Love's torment

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Duetto da camera à voce di soprano e contralto
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A Bononcini: Clori, dal' colle al' prato
Forces: alto & continuo

An unhappy Clori this time - not the cause of someone else's woes. Flora, fragrant Flora, has stolen her man and Clori is not happy "Flora, one day you'll see, one day you will be punished for your vanity". RARA format with two excellent, complex and beautiful arias.

Editor: James Sanderson

Cantata à voce sola di contralto
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A Bononcini: Clori, perche d'amore
Forces: alto & continuo

"Know, oh beloved, that although I die from your inconstancy, I die with your face imprinted on my heart...". Yet another doormat for Clori's wanton ways. RARA format with a Larghetto "Tell me if you have found a new flame..." and a fiery, rhythmic Allegro to finish.

Editor: James Sanderson

Cantata à voce sola di contralto
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A Bononcini: Finche la bella Irene
Forces: alto & continuo

"As long as beautiful Irene smiled on me I was in love..." Obviously, this didnt last and by the end of this RARA format cantata for low alto, our singer feels how love has betrayed him.

Editor: James Sanderson

Cantata à voce solo di contralto
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A Bononcini: Selve, placide selve
Forces: alto & continuo

Our hero heads to the woods to escape the pains of love. Comparing his beloved to the birds, the flowers (and the beasts!). In RARA format this is a delightful and highly enjoyable cantata to sing - some really good challenges in the coloratura. Source: Naples

Editor: James Sanderson

Cantata à voce solo di contralto
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A Scarlatti: Agitato mio core
Forces: soprano & continuo

Dated on the first page as 'in Albano 1704'. Despite Eurilla's promise of fidelity her erstwhile beloved is nervous (small wonder with her track history) and his heart is all 'a-flutter'. RARA format with a particularly interesting format for the first aria Quietati.

Source: Münster Santini Sammlung Hs 3907(1)

Range: e - a''

Editor: James Sanderson

Cantata à voce sola di soprano
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A Scarlatti: Ahi che sará di me? (Floro e Tirsi)
Forces: 2 sopranos & continuo

2nd September, 1707. A substantial work where our two young men work with a text concerning the pains and joys of love containing 4 duets, two arias and a single recitative.

Editor: James Sanderson

Cantata à due soprani
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A Scarlatti: Andate o miei sospiri
Forces: soprano & continuo

"Go, oh my sighs, to Irene's heart, May it know of my pains by you..." An intensely chromatic work with two versions of the final aria. In most sources dated 10 March, 1712 and was composed in response to a cantata by Francesco Gasparini based on the same text. The second version of the final aria aria here is from a later version with the subtitle: con idea inumana, in regolato cromatico, ma non è per ogni professore – the final aria itself is inscribed with the words: Altr'aria capriccio dell' Autore

Range: d - g'

Editor: Kate Eckersley & James Sanderson

Cantata à voce sola di soprano
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A Scarlatti: Augellin vago e canoro
Forces: soprano, 2 recorders & continuo

Source: Santini Sammlung, Diözesan Library, Münster: Hs. 3975, ff. 35-59v

The image of the caged bird appears frequently in vocal music of the Italian baroque – maybe a poignant image to the many castrati whose voice was itself the cage within which life was lived. In cantatas such as ‘Augellin’, the bird functions as symbol of the lover imprisoned by the pain of love unreturned. 3 arias and two recits.

Editor: Rosalind Halton

Cantata à voce sola di soprano con flauti
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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: Deh' torna amico sonno (Il Sonno)
Forces: soprano & continuo

Here, dreams are the only escape from the pain of love. 'Oh come, oh merciful sleep...' In torturously complex recitatives and two characterful arias, Scarlatti shows himself once again to the be the master of the genre. From two sources in the Naples Conservatorii - Cantate 23 (7) and 255 (24) and dated September 22nd, 1716, this is a real gem.

Editor: James Sanderson

Cantata à voce sola di soprano
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A Scarlatti: Della spietata Irene
Forces: soprano & continuo

Why do these men keep coming back for more? This perfidious Irene can kill with a glance, has Cupid on her side and just doesn't care! One of Scarlatti's more chromatic offerings in RARA format, both arias full of peno.

