Alessandro Scarlatti 2010

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Le Serenate


«Ove smarrita e sola»

Music by Alessandro Scarlatti, poet unknown. Naples, Palazzo Zavallos Stigliano, June 16, 1723.
Please click on
the image above to view the preliminary pages of the modern edition
published by the Istituto Italiano per la Storia della Musica or here to order a copy of this volume.

Only a single copy of the printed libretto from 1723 has survived (in the Biblioteca Casanatense, Rome)
and from it we learn that the serenata consisted of two parts. Strangely, only the music for Part One of the serenata
is known to have survived and is reproduced in this publication. Happily, after this edition appeared in print,
two arias and a recitative from Part Two were identified thanks to the good offices of the RISM project.

A page of Errata as well as three musical excerpts from this edition of Scarlatti's final masterpiece can be seen here, here or here.
Program notes for the serenata, in English or Italian, are available; and for anyone wishing to perform this work
an archive of instrumental and vocal parts may be downloaded.

The major sections of this serenata sung by the the eighteen-year-old castrato Carlo Broschi (called Farinelli) can be seen here.

Was the libretto of this serenata an unacknowledged work by the young Pietro Metastasio?

Amore, Pace e Providenza.

«Al fragor di lieta tromba»

Naples, music by Alessandro Scarlatti, text by Giuseppe Papis. Please click on al_fragor to access the score and libretto of this serenata.

On 17 April 1711 the Austrian Emperor Joseph I died, and on October 12 of that year his younger brother Charles III, Habsburg
claimant to the throne of Spain, was elected Holy Roman Emperor as Charles VI. Thus the celebration of Charles' nameday
on 4 November was of particular significance in 1711 and was widely celebrated in the Habsburg domains.

The work heard on this occasion survives in three manuscript scores and a printed libretto. The title given here, Amore, Pace e Providenza,
is simply the name of the three main characters, the libretto calling it a

The main performance on the evening of 4 November took place on an elaborate temporary structure in the square facing the balconies of the Royal Palace.
Besides this performance, a public rehearsal
1of the serenata was open to the nobility on 1 November in the palace as a conversazione, and the serenata was
also repeated on the evening of 6 November for the aristocracy, followed by dancing and gambling, again in the palace. Borromeo's
maestro di casa,
Giovanni Tapia, estimated the total cost of the festival as 8000 ducats, which may have included the cost of the
cuccagne, fireworks, temporary
structure for the musicians and 4800
carlini thrown to the common people by the viceroy.

Il Genio Austriaco, Il Sole, Flora,
Zeffiro, Partenope e Sebeto.

«Dia la fama il suo fiato»

Naples, music by Alessandro Scarlatti, text by Giuseppe Papis. The music has not survived.
More information concerning this serenata can be found here.

Clori, Lidia e Filli.

«Già compito il suo giro»

Music by Alessandro Scarlatti, poet unknown. A single score survives in B Bc F 669z.
The score and libretto for the serenata are found here. It appears to date from ca. 1700.

Genio di Partenope, Gloria del Sebeto,
Piacere di Mergellina.

«Venticelli soavi che con ali amorosi»

Music by Alessandro Scarlatti, poet unknown. Naples, 1696. It was written to celebrate the birthday of the Spanish Viceroy's wife.
You will find a score, libretto and more information about this serenata

Filli, Clori e Tirsi.

«Dalle fiorite arene del mio patrio Volturno»

Music by Alessandro Scarlatti, poet unknown. Naples, 1715 for the nameday of the Austrian Viceroy’s wife.
Slightly revised as
La Ninfa del Tago and performed at Rome in 1721 for the nameday celebration of King John V of Portugal.
You will find the score, libretti and more information concerning this serenata here.

Partenope, Teti, Nettuno, Proteo e Glauco.

«Chi al vasto ondoso formidabil Regno»

Music by Alessandro Scarlatti, poet unknown. Naples, perhaps on November 4, 1718, in the Royal Palace.
The serenata is for the nameday celebration of the Austrian Emperor Charles VI and makes reference to a recent
maritime victory by the British Admiral George Byng.

More information, including a score, libretto and the source for this serenata are found here.

La Virtù negli Amori.

«Dolce sonno, oblio de' mali»

Music by Alessandro Scarlatti, poetry by Gaetano Lemer, scenery by Francesco Bibbiena. Rome, November 16, 1721, Teatro Capranica.
In celebration of the elevation of Innocent XIII as Pope. The music has not survived.

Originally concieved as an occasional cantata by the Portugese ambassador at Rome for performance in his palace,
as the date of its scheduled performance drew near, it was enlarged almost to the size of an opera and the site
of its performance was transferred to the Teatro Capranica.

The printed libretto contains a particularly interesting Foreword by the poet.

Le Glorie della Belllezza.

«In sì bel giorno, che il Gran Natale D'ELISABETTA»

Music by Alessandro Scarlatti, poetry by Giuseppe Papis. Naples, August 28, 1709, for the birthday of the Habsburg Queen of Spain.
The music has not survived.
The pioneering Neapolitan scholar Ulisse Prota-Giurleo published an extract from the
Gazzetta di Napoli describing the performance
of this serenata. By extracting a phrase from the
Gazzetta account Prota-Giurleo gave the serenata the title it now bears, suggesting
that the work was sung by several allegorical characters. This was not the case, as we now know from the printed libretto (unknown to Prota-Giurleo).

