Lontananza/Separation

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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

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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

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A Scarlatti: Chi sà dove è la speranza
Forces: soprano, flute & continuo

Fillide is totally in love with Olindo and hopes that Cupid will support her love (she's not confident!) while he is away (lontananza). A lovely, simple example of a single line obligato accompaniment to soprano and continuo.

The source is Münster Santini Sammlung Hs 3975, provided by Sascha Mommertz. The cantata is simply inscribed Cantata a voce sola con flauto and there may be some question as to the attribution to A Scarlatti, although Hs 3975 contains a large number of cantatas ascribed to A Scarlatti.

Editor: James Sanderson

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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

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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

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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

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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
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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

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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

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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: 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: 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

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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

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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

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Mancini: Crudele lontananza
Forces: soprano & continuo

A classic lontananza cantata with Clori once again responsible for our lover's torment, but he still wants to "kiss the arrow that pierced my heart..." Oh, for goodness' sake! RARARA format, with two slow and one fast. Short, vivid recitatives.

Editor: James Sanderson

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Mancini: E come, e come, O Dio?
Forces: soprano & continuo

Source: BL Add MS 64960 Formerly owned by Maria Ducarel, recorded (f. ii verso) as a gift to her from George Henry Lee, 3rd Earl of Lichfield, in 1768.

With a textual opening classic to the genre the protagonist asks God how he/she can live through the bitter torments of being parted from his/her beloved. The theme of jealousy caused by separation in a musical setting. Dramtic and vivid word-painting characterise the recitatives of this cantata together with two splendid arias Largo and a 12/8 à tempo giusto.
Range: d - g'

Editor: James Sanderson

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Mancini: Esamina mio core
Forces: soprano & continuo

What is worse, to be near an unfaithful love or separated from a faithful one? This is the question our singer poses: 'Examine my heart...'. This is a delightful lontananza cantata which gives into the 'Forces of the nude archer...'. Cupid has been busy again, clearly!
Source: Naples Conservatorio di Musica S Pietro a Majella.

Editor: James Sanderson

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Mancini: Già che teco io son mio bene
Forces: soprano & continuo

A delightful cantata full of longing and some wonderful word painting in the two arias. ARA format sees Fileno's lover longing for his return - '...stop your running or the sun will not shine...'

Source: Biblioteca del Conservatorio di musica S. Pietro a Majella - Napoli - IT-NA0059 ; Segnatura: Cantate 41-08.

Editor: James Sanderson

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Mancini: La Rondinella trapassa il mar
Forces: soprano & continuo

From a volume of Mancini cantatas in the S Pietro di Majella Conservatorio library, this is an extremely cheerful 'lontananza' cantata. In ARA format with two delightfully playful arias and a complex, emotional recitative, this cantata should prove very popular with singers and audience alike.

Editor: James Sanderson

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Mancini: Lasciami solo in pene
Forces: soprano & continuo

Leave me alone in my pain! So repeats our (quite upset) protagonist in this RARA format cantata. A sinuous Siciliano and a resolute final aria set the text off very effectively. This is the composer at his very inventive stage.

Source: Biblioteca del Conservatorio di musica S. Pietro a Majella - Napoli - IT-NA0059 Segnatura: 33.3.33-05.
Range: e - g'

Editor: James Sanderson

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Mancini: Lungi dal tuo sembiante
Forces: soprano & continuo

Here our erstwhile lover is wrapped up in all the torments of the classic 'lontananza' cantata. He is prepared to die for love if his distant beloved would just turn the light of her eyes towards him and show him her face. A large RARARA format aria from the Naples Conservatorio collection (S. Pietro a Majella).

