Love's torment

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A Scarlatti: Questa, questa è la selva
Forces: soprano & continuo

A wonderful pastoral setting 'This is the forest...' but once again Nice is not being nice and is abandoning her lover. His cries and plaints, his promises of eternal love are all for naught as he is deserted... This is a really complex work with huge recitatives, RARA format.

From 5 sources in the Biblioteca del Conservatorio di musica S. Pietro a Majella - Napoli: Cantate 255 (26), 256 (7), 267 (6), 266 (62). There is also a copy in 264 (20) which pitches the recitatives a tone higher and the second aria in a minor rather than d minor.

Editor: James Sanderson

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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

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A Scarlatti: Silentio, aure volanti
Forces: soprano, strings & continuo

'Silentio, aure volanti - the pain of unrequited love in a sinuous cantata of the night. 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

Cantata à voce sola di soprano con violini
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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

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A Scarlatti: 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

Cantata à voce di basso con violini
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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
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A Scarlatti: Su l’ora appunto (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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A Scarlatti: 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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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

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A Scarlatti: 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

Cantata à voce sola di basso con violini
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A Scarlatti: Tirsi e Clori (O come bello)
Forces: 2 sopranos & continuo

An early work with strophic arias sung in turn by the protagonists separated by recitative and concluding with a homophonic duet and the unaccompanied line 'com'è limpido quel rio'

Editor: James Sanderson

Cantata à due soprani
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A Scarlatti: 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

Cantata à voce sola di basso con violini
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Astorga: Aurora Idolo mio
Forces: soprano & continuo

Love, jealousy and a cieco Dio Amore who likes to shoot his arrows in the backside of anyone unsuspecting... "My punishment is to love..."

Source: Biblioteca del Conservatorio di musica S. Pietro a Majella - Napoli: Cantate 103 (06)

Editor: James Sanderson

Cantata à voce sola di soprano
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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

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Astorga: Che fai, che pensi, e che risolvi?
Forces: soprano, violins & continuo

The course of true love never runs smooth and in this delightful story of Aminta & Dorinda two emotions play in her heart - disdain and love - what will the outcome be? Dorinda will remain constant!

Source: (autograph?) in the British Museum RM.22.a.8(1)

Range: d - a''

Editor: James Sanderson

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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

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Astorga: Clori, che un dì vantava costanza in petto
Forces: soprano & continuo

'Clori, who one day boasted of constancy in her breast and fidelity in her heart...' is not! Another setting of this poetry (see Mancini's), this time by the enigmatic Barone d'Astorga. In RARA format, this is delightful with some interesting challenges for the cellist.

Source: Biblioteca del Conservatorio di Music S Pietro a Majella, Naples.

Editor: James Sanderson

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Astorga: E pur dolce, dolce amore
Forces: soprano & continuo

Willing to die from the effects of love, but knowing of the inability of women to properly love or be faithful, our shepherd rejects the laughter of Cupid at his pains, knowing that a single glance from his beloved would give him the last laugh!

In ARA format with a affettuoso beginning and an allegro finish sourrounding a characteristically complex recitative this is an enjoyable and challenging example of the genre.

Source: Münster Santini Sammlung HS 859(1)

Range: f - g'

Editor: James Sanderson

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Astorga: Ecco perfida Irene
Forces: soprano & continuo

This is taking the sacrifice for love just a little too far. Despite Irene's nastiness, her coldness, her viciousness her lover still wants to just die for her. Oh, please! In RARA format with a strikingly strong first aria in cut common time and a wonderful sinuous final largo.

Source: Münster Santini Sammlung HS 859(15)

Range: d - g'

Editor: James Sanderson
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Astorga: Fedeltà s'è tanto bella
Forces: soprano & continuo

A delightful cantata in ARA format. The lover bemoans Fille's inconstancy (yet again!) "I will escape Cupid's darts and Fille's glances and will live content in with my heart in freedom."

Range: d# - a''

Editor: James Sanderson

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Astorga: In queste amene selve
Forces: alto & continuo

In the classically charming pastoral theme, in a pleasant woods love's constancy is questioned, found wanting and not forgiven - the lover awaits his beloved's return in death. Excellent arias and complex recitatives.

Source: Münster Santini Sammlung HS 859(5)

Range: c - e' flat

Editor: James Sanderson

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Astorga: In questo core
Forces: soprano & continuo

A wonderfully piece, full of twists and turns. ARA format with a first aria of many chromatic passages and keys. "Think for a moment on my constancy and my sincere love as I suffer these torments".

