L’Apologie des Femmes
Cantata – a riposte to Campra’s Les Femmes
for bass (A-f’), two violins and bc
L’Apologie des Femmes is obviously intended as a riposte to André Campra’s cantata Les Femmes which was printed in his first book of cantatas in 1708, a lively, witty but ungallant type-casting of women of different temperaments. (Campra’s work is also published by Green Man Press, catalog ref. Cam 1).
The text of van Blanckenburg’s cantata is an amusing parody of that of the Campra work, but as an ‘apologie’ (that is, a defence) of women, it leaves a lot to be desired. Scarcely any more flattering than Campra, van Blanckenburg adds a few more ‘types’ of women to the catalog, with comments that are very tongue-in-cheek, and these are emphasised with some wry musical comments. Nevertheless, his bottom line is that time is better spent in the company of women (in spite of their shortcomings!) than in trying to escape the snares of Love.