Porpora, Nicola Antonio

Born Naples 17th August, 1686

Died Naples 3rd March, 1768

A celebrated composer and singing teacher, Porpora's ability to set the Italian language to music was internationally acknowledged during his lifetime.

"…Porpora's Cantatas particularly the Recitatives, are still regarded in Italy as models of perfection for narrative Music… The Cantatas of Nicolo (sic) Porpora have been always much esteemed, on account of the excellence of their Recitatives, and the good taste and truly vocal style of the airs…"

He numbered among his students Metastasio, Farinelli, Caffarelli, Antonio Uberti (known as "Porporino"), Regina Mingotti and the composer Franz Joseph Haydn.

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Cantata con flauto e stromenti
£6.95
Cantata à voce sola di contralto
£4.95
Cantata à voce sola di soprano
£4.95
Aria from Germanico in Germania
£4.95
Cantata à voce sola di soprano
£4.95
Cantata à voce sola di soprano
£4.95
Aria from Flavio Anicio Olibrio
£4.95
Cantata à voce sola di contralto
£4.95
Cantata à voce sola di soprano
£4.95
Cantata à voce sola di contralto
£4.95
Cantata à voce sola di contralto
£4.95
Cantata à voce sola di soprano
£4.95
Setting of Psalm 90/91
£7.95
Setting of Salve Regina
£7.95
Setting of Salve Regina
£7.95
Setting of Salve Regina
£7.95
Setting of Salve Regina
£7.95
Setting of Salve Regina
£7.95
Cantata à voce sola di soprano
£4.95
Duetto à due soprani da Gli orti Esperidi (1721)
£3.95
Aria from Gli Orti Esperidi
£4.95
Cantata à voce sola di soprano
£4.95
Aria from Gli Orti Esperidi
£4.95
Cantata à voce sola di soprano
£4.95
Cantata à voce sola di soprano
£4.95
Aria from Polifemo Act III, v
£4.95
Cantata à voce sola di soprano
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Cantata à voce sola di soprano
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Cantata à voce sola di soprano
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Cantata à voce sola di soprano
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Porpora: Or che d'orrido verno
Forces: soprano, flute, strings & continuo

A substantial cantata with a 2-part Sinfonia, then RARA, including a particularly beautiful Affettuoso aria on the theme of separation from the beloved and a virtuosic final aria railing against the sea.

Range: d - a'

Editor: James Sanderson

Cantata con flauto e stromenti
£6.95
Porpora: Or che una nube ingrata
Forces: alto & continuo

Cantata Op. 1, no. 8
Source: British Library copy of the 1735 edition.
Text by Metastasio, this time concerning a young man and what appears to be a wavering love for Clizia AND Irene!

Editor: James Sanderson

Cantata à voce sola di contralto
£4.95
Porpora: Ove mormora il rio
Forces: soprano & continuo

Using the simile of the suffering nightingale singing for his love, our valiant shepherd pines for Clori in this RARA format cantata. The first aria allegro paints a wonderful picture of the singing nightingale and the last, complicated aria shows the turmoil of the lover.
Source: Münster Santini Hs 3313 (Nr. 16)
Range: d - g'

Editor: James Sanderson

Cantata à voce sola di soprano
£4.95
Porpora: Parto, ti lascio, o cara
Forces: soprano, strings & continuo

Arminio's wonderfully expressive aria from Act II of Germanico in Germania. Lyrical, heart-rending - an absolute showstopper! Witten by Porpora for his pupil Caffarelli - long phrases and extreme leaps in the vocal line, a kind of pain that, in spite of everything, is sweet.