Range: eb to ab'

Editor: James Sanderson

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Bigaglia: Ecco perfida Irene
Forces: soprano & continuo

This is taking the sacrifice for love just a little too far... Despite Irene's nastiness, her coldness, her viciousness her lover still wants to die just for her. RARA format with a stunning first aria and challenging last, this is one of the Venetian priest's excellent miniatures. Source: Naples

Editor: James Sanderson

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Bigaglia: Se tu resisti ò cor
Forces: soprano & continuo

Source BL Add 14212 f75 - 81v

The figures are in a different hand to the manuscript copy (perhaps a later performer?). An attractive work with a very interesting 'left-footed' Siciliano to end.

Editor: James Sanderson

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Bononcini: All'or che il cieco nume
Forces: soprano & continuo

'...it is better to have loved and lost...' could easily be the motto of this cantata. Despite pleading to Cupid for mercy the 'blind God' remains silent and leaves the protagonists to their misery. RARARAR format

Source: BL Add 31547 f25r - 33r

Range: e - a''

Editor: James Sanderson

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Bononcini: Alle sue pene intorno
Forces: soprano, violins & continuo

As they say, 'Hell hath no fury as a woman scorned...' Filli has been rejected by her lover and although she at first threatens all manner of pain to Cupid, she then calls for the furies to bring her poison to end her suffering. In RARA format, the first aria a witty Minuet, the second a two-tempo allegro then largo. Single Unisoni violin part.

Source: BL Add 31518 13r - 16r

Range: d - a flat'

Editor: James Sanderson

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Bononcini: Amo, e ridir nol posso
Forces: soprano & continuo

To love and not be able to express it cannot be an easy thing. Suffering, burning, the flames and pains of love. In RARA format, the arias a sweet largo and a bright vivace.

Source: BL Add MS 31545

Range: e - g#'

Editor: James Sanderson

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Bononcini: Amo, peno, gioisco
Forces: soprano & continuo

"I love, I suffer, I rejoice..." Once again our happy/sad lover is back with his masochistic take on love. In RARA format with two great arias, the first with some double-stopping in the continuo, this is another delightful cantata by Mr Bononcini.

Source: Münster Santini Sammlung Hs 895 (5)

Range: c - g'

Editor: James Sanderson

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Bononcini: Amor, tiranno amor
Forces: soprano & continuo

A very strict warning about trusting in the fidelity of Cupid. Tyrannous Love has been causing mischief again in this ARARA format cantata. In the copy all the da capo sections have been written out in full with varied style of repeat. Perhaps an aural copy as there are no figures...

Source: BL Add 31518 9r

Range: d - g'

Editor: James Sanderson

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Bononcini: Anche i tronchi
Forces: soprano & 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

Range: d'-g''

Editor: Rosalind Halton

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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
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Bononcini: Barbara ninfa ingrata
Forces: soprano, violins & continuo

Tirsi is railing at Clori in this large, dramatic cantata. She has gone off and left him again and he wants his life to end. Such drama! 3-part prelude, then RARA format.

Source: 1721 edition in British Library

Range: d - b flat''

Editor: James Sanderson

Cantata à voce sola con violini
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Bononcini: Care luci del mio bene
Forces: alto, violins & continuo

"Dear eyes of my beloved, you would be more beautiful still if you had some pity for me..." Nice is not being nice (again), nevertheless her erstwhile suitor remains faithful and hopes for her pity on his plight. ARA format with some stylish writing for both voice and violins.

Source: 1721 edition in the British Library

Range: a - e'

Editor: James Sanderson

Cantata à voce sola di contralto con violini
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Bononcini: Ch'io ti manchi di fede
Forces: tenor & continuo

A large cantata edited from the Chandos collection copy in the British library. Unusual in that it's a contemporary copy from before 1720 (the date of the donation of the collection) for tenor. The transposition has provided some odd crossing of parts. Diverse aria structures (including a non-da capo aria) and interesting harmonic progressions.

Editor: James Sanderson

Cantata à voce sola di tenore
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Bononcini: Cieco nume tiranno spietato
Forces: soprano & continuo

One of Bononcini's most beautiful cantatas, the subject here deals with Love's blind cruelty. In 5 sections with no da capo arias and with a recurring theme of the title text, the last section presto assai is particularly virtuosic, though broken by emotional largo sections.

Source: BL Add MS 31546 f74v-79r

Range: c# - g'

Editor: James Sanderson

Cantata à voce sola di soprano
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Bononcini: Clori bell' idol mio
Forces: alto & continuo

Bononcini at his sinuous best here. In RARA format with two affettuoso arias singing of the tears that fall from being parted from the beloved 'Clori my beautiful idol, I am a faithful lover of your beauty'.

Source: Naples Conservatorio

Editor: James Sanderson

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