Amore traditore, BWV 203

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Amore traditore (Treacherous love), BWV 203,[a] is a secular cantata composed by Johann Sebastian Bach in Weimar between 1718 and 1723.

History and text[edit]

Bach composed this cantata in Weimar between 1718 and 1723 for an unknown occasion. Its librettist and first performance are also unknown.[1] Unusually for Bach, the text is Italian; only one other cantata (BWV 209) has Italian text.[2]

Scoring and structure[edit]

It is based on the Italian solo cantata tradition and is in three movements for bass and keyboard (and possibly cello or viola da gamba).[2]

  1. Aria: Amore traditore
  2. Recitative: Voglio provar
  3. Aria: Chi in amore ha nemica la sorte


The first aria includes a flowing bass line and strong ritornello theme. The movement is in da capo form and features long melismas and a very high vocal range. The secco recitative is short but not harmonically cohesive. The final movement is also a da capo aria, with three lines of counterpoint and a complex keyboard part.[2]



  1. ^ "BWV" is Bach-Werke-Verzeichnis, a thematic catalogue of Bach's works.


  1. ^ "Cantata BWV 203 Amore traditore". Bach Cantatas Website. Retrieved 14 December 2012.
  2. ^ a b c Mincham, Julian. "Treacherous Love". The Cantatas of Johann Sebastian Bach. Retrieved 17 May 2013.

External links[edit]