Editor: James Sanderson

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Mancini: Queste vermiglie note
Forces: alto & continuo

An extraordinarily emotional work dealing with the suicide of the distant lover. "These crimson notes, notes which I write to you from opened veins..." Complex recitatives set the scene for two arias largo and affettuoso. Also claimed by some as the work of Bononcini. Source: Münster Santini Sammlung HS 2459(17)
Range: a - d'

Editor: James Sanderson

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Mancini: Tenebroso era il sole e'l ciel
Forces: soprano & continuo

Little known, but unjustifiably so! This RARA format cantata opens with a virtuosic recitative and continues to challenge both singer and continuo player throughout. A text full of longing for the beloved: The sun and the heavens were dark without a glimpse of your face...
Source: Biblioteca del Conservatorio di musica S. Pietro a Majella - Napoli; Segnatura: 33.3.33-06

Editor: James Sanderson

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Marcello: Lontananza e gelosia
Forces: soprano & continuo

very attractive cantata from BL MS Add 14215 which expounds the plight of the lover of Dorinda (la bella) and has a great gasping aria to end.

Editor: James Sanderson

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Porpora: Clori, vezzosa Clori
Forces: soprano & continuo

Separation angst is the theme again in this pastoral cantata. Apart from Clori, her lover bewails his fate through woods, mountains and streams (they always seem to walk so far!). RARA format, the first aria full of wonderful suspensions and a slowly agitated bass line, the second with more agitation in 12/8

Source: Münster Santini HS 3313(3)

Range: e flat - g'

Editor: James Sanderson

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Porpora: Datti pace se puoi
Forces: alto & continuo

Source: alto version in BL Add MS 14210 ff 120r - 127r

The unhappy shepherd is once again longing for his distant love. He cannot believe that she could be untrue. Ah... 2 recits and 2 arias format.

Range: b - e'

Editor: James Sanderson

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Porpora: Fille se fiera sorte
Forces: alto & continuo

Here the lover expresses the feelings that separation from Fille would bring; the slow footstep, the longing, the yearning. It's a lovely sing too! RARA format with well-balanced andante then allegro arias.

Source: Münster Santini HS 859 (9)

Range: c - d'

Editor: James Sanderson

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Porpora: Idolo del mio core
Forces: soprano & continuo

Another from the Naples MS 34.6.25. Here our lover calls "Tell me where you are! Show me where the one I adore is gone!" 

In RARA format, with surprisingly brief recitatives, the second aria Largo has some delightful harmonic shifts. It is intersting to note that the continuo figures in this (only) copy are only written where the vocal part does not appear.

Editor: James Sanderson

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Porpora: Lontananza non risana
Forces: soprano & continuo

As with all lontananza cantatas, this is filled with yearning. "...the further my beloved is, the greater my sadness..." etc. A stunning, chromatic Siciliano opens the ARA format with a sprightly allegro to finish.

Source: Münster Santini HS 859 (10)
Range: c - g'
Editor: James Sanderson

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Porpora: Non hò vita hò viva morte
Forces: soprano & continuo

To be separated from the beloved is a fate worse than death. In ARA format, the first aria a 'pathetic' largo and the last, portraying the sailor on rough seas, a wonderful allegro

Source: Münster Santini HS 3313 (11)
Range: e - g'

Editor: James Sanderson

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Porpora: Non sò come resisto
Forces: alto & continuo

Main sources: BL Add 14214 100r 106v & Add MS 14210 81v - 88v

The lover deals with the loss of the beloved in this two recit and aria cantata. The first aria is very beautiful the second rather virtuosic for both singer and continuo cellist.
Range: c' - f''

Editor: James Sanderson

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Porpora: Oh Dio, che non è vero
Forces: alto & continuo

Cantata Op. 1, no. 11
Metastasian text in which the lover bemoans the absence of the beloved.
A beautiful lento as the first aria, quite exquisite.
Editor: James Sanderson

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Porpora: Sento una Tortorella
Forces: soprano & continuo

As a dove searching for its mate, the lover cries for his beloved in this beautiful example of the genre. In ARA format with some great bird calls.
Source: Münster Santini 3313 (5)
Range: e - g'

Editor: James Sanderson

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Sarri: Crudo Arcier, tiranno Amore
Forces: soprano & continuo

Cupid is at it again in a very effective lontananza cantata in ARARARArioso format. "Separation is a terrible poison, like a cruel snake which reaches your breast. Hope brings despair to every joy". Some really effective writing by a composer much neglected outside of Naples, but celebrated at home.
Source: Biblioteca del Conservatorio di musica S. Pietro a Majella - Napoli: Cantate 251

Editor: James Sanderson

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