Scarlatti, Domenico

Giuseppe Domenico Scarlatti (Naples, 26 October 1685 – Madrid, 23 July 1757) was an Italian composer. He is classified primarily as a Baroque composer chronologically, although his music was influential in the development of the Classical style and he was one of the few Baroque composers to transition into the classical period.

Like his renowned father Alessandro Scarlatti, he composed in a variety of musical forms, although today he is known mainly for his 555 keyboard sonatas. He spent much of his life in the service of the Portuguese and Spanish royal families.
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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

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D Scarlatti: Ah! sei troppo infelice
Forces: soprano & continuo

One of Scarlatti's late chamber cantatas recorded by Kate Eckersley

Sinuous opening arioso/recit with two straightforward arias and a secco recit in wich the lover deals with the pains caused by the Nume arciero.

Range: e' - g''

Editor: Kate Eckersley & James Sanderson

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D Scarlatti: Che vidi, o Ciel, che vidi?
Forces: soprano, violins & continuo

One of Domenico Scarlatti's most dramatic cantatas with violins: Heavens! Oh Heavens! Tirsi is languishing, and his face darkens with sorrow. Beside him, his faithful consort piteously expresses in a sad song the harsh pain in her heart, which arouses her bitter weeping. Or else, remaining silent, her glance seems to speak to him, saying "Are you leaving me and abandoning me?"

Commencing with a highly dramatic accompagnato with two contrasting arias and another recit both secco and accompagnato

Range: b flat - b'' flat

Source: MS in the Royal Music Collection now housed in the British Library.

Editor: Kate Eckersley & James Sanderson

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D Scarlatti: Con qual cor
Forces: soprano & continuo

Source: MS in the collection of the Royal College of Music, London

Hell hath no fury... in this aria - recit - aria cantata. "With what kind of heart do you ask me for peace...ungrateful soul, traitor!"

Range: c - g'

Editor: Kate Eckersley & James Sanderson

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D Scarlatti: Di fille vendicarmi vorrei
Forces: soprano & continuo

Source: MS in the collection of the Royal College of Music, London

Aria - recit - aria format, the first remarkable for its chromaticism, the last for its sheer verve and virtuosity. The text deals with a young man whose love for Fille has caused him 'fierce grief' and leads him to pray to the God of Love for assistance.

Range: a - a''

Editor: Kate Eckersley & James Sanderson

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D Scarlatti: Dir vorrei
Forces: soprano, violins & continuo

Our protagonist is hopelessly in love but unable to utter it to his beloved Nice. In three sections (ARA) with Domenico Scarlatti's typically complex vocal and instrumental lines.

Source: MS in the British Library

Range: c# - a''

Editor: Kate Eckersley & James Sanderson

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D Scarlatti: Fille già più non parlo
Forces: soprano & continuo

Virtuosic cantata in two recit and aria format with a particularly fiendish last aria.

Editor: Kate Eckersley & James Sanderson

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D Scarlatti: No, non fuggire ò Nice
Forces: soprano & continuo

Source: MS in the collection of the Royal College of Music, London.

Once again a young man sacrifices his personal happiness on the altar of unrequited love for Nice. In double recit-aria format, the spectacular second aria showing strong Spanish influence.

Range: c - g'

Editor: Kate Eckersley & James Sanderson

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D Scarlatti: O qual meco Nice cangiata
Forces: soprano, violins & continuo

Nice is being 'dishonourable' and ignoring her lover today. "...Oh, how you have changed towards me..." With a fiery allegrissimo introduzione, and RARA format within, this is Domenico Scarlatti stretching the skills of his singer again!

Source: MS in the Royal Music Collection of the British Library

Range: d - b flat''

Editor: Kate Eckersley & James Sanderson

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D Scarlatti: Piangete occhi dolenti
Forces: soprano, violins & continuo

Weep, eyes weep... What a cheery subject! Love's passion at it's saddest in this virtuosic cantata by Domenico Scarlatti: '...I am in love, and my beloved scorns my pain; she has no feeling of pity...'

