Ero e Leandro

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Not to be confused with the 1879 opera by Giovanni Bottesini, nor the 1897 opera by Luigi Mancinelli, nor the lost opera by Arrigo Boito, nor the symphonic poem by Alfredo Catalani.

Ero e Leandro, also known after its first line as Qual ti reveggio, oh Dio[1] (HWV 150), is a 1707 Italian-language cantata by George Frideric Handel, composed during his stay in Rome to a libretto believed to be written by Cardinal Pietro Ottoboni.[2] It is a reworking of the Greek myth of Hero and Leander, with the soprano soloist taking the role of Hero.[2] In it, Hero finds her love, Leander, drowned, tears out her hair, thus symbolically rejecting the beauty which had led to Leander's fascination with her (and thus his death), then drowns herself.[3] It is composed for a soprano solo (with no other singers), and a small orchestra consisting of two oboes, and two string sections: a concertino of solo violin and violoncello, and a concerto grosso made up of two violins, a viola, and continuo.[4] In Ero e Leanro, Recitatives alternate with arias, as was normal at the period for not only cantatas, but oratorios and operas as well; however, unusually, Ero e Leandro ends with a recitative, instead of an aria.[5][6]

Ero e Leandro comes from a period very eary in Handel's career, when Handel, having travelled to Italy in 1706, was replacing his former Germanic style of composition with the Italian style that he would use for the rest of his life.[7][8] Music from it would be reused by Handel in his later compositions: Themes taken from this opera appear in both Handel's Recorder Sonata Opus 1, No 2[9] and in his Utrecht Te Deum for the setting of "Vouchsafe, O Lord".[10] In Agrippina, Agrippina's aria "Non ho che cor amarti" was taken, almost entirely unadapted, from "Se la morte non vorrà".[11]

It is the only of Handel's cantatas known, to reasonable certainty, to have been written under the patronage of Cardinal Pietro Ottoboni,[3] an important patron of the arts in Italy for whom Handel is known to have written many cantatas, but, outside of Ero e Leandro, it's somewhat uncertain which these are.

Ero e Leandro was first published in 1999 as part of Hallische Händel-Ausgabe's attempt to create a complete edition of all of Handel's works. It appears in Georg Friedrich Händel. Kantaten mit Instrumenten, III: HWV 150, 165, 166, 170, 171, 173.[12]

Music[edit]

  • Qual ti reveggio, oh Dio (Recitative)
  • Empio mare (Aria)
  • Amor, che ascoso (Recitative)
  • Se la morte non vorrà (Aria)
  • Questi dalla mia fronte (Recitative)
  • Si muora (Aria)
  • Ecco, gelide labbra (Recitative)[13]

References[edit]

  1. ^ Donald Burrows (1997), The Cambridge Companion to Handel, Cambridge University Press, ISBN 0-521-45613-4, ISBN 978-0-521-45613-5, p. 334.
  2. ^ a b GFHandel.com, G. F. Handel's Compositions HWV 101-200. Accessed 14-3-2009
  3. ^ a b Ellen T. Harris (2001), Handel as Orpheus Harvard University Press, ISBN 0-674-01598-3, ISBN 978-0-674-01598-2, p. 50
  4. ^ Harris, Ellen T (March 2001), "Kantaten mit Instrumenten, III: HWV 150, 165, 166, 170, 171, 173 (review)", in Notes 57: 3. p. 737.
  5. ^ Dean, Winton (1997), Humour with Human Commitment: Handel's "Agrippina". Essay accompanying Philips recording 438 009-2 by Philips Classical Productions. p. 1 c.2
  6. ^ Ellen T. Harris (2001), Handel as Orpheus Harvard University Press, ISBN 0-674-01598-3, ISBN 978-0-674-01598-2, p. 54.
  7. ^ Boyden et al, p. 56
  8. ^ Dean, Winton (1980). "George Frideric Handel" in the New Grove Dictionary of Music and Musicians (British special edition), Vol. 8, Macmillan, London, ISBN 0-333-23111-2, p. 110.
  9. ^ Donald Burrows (1997), The Cambridge Companion to Handel, Cambridge University Press, ISBN 0-521-45613-4, ISBN 978-0-521-45613-5, pp. 188–89.
  10. ^ Donald Burrows (2005), Handel and the English Chapel Royal, Oxford University Press, ISBN 0-19-816228-6, ISBN 978-0-19-816228-5, p. 89, footnote 43.
  11. ^ *Sawyer, John E (November 1999). "Irony and Borrowing in Handel's "Agrippina"". Music and Letters 80 (4): 533–41. doi:10.1093/ml/80.4.531. JSTOR 854988.  (subscription access).
  12. ^ Harris, Ellen T (March 2001), "Kantaten mit Instrumenten, III: HWV 150, 165, 166, 170, 171, 173 (review)", in Notes 57: 3. pp. 736–37.
  13. ^ Arkivmusic track listing