Nero (Il Nerone)
Editor: Edited by Barbara Sachs
a critical performing edition for bass (E-g') and bc
A dramatic cantata. Text by Giovanni Filippo Apolloni.
Giovanni Filippo Apolloni (ca. 1620-88) intended his poetic texts primarily for operas, oratorios and cantatas, and these were set by Stradella, Pasquini, Viviani, and Cesti. Il Nerone (also set for bass voice by Cesti, see Green Man Press Cat. ref. Ces 2) is a historical-representational (i.e. dramatic) cantata, within a narrative frame, with a repeated refrain and a rhetorical moral sentence at the end.
C. Claudius Nero appears as seriously wicked, according to the unhistorical notions of the time, according to which he burned Rome “to see what Troy looked like in flames”. This structure lends itself to recits (with arioso and virtuoso passages) alternating with Nero's laughing refrain or with his two arias (Chi desia di salde tempre; La mia ragion di stato); the fourth refrain is followed by the narrator's last recit and aria (Ma nel banco d'Astea).