Händel: Delirio amoroso, HWV 99 - 3/5 - Dessay, Haim

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Publicado el 11 may. 2013

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Delirio amoroso, HWV 99 (also known as Da quel giorno fatale)

Italian cantata for soprano with instruments and basso continuo

Text: Cardinal Benedetto Pamphilj

Music: Georg Friedrich Händel

Completed score: Rome, on or before January 14, 1707

First performance: at the Pamphilj palace in May 1707

Video part 1:
- Introduzione

Video part 2:
- Recitativo: Da quel giorno fatale
- Aria: Un pensiero voli in ciel

Video part 3:
- Recitativo: Ma fermati, pensier
- Aria: Per te lasciai la luce

Video part 4:
- Recitativo: Non ti bastava, ingrato
- Aria: Lascia omai le brune vele
- Recitativo: Ma siamo giunti in Lete
- Entrée

Video part 5:
- Minuet
- Aria: In queste amene piagge serene
- Recitativo: Sì, disse Clori
- Minuet (reprise)

In this video:

Natalie Dessay, soprano
Atsushi Sakai, cello
Le Concert d'Astrée,
conducted by Emmanuelle Haïm

Recorded in 2005

Delirio amoroso was composed in 1707 for Handel's patron Benedetto Pamphilj, who also wrote the libretto texts. This extensive cantata is an evocation of hallucinatory madness in which Clori imagines she enters the realm of the dead to conduct her disdaining lover to the Elysian fields.

"Pamphilj's text for Delirio amoroso (Love's delirium) is more imaginative than most cantata texts, and inspired Handel to create some expansive and delightful music. The cantata may have been presented with a simple form of staging, as is suggested by the unusual feature of dance movements for the instruments alone. The first and last recitatives are narrations, setting and closing the scene. In between the singer impersonates the lover Chloris mourning the death of her beloved Thyrsis. Apparently he never responded to her love, so in her 'delirium' she imagines that he is being punished in hell for his cruelty. She resolves to enter the underworld herself and bring him back to life - but even in death he continues to reject her. At first she is angry, but then she decides in an act of compassion to move him from the fiery part of Hades to the Elysian Fields.The cantata begins with an orchestral Introduzione in da capo form, the lively opening section with solo oboe being repeated after a short Largo for strings alone. Chloris's first aria, with its extensive part for solo violin, is one of the most elaborate that Handel ever wrote, and he made good use of it in other works. It became the closing aria of Act 1 of his opera Rodrigo, produced in Florence in the autumn of 1707, and a more substantially revised version also appeared in the first version of Radamisto, produced in London in April 1720. The second aria, Per te lasciai, begins as a wistful minuet, but immediately broadens into a dialogue between the voice and a solo cello; in the more dramatic middle section, Chloris' pleas to Thyrsis are answered only by eloquent moments of silence. Yet another solo instrument, a recorder, appears in the next aria, from which Handel later took ideas for "Hush, ye pretty warbling choir" in Acis and Galatea and for his violin sonata in D major. The orchestral Entrée is one of the earliest known examples of Handel's borrowing from other composers: the opening bars come directly from Reinhard Keiser's opera Claudius, produced in Hamburg in 1703, where they also begin an Entrée of Spirits in the Elysian Fields; the rest of the movement comes from an earlier Entrée of Handel's own, in Act 3 of Almira, his first opera for Hamburg." - Anthony Hicks


Ma fermati, pensier,
pur troppo è vero
che fra l'ombre d'averno
è condannato per giusta pena,
e per crudel mio fato.
Sì, sì, rapida io scendo
a rapir il mio bene dell'arso Dite
alle in focate arene.
Ma che veggio?
Rimira il mio sembiante dispettosa
poi fugge un'ombra errante.
Tirsi, o Tirsi, ah! crudele!


Per te lasciai la luce,
ed or che mi conduce
amor per rivederti,
tu vuoi partir da me.

Deh, ferma i passi incerti,
o pur se vuoi fuggir,
dimmi, perché?

Translation (by Gwyn Morris):


But stay, my thoughts,
alas, it is true
that he is condemned to darkest Hell
as a just punishment
for my cruel fate.
Yes, yes, I'll rapidly descend
to save my beloved from the red-hot sands of Pluto,
god of burning Hell.
But what do I see?
A wandering spirit angrily sees
my face again and then escapes me.
Thyrsis, Thyrsis, oh, you cruel one!


For you I left the daylight,
and now that love leads me
to see you again,
you want to leave me.

Oh, stop your uncertain steps,
Or if you want to go,
tell me, why?



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