Leandre et Hero
for soprano (c'-a''flat), flute, violin and bc
Leandre et Hero comes from the second book of cantatas, published in 1713. The cantata is based on the tragic story of the Leander the lover of Hero who is a priestess of the goddess of love, and lives in the city of Sestos, on the Grecian side of the Hellespont. Leander lives in Abydos on the Asian side. To reach his lover, Leander attempts to swim the Hellespont. In this version of the story, the jealous god of the north wind causes a storm in which Leander drowns. Hero, grief-stricken, casts herself into the waves. Neptune however takes the tragic lovers into the realm of the immortals where they are united forever. The cantata gives Clérambault ample scope for a range of dramatic expressions: of eager love; of heroic resolve; of terror; and inconsolable grief. The cantata concludes with a reproach to Love – “always on the most tender of lovers fall the most cruel sufferings”.