Mi palpita il cor (HWV 132b)

George Frideric Handel (1685-1759)

for soprano (d'-a''), oboe and continuo

Ref. no Han 16 (in 'cantatas')           sample page      cover page      To order:     

Some time after he had established himself in London, Handel revised an earlier cantata, Dimmi o mio cor, (HWV 106), for soprano and continuo, written possibly for one of his Roman patrons, by the addition of the opening recitative Mi palpita il cor, with an arioso passage agitata è l’alma mia, and the rewriting of the other recitatives, to become the cantata Mi palpita il cor (HWV 132a). This takes its place among the group designated by Ellen T Harris the London solo cantatas. These were produced over the period 1710 to 1722, and are among the last of Handel’s works produced for private consumption.

In addition to HWV 132a, there are two further revisions with the same opening recitative, Mi Palpita il cor: HWV 132c for alto with flute obbligato, and the present work, HWV 132b for soprano with oboe obbligato. Harris suggests that all these revised works were produced by Handel primarily for teaching : Handel was probably in demand as a teacher, and by 1723 had been appointed music tutor to the royal princesses.

This present delightful short cantata for soprano with oboe has the abbreviated form rArA, with the difference already mentioned, of the arioso passage agitata è l’alma mia appended to the opening recitative. The work is justly prized for its lively and lyrical writing for both voice and instrument.