Un'alma innamorata

Cantata for soprano (d'-a''), violin and continuo

George Frideric Handel (1685-1759)

soprano, violin and continuo

Ref. no Han 19 (in 'cantatas')           sample page      cover page      To order:     

This edition of Un'alma innamorata (HWV 173) is based on Handel's autograph R.M. 20.e.2 in the Royal Music Collection of the British Library, to whom we are grateful for making available a copy for study. The work is described by Handel himself as "Cantata con stroment\": the writing for the obbligato instrument strongly suggests the violin. The cantata consists unremarkably of 3 Recit. - aria pairs: the final aria is unusual in being a 3/8 dance like movement whose binary structure has been expanded to give a da capo.

The writing is notable for the use of chromatic variation and extravagant leaps in the obbligato part of the first aria, suggestive of the anguish of the lover, but recounted with a touch of irony. By contrast the tone of the second aria reflects a mood change and is decidedly light-hearted.

There is no indication in the libretto as to whether the "voice" is male or female, but the irreverent tone and the light-hearted reference to dalliance perhaps suggest a male persona?