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  • 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
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  • Su'l margine d'un rio
    Forces: soprano, violins & continuo
    Su’l margine d’un rio is an immensely attractive work, less intense in both musical style and subject than many of Scarlatti’s cantatas. The shepherdess at the banks of a river does not feel inclined to waste herself on a lukewarm lover: “...learn to love, then come back to me if you like...”
    Sources: Münster Santini Sammlung HS 3908, Paris, Bibliothèque Nationale, X-639
    Range: d - b'' flat

    Editor: Rosalind Halton
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  • Tiranna ingrata
    Forces: bass, violins & continuo
    Our lover's anger is directed towards his beloved this time: "Ungrateful tyrant! I will never be free of this suffering before I die". In ARA format, each aria with its own distinct style and very singable melodies. Some very interesting accompanying writing as well!
    Range: A - d

    Editor: James Sanderson
    Score Preview | MIDI Preview | Price: £ 5.95 | 

  • Tu resti o mio bel nume
    Forces: bass, violins & continuo
    The subject is of lovers parting. The debate is about who suffers most - the one who has to leave, or the one left behind. A fine accompagnato recitative introduces the cantata, which is more lyrical than virtuoso. Aria 1 is an elegant siciliano on the theme of two souls as ship and harbour. Aria 2 returns to the musical idea of the opening accompagnato: departure is equated with death, but made sweetened by constancy. Here the violin figurations are ornate, the harmonies intense, and the singer is invited to display a range of an octave and a 5th in the space of 2 quavers.
    RARA (2 arias are for unison violins)
    Vocal range: G#-d'
    Source: Biblioteca del Conservatorio, Naples.

    Editor: Rosalind Halton
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