Range d - f'

Editor: James Sanderson

Cantata à voce sola di soprano
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A Scarlatti: E perchè non seguite ò Pastorelle
Forces: soprano, 2 flutes, 2 violins and continuo

A significant work for voice and instruments on a pastoral theme in varied formats of aria, arioso, strophic song etc. The accreditation to Scarlatti is potentially disputed, the source is Münster Santini Sammlung Hs 3975, provided by Sascha Mommertz. The cantata is inscribed: Cantata con violini e flauti Del Sigr Allesso Scarlatti

A pastoral idyll, once again love is thwarted by Clori!

Editor: James Sanderson

Cantata à voce sola di contralto con flauti e violini
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A Scarlatti: Fille, Fille, dolente Fille
Forces: soprano & continuo

As the title suggests, Fille is sad...but, disturbingly, she likes the treatment she is getting from Tirsi: 'I will enjoy my pains, because I adore the chains...' Disturbing! A wonderful cantata in RARA format, Scarlatti at his most harmonically adventurous.

Source: Naples, Cantate 266

Editor: James Sanderson

Cantata à voce sola di soprano
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A Scarlatti: Fille, mia cara Fille
Forces: soprano & continuo

A wonderfully chromatic work from 1704 (November 4th), the chromaticism expressing the tortures of loving such an unfaithful woman as Fille (the usual). Long, complex recitatives and two very contrasting arias.

Range: d - f#'

Editor: James Sanderson

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: Giù di Vulcan
Forces: alto & continuo

Join the god Vulcan in his depths to discuss the changeable nature of love. RARA format with some wonderfully sinuous writing in recitative and aria.

Source: Münster Santini Sammlung HS 3909

Range: b flat - d'

Editor: James Sanderson

Cantata à voce sola di contralto
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A Scarlatti: Il genio di Mitilde
Forces: soprano & continuo

Source: Paris Bibliothèque Nationale, MS D.11840

The capricious Mitilde has more moods than the sea has storms, and Scarlatti depicts her in a fiery cantata with exciting demands for singer, cellist and keyboard player.

Range - e' g''.

2 Recits and arias: 1. Spiritoso, D minor; 2. Alla breve, A major

Editor: Rosalind Halton

Cantata à voce sola di soprano
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A Scarlatti: In vano Amor tiranno
Forces: soprano & continuo

The first line says it all: Cupid is trying to destroy another young man's life with his darts and this guy is fighting back! An extensive work in RARARA format, the first two arias slow and sinuous, the last more matter-of-fact and resigned to fate.

Range: d - g'

Editor: James Sanderson

Cantata à voce sola di soprano
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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: Leandro anima mia (Ero e Leandro)
Forces: alto & continuo

Hero calls for Leander who is attempting to swim the Hellespont to meet her. Upon his death she reacts to his loss and her reaction is interpreted by a narrator character in a final aria. In RARARA format.

Source: Münster Santini Sammlung HS 3909

Range: c - d'

Editor: James Sanderson

Cantata à voce sola di contralto
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A Scarlatti: Libertà del mio cor
Forces: soprano & continuo

[ca.1709] - one source only extant.
Theme of the bird seeking freedom/ the lover freedom from love. Virtuoso aria 1, final siciliano very beautiful.

Range: d'-g''. A major/D major.

Editor: Rosalind Halton

Cantata à voce sola di soprano
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A Scarlatti: Lieti boschi, ombre amiche
Forces: alto & continuo

Taking refuge in the forests, amongst the friendly shades, our heart-broken protagonist sighs at his plight. The trees, breezes, beasts and birds know how he feels, but Clori is insensitive to his love. RARA format with a spiky adagio and a rather sprightly andante to finish.

Source: Münster Santini Sammlung HS 3907(15)

Range: b - c'

Editor: James Sanderson

Cantata à voce sola di contralto
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A Scarlatti: Lisa, del fuoco mio (Clori e Lisa)
Forces: 2 sopranos & continuo

Dated the 28th of February, 1706, these two ladies are bemoaning the sacrifices necessary for the inevitability of love: loss of liberty and constant heart-ache... 2 duets, an aria each and gossiping recitative link this musical conversation, quite a little drama!

