Scarlatti, Alessandro

Pietro Alessandro Gaspare Scarlatti (2 May 1660 – 22 October 1725) was an Italian Baroque composer, known especially for his operas and chamber cantatas. He is considered the founder of the Neapolitan school of opera. He was the father of two other composers, Domenico Scarlatti and Pietro Filippo Scarlatti.
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A Scarlatti: La dove a Mergellina
Forces: Soprano & continuo

There at Mergellina where the sea kisses the shore, the lovelorn Elpino went alone one day, addressing the waves: "Love him that loves you..." A stunning example of the genre in a long-awaited edition from Rosalind Halton and a must have for the lovers of cantate de camera. In RARA format and taken from two sources, Naples and London.

Editor: Rosalind Halton

Cantata à voce sola di soprano
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A Scarlatti: La morte di Mitilde
Forces: soprano & continuo

Mitilde dies and with her dies the flame of Love. A challenging and fascinating example in RARA format, the recitatives travelling through widely disparate tonalities and the contrasting arias, one a stunning Adagio and one a classic cut-common rage against the tyrant, have very clearly defined characters and great musical values.

The source is a manuscript in the Naples collections. Editor: James Sanderson

Cantata à voce sola di soprano
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A Scarlatti: Leandro anima mia (Ero e Leandro)
Forces: alto & continuo

Hero calls for Leander who is attempting to swim the Hellespont to meet her. Upon his death she reacts to his loss and her reaction is interpreted by a narrator character in a final aria. In RARARA format.

Source: Münster Santini Sammlung HS 3909

Range: c - d'

Editor: James Sanderson

Cantata à voce sola di contralto
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A Scarlatti: Libertà del mio cor
Forces: soprano & continuo

[ca.1709] - one source only extant.
Theme of the bird seeking freedom/ the lover freedom from love. Virtuoso aria 1, final siciliano very beautiful.

Range: d'-g''. A major/D major.

Editor: Rosalind Halton

Cantata à voce sola di soprano
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A Scarlatti: Lieti boschi, ombre amiche
Forces: alto & continuo

Taking refuge in the forests, amongst the friendly shades, our heart-broken protagonist sighs at his plight. The trees, breezes, beasts and birds know how he feels, but Clori is insensitive to his love. RARA format with a spiky adagio and a rather sprightly andante to finish.

Source: Münster Santini Sammlung HS 3907(15)

Range: b - c'

Editor: James Sanderson

Cantata à voce sola di contralto
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A Scarlatti: Lisa, del fuoco mio (Clori e Lisa)
Forces: 2 sopranos & continuo

Dated the 28th of February, 1706, these two ladies are bemoaning the sacrifices necessary for the inevitability of love: loss of liberty and constant heart-ache... 2 duets, an aria each and gossiping recitative link this musical conversation, quite a little drama!

Editor: James Sanderson

Duetto da camera à due soprano
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A Scarlatti: Lontan dall' Idol mio
Forces: soprano & continuo

Sources: 7 MS sources, as described in the notes, dated 1699 in one source (Bodleian Library, Oxford).

Subject: the illusion of love being present, though far away. This is one of the most profound and passionate settings by Scarlatti on the theme of distance and separation, from its opening interval - a minor 9th - to the wild despairing modulations within the final Siciliano aria.

Featured on chacona's recording 'Olimpia: cantatas of Alessandro Scarlatti'.

Vocal range: d'-g''

Editor: Rosalind Halton

Cantata à voce sola di soprano
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A Scarlatti: Marc Antonio e Cleopatra
Forces: soprano, alto & continuo

Source: MS.3901, Santini Collection of the Diözesan Library, Münster. It is the only source of this work, which consists of chamber duets with basso continuo. One of the works, the famous 'Questo silenzio ombroso' carries the comment '1707 in Urbino'.

This is a substantial chamber duet with recits & arias for both characters as well as two extensive duets.

Editor: James Sanderson

Duetto da camera à voce di soprano e contralto
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A Scarlatti: Mentre Clori la bella presso un ruscel sedea
Forces: soprano, violins & continuo

Another fine example of how many things can happen by a stream! Here we have the happy meeting of Clori & Tirsi (for a nice change). 3 arias (2 with violins) and three recits, the first pair for a narrator character, the second for Tirsi and the third for Clori herself.