Editor: James Sanderson

Aria from Germanico in Germania
£4.95
Porpora: Pastorelle che piangete
Forces: mezzo-soprano & continuo

Source: Source: BL Add 14,214 ff 64v - 70v (only source)
Remarkable piece in aria - recit - aria format, text (possibly by Metastasio) dealing with how much the lover is prepared to give up for his beloved Irene. The writing is sinuous and very chromatic.
Range: d' - f''

Editor: James Sanderson

Cantata à voce sola di soprano
£4.95
Porpora: Per temprare l'ardenti faville
Forces: soprano & continuo

The flame of love's ardour is mentioned many times in this cantata text! in ARA format starting with a chromatic largo and finishing with what can only be described as a fiery allegro Source: Münster Santini HS 3313 (9)
Range: e flat - g'

Editor: James Sanderson

Cantata à voce sola di soprano
£4.95
Porpora: Perchè ad amarmi
Forces: tenor, strings & continuo

From Act I scene vi of Flavio Anicio Olibrio this is Ricimero's aria about resoluteness in fighting for love

Editor: James Sanderson

Aria from Flavio Anicio Olibrio
£4.95
Porpora: Placida Surge Aurora
Forces: alto, strings & continuo

Source BL MSS Add 14125

Written for the Ospedaletto in 1744 (soloist Angioletta Moro). Virtuosic and beautiful writing - particularly the second aria Facis splendor.

Editor: James Sanderson

Solo motet
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Porpora: Povero fior di Clizia
Forces: alto & continuo

2 recit and aria format. Tells of 'Love's longing'. First aria (Largo) is particularly beautiful.

Editor: James Sanderson

Cantata à voce sola di contralto
£4.95
Porpora: Quando penso esser disciolto
Forces: soprano & continuo

Well aware of the influence of Cupid, our lover strives to protect himself and his beloved from the darts of the God of Love. In ARA format with a beautiful 'pathetic' aria to start.
Source: Münster Santini HS 3313 (12)
Range: e - g#'

Editor: James Sanderson

Cantata à voce sola di soprano
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Porpora: Quanto s'inganna
Forces: alto & continuo

Is distance the cause or the cure of our lover's broken heart. He calls for medication, but what can help him? Clori is up to her old tricks again - you've got to feel sorry for her men, surely? RARA format with two charming arias.
Range: c - e'

Editor: James Sanderson

Cantata à voce sola di contralto
£4.95
Porpora: Questa dunque è la selve
Forces: alto & continuo

Sources: BL Add 14214 and Add 14225
Aminta and Nice in a story of love denied and a woman spurned. 7 copies are known in both alto and soprano keys so it must have been a popular piece. An extensive work in recit - aria - recit - aria form.
Range: b - e'

Editor: James Sanderson

Cantata à voce sola di contralto
£4.95
Porpora: Questo e il platano frondoso
Forces: soprano & continuo

From BL Add 14225
Aria - recit - aria structure with beautiful chromatic inflections and virtuosic last movement.
Editor: James Sanderson

Cantata à voce sola di soprano
£4.95
Porpora: Qui Habitat
Forces: 2 soprani solo, SSAA coro, strings & continuo

Source: autograph in BL Add MS 14126

Another single section psalm setting written for the girls of the Ospedaletto in Venice in February of 1744. Launching straight into a rapid word setting and using advanced, and in some moments unusual, harmonic changes. The solo sections are, as usual, virtuosic, the choral writing exciting, but not too difficult to sing.

Editor: James Sanderson

Setting of Psalm 90/91
£7.95
Porpora: Regina Coeli
Forces: alto, strings & continuo

Source BL MS Add 14129

Highly virtuosic motet for alto and strings. Extraordinarily difficult! Written in March 1742 and dedicated per la signorina Marina.

Editor: James Sanderson

Solo motet
£7.95
Porpora: Salve Regina (B flat)
Forces: soprano, strings & continuo

Source: British Library

Written in 1744 this is perhaps the most varied of the solo Salve Reginas with no fewer than 7 different sections. It is also one of the highest pieces in autograph with a number of high B flats.

