Antonio Cesti

Antonio Cesti rose to fame with the performance of his opera Orontea in Venice in 1649. Credited with building on the work of earlier opera composers such as Cavalli in Venice and Landi and Luigi Rossi in Rome, he wrote some 61 cantatas, most for solo voice and continuo.


Ces 1

Four cantatas for Bass

Edited by Barbara Sachs

for bass (Eflat-f') & bc

A critical performing edition

Price: £ 8.70

Tra l'orride pendici
O dell'anima mia
Chino la fronte
Per l'ampio mar d'amore

The sources for this edition are manuscripts in the Bayerische Staatsbibliothek, Munich (Mbs Mus.Ms. 1527, No. 3, Tra l'orride pendici, No. 5, the only source for O dell'anima mia, No. 15, Chino la fronte, and 16, Per l'ampio mar d'amore) and the Biblioteca Estense in Modena (MOe Mus.F.1350 for Chino la fronte, Mus.F.252 for Tra l'orride pendici, the only source for the 2nd and 3rd stanzas in the second section, and Per l'ampio mar d'amore).

The source in the Bayerische Staatsbibliothek in München is a remarkable manuscript collection of sixteen cantatas and an arietta, all for bass voice, contained in a bound music book. The collection includes works by Pier Simon Agostini (1), Giovanni Antonio Boretti (1), Giovanni Legrenzi (2), Antonio Gianettini (1) and Alessandro Stradella (1). It appears from the paper, and the copyist's style, to be from the eighteenth century.

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Ces 2

Nero (Il Nerone)

a dramatic cantata

Edited by Barbara Sachs

for bass (F-g') & bc

Price: £ 7.50

C. Claudius Nero is depicted as seriously wicked, according to the unhistorical notions of the time, according to which he burned Rome “to see what Troy looked like in flames” and, dying, said “qualis artifex pereo!” (what an artist now dies in me!).

Giovanni Filippo Apolloni (ca. 1620-88) intended his poetic texts primarily for opera, oratorio and cantatas. Settings of these texts were made by Stradella, Pasquini, Viviani, and Cesti. Il Nerone (also set for bass voice by Stradella and available in a companion edition to this one) is a historical-representational (i.e dramatic) cantata, within a narrative frame, having a repeated refrain and a rhetorical moral sentence at the end. Such structures lent themselves to musical setting and afforded the composers opportunities for frequent madrigalisms (including a Monteverdian stile concitato in Cesti’s setting).

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Sample page: download