Baroque Music Video.
"Alla salma infedel" from Handel's Chamber Cantata "La Lucrezia" (HWV 145)
Lorraine Hunt Lieberson (1954-2006)
Orchestra of the Age of Enlightenment
Harry Bicket, director
"Alla salma infedel porga la pena."
[Do justice to my faithless body.]
The chamber cantata 'O Numi eterni!' which Handel titled "La Lucretia" is one of his earliest Italian cantatas, probably dating to 1706 before his arrival in Rome.
The cantata recalls, in her own voice, the tragic story of Lucretia, who was raped by Sextus Tarquinius, son of Tarquin, the king of Rome in 509 BC. Feeling guilt over her loss of honor, she takes her own life. Her body was paraded in the Roman Forum by the king's nephew, and this event is said to have sparked the revolution that saw the overthrow of the Tarquin dynasty and the establishment of the Republic.
Handel's cantata does not have the more rigorous alternation of recitative and aria characteristic of his later works. For "La Lucretia" he crafts a looser formal structure to convey the extreme emotional anguish this woman experiences and expresses throughout her monologue.
I. Recitativo: O Numi eterni!
II. Aria: Già su perbo del mio affanno
III Recitativo: Ma voi forse nel cielo
IV. Aria: Il suol che preme
V. Recitativo: Ah! Che ancor nell‚abisso
VI. Furioso: Questi la disperata
VII. Aria: Alla salma infedel
VIII. Recitativo: A voi, a voi, padre
IX. Arioso: Già nel seno comincia
X. Furioso: Ma se qui non m'è dato
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Art by Titian (1488-1576)