Editor: James Sanderson

Setting of Salve Regina
£7.95
Porpora: Salve Regina (d)
Forces: alto, strings & continuo

Source: copyist's work in the British Library

An extremely varied work with a wide-ranging vocal part and some very beautiful lines. This is another work which puts paid to Burney's sniggers!

Editor: James Sanderson

Setting of Salve Regina
£7.95
Porpora: Salve Regina (F)
Forces: alto, strings & continuo

Source BL Add 14125

Dated 1744 and written in four movements including an allegro-adagio da capo aria and a superb opening 'Salve Regina'. Beautiful setting of this latin text.

Editor: James Sanderson

Setting of Salve Regina
£7.95
Porpora: Salve Regina (G - 1745)
Forces: soprano, strings & continuo

Source: British Library

Written for the soprano Graziola at the Ospedaletto in Venice, this is the later of the two G major Salves. In 4 sections/movements (Moderato - Alegretto - Andantino - Lento) it is a virtuosic, but graceful work.

Editor: James Sanderson

Setting of Salve Regina
£7.95
Porpora: Salve Regina (G)
Forces: soprano, strings & continuo

Source: British Library

A copy which has been annotated and adjusted by Porpora himself. In four movements and once again showing great inspiration in the opening Lento 'Salve Regina'.

Editor: James Sanderson

Setting of Salve Regina
£7.95
Porpora: Sarebbe nell'amar soave il sospirar
Forces: soprano, strings & continuo

Farinelli's second aria from one of his first appearances (Rome 1721) in Gli Orti Esperidi. In the rôle of Adonis, Farinelli sings of the power of love to hold him to his beloved despite the horrors of Tartarus.

Editor: James Sanderson

Aria from Gli Orti Esperidi
£4.95
Porpora: Scrivo in te l'amato nome (Il Nome)
Forces: soprano & continuo

Cantata Op. 1, no. 5
One of Metastasio's most famous cantata texts - the story of Clori and Filomena. Adagio - Recit - Allegretto
Range: e' - b flat''

Editor: James Sanderson

Cantata à voce sola di soprano
£4.95
Porpora: Se fedel cor mio tu sei
Forces: 2 sopranos, strings & continuo

The stunning duet which ends the first act of Porpora's Componimento drammatico to a libretto by Metastasio. Commencing with an involved secco recit and followed by da capo form duet with a middle section in a different meter and mood, it involves Venus and Adonis (La Romanina and Farinelli) singing of their love for each other.

Editor: James Sanderson

Duetto à due soprani da Gli orti Esperidi (1721)
£3.95
Porpora: Se il morir, fosse mia pena
Forces: soprano, strings & continuo

The first aria from one of Farinelli's forst appearances (Rome 1721). In the rôle of Adonis, Farinelli sings of his willingness to give up his life for love of Venus.

A beautiful aria with primarily violin bass rather than continuo.

Editor: James Sanderson

Aria from Gli Orti Esperidi
£4.95
Porpora: Se la rosa fresca, e bella
Forces: soprano & continuo

Source: BL Add MS 14210 ff142v - 149r

A lovely cantata with a somewhat 'early' feeling to it. The recitative structure is as complicated as ever, but the arias are a little simpler than the later works. The story revolves around the attraction of bees to roses, in this case the rose is Irene and the bee is her erstwhile lover.
Range: e - f#'

Editor: James Sanderson

Cantata à voce sola di soprano
£4.95
Porpora: Se pietoso il tuo labro
Forces: soprano, strings & continuo

Source: BL Add MS 31593 ff 30r - 33v

A deceptively virtuosic aria with exciting rhythmic and melodic interest and occasionally bizarre harmonies. If your lips would have pity upon me... From Ezio (1728).

Editor: James Sanderson

Aria from Ezio
£4.95
Porpora: Se son lontano dal mio diletto
Forces: soprano, strings & continuo

Adone (Farinelli)'s second aria from Act II of Porpora's Gli orti Esperidi. A charming allegro with a 'pathetic' twist, once again principally accompanied by the upper strings - perhaps a gesture to the young Farinelli's age (16 at the time). Adone sings of the fear which enters his heart in the absence of his beloved.

