Héraclite et Démocrite
for soprano (c'#-a''), bass (F#-e'), two violins and bc
This duet cantata, Héraclite et Démocrite, was performed at the Opéra in 1722. It is a relatively long work, with 5 Recits and 6 Airs, all of them da capo. The pessimism and optimism of the two allegorical characters provide wonderfully contrasting material, which are skillfully interwoven in the Duo sections. The mournful airs of Héraclite are heart-rendingly lovely. Quite unusual is the change in time from 12/8 to cut C in the ‘B’ section of Démocrite’s first Air. The complexity and lushness of the writing make this a work which should be better known.