Aure soavi e lieti (Handel)

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Aure soavi e liete (HWV 84) is a dramatic secular cantata for soprano written by Georg Frideric Handel in 1707. Other catalogues of Handel's music have referred to the work as HG l,12 (there is no HHA designation of the work).[1] The title of the cantata translates as "Soft and delightful breezes".


The copyist's bill for Ruspoli is dated 16 May 1707.[1]


The text blends delightful nature images with the feelings the singer has for his beloved Clori.


The work is scored for solo soprano and keyboard (with scattered figured bass markings). The cantata contains two recitative-aria pairings.

A typical performance of the work takes about five and a half minutes.


The work consists of four movements:

Movement Type Key sig. Time sig. Tempo Bars Text (Italian) Text (approx. English) Notes
1 Recitative 4/4 17 Aure soavi e liete, ombre notturne e chete, voi dall'estivo ardore, dolci ne difendete.

Ma non trova il mio core, nel suo cocente ognor loco amoroso, chi lo difenda o chi gli dia riposo.
onde fra voi solingo di parlar a colei che pur non m'ode, aure soavi, ombre notturene io fingo.

Soft and delightful breezes, silent night shadows, from the summer heat, you give sweet relief.

But my heart cannot find, in its ever-burning loving core, the one who will defend it or give it rest.
alone among you I pretend speaking to her who does not hear me, gentle breezes, night shadows.

2 Aria E-flat major 4/4 Adagio 21 Care luci, che l'alba rendete quand'a me cosi belle apparite

voi nel cor mille fiamme accendete, ma pietà dell'ardor non sentite.

Dear eyes, that brings the dawn when so beautiful you appear to me

you light a thousand flames in my heart, but you do not feel pity.

The key signature is written with only two flats, and A-flats have been written in as accidentals.

The opening musical phrase ("Care luci") hangs on an arched melody that Handel also used in his opera Rodrigo, as well as in Messiah (Comfort ye my people).

3 Recitative 4/4 8 Pietà, Clori, pietà! se quel che pietà sia dentro al tuo cor si sà, deh!

fa che l'alma mia veda e conosca a prova che la pietà nel tuo bel cor si trova.

Pity, Clori, pity! if that which pity is known inside your heart, pray!

make my soul see and experience the proof that pity exists in your beautiful heart.

4 Aria G minor 3/8 34 Un'aura flebile, un'ombra mobile sperar mi fà,

che Clori amabile nell'alma nobile senta pietà.

A gentle breeze, a passing shadow gives me hope,

that lovely Clori in her noble soul feel pity.

Three sections (6, 8 and 20 bars)—the first two with repeat markings. Includes a "Da Capo", "Fine" instruction.

(Movements do not contain repeat markings unless indicated. The number of bars is the raw number in the manuscript—not including repeat markings. The above is taken from volume 50, starting at page 12, of the Händel-Gesellschaft edition.)

See also[edit]


  1. ^ a b Anthony Hicks. "Handel, George Frideric", The New Grove Dictionary of Music and Musicians, ed. S. Sadie and J. Tyrrell (London: Macmillan, 2001), x, 790.
  • Harris, Ellen T. (2009). "Handel's Italian Cantatas". Handel Complete Cantatas. Volume 2. (CD). Stephanie True, Marco Vitale, Contrasto Armonico. Brilliant Classics. p. 7. 9400. ASIN: B002VZ2MEO.