Editor: James Sanderson

Aria from Gli Orti Esperidi
£4.95
Porpora: Se vuoi sapir perchè
Forces: mezzo-soprano & continuo

One of three aria-recit-aria cantatas in BL MS Add 29484, simple but very attractive. As with all three the range is troublesome and would suit a lowish soprano or highish alto. Subject: 'If you want to know why I no longer have a heart in my breast, ask the God of Love'.

Editor: James Sanderson
Cantata à voce sola di soprano
£4.95
Porpora: Sente pur, che Maggio è nato
Forces: soprano & continuo

As May is born and Summer begins everyone except Tirsi is feeling the 'swelling of love'. The shepherdess in love with Tirsi is obviously not happy about this. The two arias encompass very different moods, the first, a happy allegro is bright and hopeful, the latter a slow, non da capo larghetto places the blame for unrequited love fairly on the shoulders of Amor.

Source: Münster Santini Hs 3313 (Nr. 18)
Range: d - g'

Editor: James Sanderson

Cantata à voce sola di soprano
£4.95
Porpora: Senti il fato
Forces: soprano, strings & continuo

Source: Polifemo Act III, scene v

Acis' (Farinelli's) last aria. In the true bravura style which made both singer and composer famous this aria is extraordinary! Everything from fiendish coloratura to leaps of a 10th, 11th and 12th. Masterful writing. The aria is preceded by a secco recitative and has a slower, though even more virtuosic, middle section.

Editor: James Sanderson

Aria from Polifemo Act III, v
£4.95
Porpora: Sento una Tortorella
Forces: soprano & continuo

As a dove searching for its mate, the lover cries for his beloved in this beautiful example of the genre. In ARA format with some great bird calls.
Source: Münster Santini 3313 (5)
Range: e - g'

Editor: James Sanderson

Cantata à voce sola di soprano
£4.95
Porpora: Siedi Amarilli mia
Forces: alto & continuo

2 recit and aria format, first aria accompagnato then secco. The story of Amarilli and Fileno and love's vicissitudes. First aria (largo) is very beautful. Source BL Add 14227 in hand of anonymous copyist. Catalogued in soprano key in Naples Conservatorio.

Editor: James Sanderson

Cantata à voce sola di soprano
£4.95
Porpora: Son frà l'onde in mezzo al mare
Forces: soprano, strings & continuo

Venere's aria from the end of act I uses all the illusions of the crashing waves upon the shore, convincing her lover, Adone, to remain with her. Written for the great Marianna Bulgarelli (La Romanina: 1684 - 1734) it is a wonderfully 'splashy' coloratura aria.

Editor: James Sanderson

Aria from Gli Orti Esperidi
£4.95
Porpora: Son tante e tante sono
Forces: soprano & continuo

She is the light of lights, the love of loves, oh could one find a more perfect woman? It's good old Clori again being praised to the heavens. In RARA format with a spiky largo and a thrilling allegro.

Source: Münster Santini 3313 (10)
Range: d - g#'

Editor: James Sanderson

Cantata à voce sola di soprano
£4.95
Porpora: Sonata per violoncello
Forces: cello & continuo

From a copy in the British Library (Add 14125) this F major sonata provides some tricky passages for the instrument. Continuo figures are missing in the copy, however they have been provided in this edition.

Editor: James Sanderson

Cello sonata
£6.95
Porpora: Sorge la bella Aurora
Forces: soprano & continuo

The dawn rises and makes the fields golden and the flowers happy...the birds sing and all is right with the world! This is a lovel ARA format cantata from a copy in the Naples Conservatorio library. A beautiful Andante or Affettuoso begins it and the final aria is a fast and often virtuosic Allegro. The two arias separated by a typically complex Porpora recitative.

Editor: James Sanderson

Cantata à voce sola di soprano
£4.95
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