Source: Münster Santini Sammlung Hs 3904(18)

Range: c# - a''

Editor: James Sanderson

Cantata à voce sola di soprano con violini
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A Scarlatti: Mentre Clori la bella sotto l'ombra d'un mirto
Forces: soprano, 2 flutes & continuo

Clori is being very insensitive, sitting beneath her Myrtle tree and enjoying the breeze whilst Fileno is suffering all the torments of love! In RARARA format with two of the arias with 2 flutes accompaniment and 2 with ritornelli. A lovely piece with some very interesting use of harmony...

Source: Münster Santini Sammlung Hs 3975(2)

Range: d - a''

Editor: James Sanderson

Cantata à voce sola di soprano con flauti
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A Scarlatti: Mesto lasso, e ramingo
Forces: soprano & continuo

Dated on the first page as June of 1704. Submerged in sadness and sorrow, our protagonist pleads with Fate for release. In regular RARA format with a quirky 3/4 first aria and a lovely, pleading Siciliano to finish.

Source: Source: Münster Santini Sammlung Hs 3907(2)

Range: d - g'

Editor: James Sanderson

Cantata à voce sola di soprano
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A Scarlatti: Mi tormenta il pensiero (i)
Forces: soprano & continuo

The first version of this cantata, dated 10 March 1701 in Scarlatti's 'Cantata Diary'. 'Tormented by my thoughts, consumed with desire, lost is hope, and without hope what point is there in life?' The torments of Jealousy in love. RARA format.

Source: Münster Santini Sammlung HS 864(7)

Range: d - g'

Editor: James Sanderson

Cantata à voce sola di soprano
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A Scarlatti: Mi tormenta il pensiero (ii)
Forces: alto & continuo

The second version on this text, using more of the text than version I. The cruel force of Jealousy plagues the young lover in this concisely written pastoral cantata. Tormented by thoughts, consumed with desire, lost is hope, and without hope what point is there in life?.

Source: Münster Santini Sammlung 3909

Range: b - c#'

Editor: James Sanderson

Cantata à voce sola di contralto
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A Scarlatti: Nel silentio commune di notte si tranquilla
Forces: soprano, 2 violins, viola & basso continuo

A great work based on the Petrarchan theme of the lover who sighs alone while nature sleeps. Beginning with a hushed recitative accompagnato, the cantata has a total of 4 recitatives and arias, portraying the lover's brightly-coloured dream of love returned. A handwritten version of this edition was premiered memorably in the 1980s by tenor Nigel Rogers for the BBC, with the Taverner Players

Range: d'-a''

Source: British Library, London

Editor: Rosalind Halton

Cantata à voce sola con stromenti d’arco
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A Scarlatti: Nò non ti voglio Cupido
Forces: soprano, alto & continuo

The changeable attitude to love certainly makes for a bright piece of music! The opening and closing duets (to the same music) projects two different moods - 'No I don't want it' and 'Yes, I do' Separated by two recits and arias, one for each voice.

Source: Münster Santini Sammlung HS 865(1)

Editor: James Sanderson

Cantata à due, soprano e contralto
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A Scarlatti: Non lasciar canora e bella
Forces: soprano & continuo

Charting the progress of the Swallow (Rondinella) from the Arno to the Tebro at the end of the Summer's heat, with some beautiful word painting (including fluting bird-song) and some quite stunning recitative - AS at his best in another of the 1704 cantatas. In ARARA format, starting with a gentle Siciliano, an Allegro in cut common time is the middle aria and the final aria is a lively 3/8.

Source: Münster Santini Sammlung 3907

Range: d - g'

Editor: James Sanderson

Cantata à voce sola di soprano
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A Scarlatti: Notte cara a un cor che langue
Forces: soprano & continuo

(1705) Hanley 478. Three arias, two recits. Sources in British Library and Santini Collection, Münster.

Theme of night and the solitary lover; rewarding cello part, especially the virtuoso Aria 2.

Vocal range: d'-g''.

Editor: Rosalind Halton

Cantata à voce sola di soprano
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A Scarlatti: Notte cara, ombre beate
Forces: soprano & continuo

'Dear night, blessed shadows...I only enjoy my dreams and cry in the day...' Very much a nocturnal lover in one of Scarlatti's stunning night cantatas. Beautiful harmonies, sinuous dreaming vocal lines capturing that special air of quiet and suspense. In ARARA format and compiled from two copies in the Naples Conservatorio Library.