The libretto for this musical entertainment (
Trattenimento Musicale) preserves the text of two cantatas, the first praising Queen Elisabeth's physical
attributes, the second her spiritual qualities. These are followed by a comic i
ntermezzo. The entertainment ends with a third cantata in which the hope
is expressed that the Queen give birth to many offspring.

Here you will find notes on this serenata.

Giove Placato.

«Son ferita, son piagata.»

Music by Alessandro Scarlatti, text by Giuseppe Papis. Naples, Palazzo Reale, December 4, 1713,
for the nameday celebration of the viceroy's wife. The music has not survived.

Notes on the libretto are found here.

Guerra, Europa, Fama, Gloria.

«Mentre dell'Austria il fulminante Giove»

Music by Alessandro Scarlatti, poet unknown. Naples, Palazzo Reale, November 4, 1712.
The music has not survived.

Notes on the libretto are found here.

La Gloria di Primavera.

«Nato è già l'Austriaco sole»

Music by Alessandro Scarlatti, text by Nicolô Giuvo. Piedimonte Matese (near Naples), Palazzo di Don Nicola Gaetano d'Aragona, May 20, 21 and 23, 1716.
Here are found the score, libretto and more information on this serenata, one of Scarlatti's finest.

Venere e Amore.

«Del mar tirreno in su l'amena sponda»

Music by Alessandro Scarlatti, poet unknown, Naples ca. 1695-1700
Images of A. Tirabassi's (Brussels, 1921) modern edition (that once belonged to Edwin Hanley) are found here.

Venere, Cupido e Marte.

«Splende in Ciel la mia lucida stella»

Music by Severo De Luca, poet unknown, Rome 1700.
Here are found the score, libretto and more information concerning this serenata.

Bel piacere ch'è la caccia.

«Bel piacere ch'è la caccia»

Music by Pietro Scarlatti, Naples.
The score, libretto and more information concerning this serenata are found here in a MS Word file.

Il Trionfo d'Amore.

«Amici al fin»

Music by Antonio Caldara, Rome, July 1709.
The score, libretto and and a fine article by Magdalena Boschung concerning this serenata are found here.

A score for Caldara's chamber cantata Ruscelletto a cui sen Viene is found here.
Boschung has discovered that the second aria of the cantata is also found in Caldara's
serenata Il Più bel nome of 1708.

Edward Dent's still valuble biography of Alessandro Scarlatti from 1905.

The doctoral dissertation by Thomas Griffin. Undertaken in the late 1970s: several newer discoveries made since then are reported in the survey below.

Survey of the Late Serenatas of Alessandro Scarlatti (1709-1723) by Thomas Griffin.

The Avvisi di Roma at Munich by Thomas Griffin.

DEL MARCHESE DEL CARPIO (1683-1687) by Thomas Griffin.

A report on the 2013 conference on 18th century music in Spain at the Universidad de la Rioja.

Some extracts from the Avvisi di Roma (MS 402) in the Istituto Storico Spagnolo at Rome.

Le Cantate

In his 1963 doctoral dissertation at Yale University (Alessandro Scarlatti's Cantate da Camera), Edwin Hanley discussed and identified 783
chamber cantatas which he attributed to Alessandro Scarlatti. In the age in which it flourished, the cantata was accorded a position
of greatest distinction, often acknowledged as the supreme challenge to the artistry of the composer and singer and the appreciative
capacity of the audience.
In 1723 Pierfrancesco Tosi wrote. "It almost always requires a special artifice because of the
words, which, with few exceptions [are] aimed at venting the most violent passions of the soul." (Opinioni de' cantori antichi, e moderni; Bologna, 1723).

Here you will find Hanley's edition of three Scarlatti chamber cantatas: three cantatas. with English translations of their texts.
Here are three midi files of the above: midi files.

Grancino Editions has published three manuscripts scores of Scarlatti cantatas preserved in the British Library.
The first two cantatas are listed in the Hanley catalog. The third cantata (lacking in Hanley) "Mi ha diviso il cor,"
is preserved in manuscript 34056 in the British Library, known to preserve poetry of Prince Antonio Ottoboni,
the father of Cardinal Pietro Ottoboni. In their catalog of Antonio's poetry Michael Talbot and Colin Timms
("Music and Poetry of Antonio Ottobon (1646-1720)", in Haendal e Gli Scarlatti a Roma, Florence: Olschki, 1987, p.421) describe it as
"Divisione. Parla la D., essendo l'A. partito per Londra."
The three cantatas from the Grancino edition, in modern notation, are found here.
Antonio Ottoboni's poetry for the third cantata is here here. Midi files for these three cantatas can be found here.

Rosalind Halton's edition of Alessandro Scarlatti's chamber cantata Tormentatemi pur.



Fabio Biondi's 2010 broadcast on Deutschlandfunk of A. Sarlatti's opera Carlo Re d'Alemagna.

A broadcast in 2010 of mostly sacred music by A. Sarlatti's on West German Radio.

A broadcast on West German Radio by Cantus Cölln of vocal music by Alessandro and Domenico Scarlatti.

Antonio Caldara's beautiful Salve Regina recorded by Rudolf Ewerhard. Could this work have been written
by Caldara at Rome before his appointment at Vienna in 1716, as Warren Kirkendale believes possible?

Several charming Mexican songs, transcribed with lilypond .