Editor: James Sanderson

Duetto da camera à due soprano
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A Scarlatti: Marc Antonio e Cleopatra
Forces: soprano, alto & continuo

Source: MS.3901, Santini Collection of the Diözesan Library, Münster. It is the only source of this work, which consists of chamber duets with basso continuo. One of the works, the famous 'Questo silenzio ombroso' carries the comment '1707 in Urbino'.

This is a substantial chamber duet with recits & arias for both characters as well as two extensive duets.

Editor: James Sanderson

Duetto da camera à voce di soprano e contralto
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A Scarlatti: Mentre Clori la bella sotto l'ombra d'un mirto
Forces: soprano, 2 flutes & continuo

Clori is being very insensitive, sitting beneath her Myrtle tree and enjoying the breeze whilst Fileno is suffering all the torments of love! In RARARA format with two of the arias with 2 flutes accompaniment and 2 with ritornelli. A lovely piece with some very interesting use of harmony...

Source: Münster Santini Sammlung Hs 3975(2)

Range: d - a''

Editor: James Sanderson

Cantata à voce sola di soprano con flauti
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A Scarlatti: Mi tormenta il pensiero (i)
Forces: soprano & continuo

The first version of this cantata, dated 10 March 1701 in Scarlatti's 'Cantata Diary'. 'Tormented by my thoughts, consumed with desire, lost is hope, and without hope what point is there in life?' The torments of Jealousy in love. RARA format.

Source: Münster Santini Sammlung HS 864(7)

Range: d - g'

Editor: James Sanderson

Cantata à voce sola di soprano
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A Scarlatti: Mi tormenta il pensiero (ii)
Forces: alto & continuo

The second version on this text, using more of the text than version I. The cruel force of Jealousy plagues the young lover in this concisely written pastoral cantata. Tormented by thoughts, consumed with desire, lost is hope, and without hope what point is there in life?.

Source: Münster Santini Sammlung 3909

Range: b - c#'

Editor: James Sanderson

Cantata à voce sola di contralto
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A Scarlatti: 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

Cantata à voce sola con stromenti d’arco
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A Scarlatti: Nò non ti voglio Cupido
Forces: soprano, alto & continuo

The changeable attitude to love certainly makes for a bright piece of music! The opening and closing duets (to the same music) projects two different moods - 'No I don't want it' and 'Yes, I do' Separated by two recits and arias, one for each voice.

Source: Münster Santini Sammlung HS 865(1)

Editor: James Sanderson

Cantata à due, soprano e contralto
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A Scarlatti: Notte cara a un cor che langue
Forces: soprano & continuo

(1705) Hanley 478. Three arias, two recits. Sources in British Library and Santini Collection, Münster.

Theme of night and the solitary lover; rewarding cello part, especially the virtuoso Aria 2.

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 che mostro, o che furia è Lontananza (1709)
Forces: soprano & continuo

Text is by Cardinal Ottoboni: being apart is a monster, a fury, and always gives rise to jealousy. Arias are in B flat (very ornate) and C major (very cheerful and melodic), and the cantata finishes with a brief recitative, giving thanks for faithful love which can survive separation. Both arias have rewarding dialogue for voice and cello. RARAR format

Range: e flat'- g''

Source: British Library, Add. Ms. 34056

The whole manuscript contains settings of Ottoboni's texts.

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
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A Scarlatti: Peno, e del mio penar
Forces: soprano & continuo

28 August, 1705, autograph source in New Haven, Yale (Scarlatti's 'cantata diary'). Penetrating melismatic recitatives, with final aria in Siciliano style. Scarlatti's complex chromatic style.

Range: e flat'- g''. C minor/F minor.

Editor: Rosalind Halton

Cantata à voce sola di soprano
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A Scarlatti: Poiche cessano alfin
Forces: soprano & continuo

range: e'-g'' The storms of love come to an end. The final aria 'andante amoroso' Siciliano is a great, touching example of the genre, and recitatives show the virtuoso declamatory style of Scarlatti at the height of his creativity. 2 recits, 2 arias.

Editor: Rosalind Halton

Cantata à voce sola di soprano
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A Scarlatti: Quando Amor vuol ferirmi
Forces: soprano & continuo

"When Love wants to hurt me, the traitor hides beneath your lashes..." The bitter-sweet torments of love in this delightful work from Münster Santini Sammlung HS 3915(2) - Hanley 588. In RARA format

Range: d - g'

Editor: James Sanderson

Cantata à voce sola di soprano
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