Editor: James Sanderson

Cantata à voce sola di soprano
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A Scarlatti: O che mostro, o che furia è Lontananza (1709)
Forces: soprano & continuo

Text is by Cardinal Ottoboni: being apart is a monster, a fury, and always gives rise to jealousy. Arias are in B flat (very ornate) and C major (very cheerful and melodic), and the cantata finishes with a brief recitative, giving thanks for faithful love which can survive separation. Both arias have rewarding dialogue for voice and cello. RARAR format

Range: e flat'- g''

Source: British Library, Add. Ms. 34056

The whole manuscript contains settings of Ottoboni's texts.

Editor: Rosalind Halton

Cantata à voce sola di soprano
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A Scarlatti: O pace del mio cor
Forces: soprano & continuo

O peace of my heart, where do you wander? So begins this delightful cantata, one of Alessandro Scarlatti’s most frequently copied. The principal source of this edition is held in the Royal College of London, Ms. 583, a copy in a Neapolitan hand. ARAR format.

Editor: Rosalind Halton

Cantata à voce sola di soprano
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A Scarlatti: Ombre tacite, e sole
Forces: mezzo-soprano, strings & continuo

Source: British Library Zweig 76

This is an autograph work dated October 31. 1716.

In four sections, recit-aria-recit-aria with both recits accompanied. It has two exquisite arias, the last a particularly fine Siciliano. The text deals with unrequited, requited and then spurned love and has it's high point in the last aria: 'Why cruel one do you leave me? Why spurn me? Why betray me? Why search out a new love? Why leave me?'

Range: c' - e'' flat

Editor: James Sanderson

Cantata à voce sola con stromenti d'arco
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A Scarlatti: Peno, e del mio penar
Forces: soprano & continuo

28 August, 1705, autograph source in New Haven, Yale (Scarlatti's 'cantata diary'). Penetrating melismatic recitatives, with final aria in Siciliano style. Scarlatti's complex chromatic style.

Range: e flat'- g''. C minor/F minor.

Editor: Rosalind Halton

Cantata à voce sola di soprano
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A Scarlatti: Poiche cessano alfin
Forces: soprano & continuo

range: e'-g'' The storms of love come to an end. The final aria 'andante amoroso' Siciliano is a great, touching example of the genre, and recitatives show the virtuoso declamatory style of Scarlatti at the height of his creativity. 2 recits, 2 arias.

Editor: Rosalind Halton

Cantata à voce sola di soprano
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A Scarlatti: Qual'ora io veggio
Forces: mezzo-soprano, violins & continuo

"Irene is so beautiful when she wears white - it reminds me of the colour of my devotion to her." A delicious work for low soprano (or high counter tenor) and violins, in Scarlatti's later Neapolitan galant style. Transparent textures and buoyant melodic lines are the colour of this sparkling work.

Vocal range: c' - f#''.

Editor: Rosalind Halton

Cantata à voce sola di soprano con violini
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A Scarlatti: Quando Amor vuol ferirmi
Forces: soprano & continuo

"When Love wants to hurt me, the traitor hides beneath your lashes..." The bitter-sweet torments of love in this delightful work from Münster Santini Sammlung HS 3915(2) - Hanley 588. In RARA format

Range: d - g'

Editor: James Sanderson

Cantata à voce sola di soprano
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A Scarlatti: Quella pace gradita
Forces: soprano, violin, flute, cello, cembalo

This autograph cantata consists of 3 recitatives and 3 arias, with instrumental introduction for 2 paired groups - solo violin and cello, with answering recorder and harpsichord. Performance markings from the surviving partbooks have been incorporated. The unusual scoring gives each instrument in turn a starring role, ending with the recorder cooing of the turtle-dove in Aria 3.

Source: Münster Santini Sammlung

Range: d'-g''

Editor: Rosalind Halton

Cantata à soprano, violin solo, flauto, violoncello solo, e cembalo
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A Scarlatti: Questa, questa è la selva
Forces: soprano & continuo

A wonderful pastoral setting 'This is the forest...' but once again Nice is not being nice and is abandoning her lover. His cries and plaints, his promises of eternal love are all for naught as he is deserted... This is a really complex work with huge recitatives, RARA format.