Source: MS in the Royal Music Collection at the British Library

Range: c - a''

Editor: Kate Eckersley & James Sanderson

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D Scarlatti: Pur nel sonno almen tal'ora
Forces: soprano, violins & continuo

Domenico Scarlatti's extraordinary setting of Metastasio's cantata. The format is two-part instrumental introduction, aria, recit, aria with typically virtuosic writing for both violins and voice. The subject is mourning for lost Fille - lost to rival Fileno. Summed up well in the final line: If for for a moment of dreaming I am happy, my torment increases with the coming day.

Range: c - a''

Editor: Kate Eckersley & James Sanderson

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D Scarlatti: Qual pensier, quale ardire
Forces: soprano & continuo

Fantastically dramatic piece with a vocal range of A - a' (at one point in a single phrase) First aria is exceptional, divided into alternating slow and fast sections and with a rolling triple B section. This is one angry lady!

Editor: Kate Eckersley & James Sanderson

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D Scarlatti: Scritte con falso inganno
Forces: soprano, violins & continuo

In receipt of a 'Dear Jane' letter our protagonist questions everything about it: "...What do you mean by your words 'I am not'..." She maintains her control until the middle section of the last aria where presto e risoluto she loses it completely. RARA format with some stunning vocal writing.

Source: MS in the British Library

Range: c# - a''

Editor: Kate Eckersley & James Sanderson

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D Scarlatti: Se fedele tu m'adori
Forces: soprano, violins & continuo

Source: MS in the Royal Music Collection now housed in the British Library.

Well, this girl is very open-minded, allowing Tirsi to love whomever he wishes (Nice, Clori, Egeria, Fille) because: The flighty bee is not content to long for the beautiful rose. If it can show itself a lover to other flowers, it wants to fly into the midst of them all...

Range: c' - a''

Editor: Kate Eckersley & James Sanderson

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D Scarlatti: Se per un sol momento (Fille e Clori)
Forces: 2 sopranos & continuo

Source: MS in the collection of the Royal College of Music, London

Duet - recit - aria - recit - aria - recit - duet all of which deal with the theme of love once lost and regained. The story of Clori and Fileno and their adoration for each other - how beauty can charm and defeat love simultaneously.

Editor: Kate Eckersley & James Sanderson

Duetto da camera
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D Scarlatti: Se ti dicesse un core
Forces: soprano & continuo

Source: MS in the collection of the Royal College of Music, London

Aria - recit - aria format, the last aria in two exciting and virtuosic parts in different time signatures. Here the text involves a rejected, though constant lover asking for the pity of his beloved.

Range: d - g'

Editor: Kate Eckersley & James Sanderson

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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

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D Scarlatti: Ti ricorda o bella Irene
Forces: soprano & continuo

Source: MS in the collection of the Royal College of Music, London

Aria - recit - aria format with interesting major/minor juxtapositions in the last. It's the tale of another long-suffering lover willing to do anything for his beloved.

Range: b - a''

Editor: Kate Eckersley & James Sanderson

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D Scarlatti: Tinte à note di sangue
Forces: soprano, violins & continuo

Source: MS in the Royal Music Collection now housed in the British Library.

A fiery piece full of recrimination and anger, then self-pity and despair - a little like life really!! "Written in blood, my betrayed heart sends these tormented words to you...think how much I have loved you, know that you are not mine, and weep for the pity of my plight"

Two recit and aria format, the last aria, similar to the Mancini setting of the same text, alternates fast and slow

Range: d - g'

Editor: Kate Eckersley & James Sanderson

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D Scarlatti: Tirsi Caro (Tirsi e Fille)
Forces: 2 sopranos & continuo

Delightful duo cantata by Domenico Scarlatti. Duet - recitative - duet form.

Editor: Kate Eckersley & James Sanderson
Duetto da camera
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D Scarlatti: Tu mi chiedi o mio ben
Forces: soprano & continuo

Our erstwhile suitor compares the beams from Filli's eyes to cupid's darts. These darts strike his heart and cause all the blood to flow from it - perhaps a trifle dramatic but certainly worth a sing! In RARARA format with some typically twisted harmonic and melodic shifts.

Source: Münster Santini Sammlung HS 864 (only source)

Range: e - g'

Editor: James Sanderson

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