Editor: Edited by Cedric Lee
for soprano (d'-a''), chalumeau, flute/oboe, violin, French lute, and continuo
The present work Lontananza dell’amato is the first in a set of eight ‘Cantate con instromenti’ which are found in the MS 17953 in the Österreichische Nationalbibliothek, Wien.
Its unusual scoring calls for the lute, doubled by muted violins, with at least two wind instruments, the chalumeau and either oboe or flute. The lute is named in the score (in the plural, strangely) as ‘Leuti Francesi’ . The instrument is the 11-string lute with ‘D minor tuning’ f’-d’-a-f-d-A with 5 unfretted courses. The part is very demanding technically, and, unusually for a native Italian, is written in the French tablature.
The structure of the cantata is conventional in that the three arias alternate with recitatives. The first two arias are da capo; at first the theme is that of mourning for the absent lover, but then the mood lightens as it turns out that the lover is a nightingale, who can take to the wing to be with her love. The final aria, in a joyful triple time, is more a rondo with Ritornelli, and confirms that joy is the reward of those who make a true loving commitment.