Lascia ch'io pianga
"Lascia ch'io pianga" is an Italian-language soprano aria by composer George Frideric Handel which has become a popular concert piece. The melody for the song began its life as an Asian dance in his 1705 opera Almira. As an aria the piece was first used in Handel's 1707 oratorio Il trionfo del tempo e del disinganno, albeit with a different text and name, "Lascia la spina". Handel later recycled the work for his 1711 opera Rinaldo, giving the aria to the character Almirena (portrayed by soprano Isabella Girardeau in the opera's premiere) in act 2. Rinaldo was a major triumph for Handel, and it is with this work that the aria is chiefly associated.
The aria is written in the key of F major with a time signature of 3
2 and a tempo marking of Largo. The instrumentation calls for violin I and II, viola, and double bass. A performance takes about five minutes.
The aria has been recorded by many artists and is featured in several films including Farinelli; All Things Fair by Bo Widerberg; L.I.E. by Michael Cuesta; Antichrist and Nymphomaniac, both by Lars von Trier.
Among the more recent popular artists who have recorded the modern version are Sarah Brightman on the CD Eden (1998), which is on several YouTube filmings, a longer version by Hayley Westenra with orchestra, a more simple presentation (with piano only) by Ji-Hyun Park, and a film rendering by Cecilia Bartoli mistakenly attributed to Brightman.
Lascia ch'io pianga
Let me weep
- Dean and Knapp, pp. 176–78
- Hicks, Anthony. "Rinaldo". Oxford Music Online. Retrieved 28 January 2011.(subscription required)
- Haynes, Bruce, The End of Early Music, Oxford University Press US, 2007, p. 25. ISBN 0-19-518987-6
- Lærerinden – Musikstycken (in Swedish). Swedish Film Institute. Retrieved on 28 July 2008.
- Antichrist Pressbook (PDF). Artificial Eye. Retrieved on 28 July 2009.
- Dean, Winton; Knapp, J. Merrill (1995) . Handel's Operas: 1704–1726. Oxford: Oxford University Press. ISBN 9780198164418.