From 5 sources in the Biblioteca del Conservatorio di musica S. Pietro a Majella - Napoli: Cantate 255 (26), 256 (7), 267 (6), 266 (62). There is also a copy in 264 (20) which pitches the recitatives a tone higher and the second aria in a minor rather than d minor.

Editor: James Sanderson

Cantata à voce sola di soprano
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A Scarlatti: S'io t'amo s'io t'adoro
Forces: soprano & continuo

Dated on the first page as June of 1704. Amore is playing his tricks again and has had his usual effect! RARA format with a complicated first aria largo.

Source: Münster Santini Sammlung Hs 3907(2)

Range: d - a''

Editor: James Sanderson

Cantata à voce sola di soprano
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A Scarlatti: Scompagnata tortorella
Forces: soprano & continuo

Our litte turtle-dove is caged and kept away from his beloved again in this charming cantata and once again death is preferable to this continued condition of estrangement from the beloved! In ARA format.

Source: Münster Santini Sammlung HS 861

Range: e flat - g'

Editor: James Sanderson

Cantata à voce sola di soprano
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A Scarlatti: Silentio, aure volanti
Forces: soprano, strings & continuo

'Silentio, aure volanti - the pain of unrequited love in a sinuous cantata of the night. Arioso interwoven into a contrapuntal 4 part texture is a feature of this early work, whose central aria 'Piangerò' is a profound lament in C minor. 'Silentio, aure volanti' can be heard on 'Olimpia and other Cantatas by Alessandro Scarlatti', chacona (ABC Classics 461 687-2).

Range d'-a''.

Editor: Rosalind Halton

Cantata à voce sola di soprano con violini
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A Scarlatti: Solitudini care
Forces: soprano & continuo

Sources: BL Add MSS 14213 & 31509

Tirsi seems to be unhappy sotto l'ombra again, calling for his beloved Climene in this extraordinarily chromatic cantata Dall'occulto A.S.. In double recit-aria format with frequent tempo changes in the last aria.

Range: c - f#'

Editor: Kate Eckersley & James Sanderson

Cantata à voce sola di soprano
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A Scarlatti: Son contenta di soffrire
Forces: soprano & continuo

'I am content to suffer the cruelty of my beloved, because he means more to me than life itself' Yeah right! Another example of Alessandro Scarlatti's sinuous style, with some tremendous chromaticisms. ARA format.

Range: d - g

Editor: James Sanderson

Cantata à voce sola di soprano
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A Scarlatti: Son io, barbara Donna
Forces: alto & continuo

Source: BL Add MS 14213 ff 84r - 87v

Clori's willful heart has wandered again and her lover reminds her that she will never find another as faithful as he. In double recit-aria format.

Range: c- d'

Editor: James Sanderson

Cantata à voce sola di contralto
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A Scarlatti: Son le nere pupilette
Forces: alto & continuo

A cantata all about beautiful dark eyes, asking Cupid to make sure the intended remains faithful and loving.

The source for this edition is a copy in Münster Santini Sammlung Hs 3977(14) which contains mainly cantatas by Scarlatti together with examples by Francesco Mancini, Carlo Cesarini, Giovanni Bononcini, Pietro Bencini and Filippo Colenelli.

Editor: James Sanderson

Cantata à voce sola di contralto
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A Scarlatti: Sotto l'ombra d'un faggio
Forces: bass, violins & continuo

Conservatorio di Musica, Napoli: 34.5.10

Happy meeting of Tirsi and Clori; virtuoso writing for bass in the first recitative.

Range: G-e'. B minor/A minor.

Editor: Rosalind Halton

Cantata à voce di basso con violini
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A Scarlatti: Su le sponde del Tebro
Forces: soprano, trumpet, strings & continuo

A virtuosic and taxing cantata in 10 sections. "...on the banks of the Tiber...faithful Aminta, from his infinite sadness cried to Heaven and Earth of the scornful Clori “I am betrayed”...'

Source: Florence, Conservatorio Luigi Cherubini D 2364

Range: d# - a''

Editor: James Sanderson

Cantata à voce sola di soprano con tromba e stromenti d'arco
£7.95
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