Ardo, è ver, per te d'Amore
SECOND EDITION with opening recitativo
Editor: Edited by Derek Harrison
Cantata for soprano (d'-g''), recorder and bc
In this second edition of the cantata generally known by the opening of the first aria, Ardo, è ver, per te d’Amore, we have restored its opening recitativo, Bella, s’io t’amo il sai.
The manuscript source for the opening recitativo is in the collection of the Fondazione Ugo e Olga Levi in Venice, and that of the rest of the work is in the Biblioteca del Conservatorio di Musica San Pietro a Majello in Naples, and we acknowledge with grateful thanks the help of these libraries in making copies of the MSS available.
The pain of love is an almost everyday theme for composers to choose in the texts that they set. For Scarlatti, the text of this cantata is no exception. The opening recitativo is graphic in its depiction of the lover’s suffering; for example, l’immenzo foco che m’accesero in sen (the great fire which is lit in my heart). In the second recitativo Scarlatti makes use of the most arresting harmonic gestures to underline the text. For example, e m'avvelena in sen ogni piacere (and poisons in my breast all pleasure" bar 6) and e sento pena al cor, fiera et amara ("and I feel pain in my heart, fierce and bitter"; bars 16 & 17). The use of recorder gives the outer movements a somewhat angelic and other-worldly quality which modifies and softens the distress of the text being articulated by the singer