June Emerson Wind Music
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Printed Edition
Composer:Steffani, Agostino (1654-1728)
Instrumentation:sop. ob. bn. bc/pft.
Publisher Ref:GMP-Ste1

Price: £9.50
Arranger:Lee, Cedric
Publisher:Green Man Press
Year of Issue:2016
ISMN:none specified
ISBN:none specified
Spezza, Amor, l’arco, is the first in the set of 6 Scherzi. Its theme is the tortured sufferings of the lover who cannot bring himself to declare his love to his idol. The structure of the piece resembles that of a cantata; arias for voice with obbligato instruments alternate with recitatives. However, in this work the arias have distinctive characteristics: the first has a da capo form, but its B section is in marked contrast rhythmically and in mood, to the first section, changing the C signature for 3/2. The second aria, Zephiretti placidetti, sets two strophes; the first with oboe, the second with bassoon as obbligato. Both parts have the curious time signature of C 3/2, and both contain a “cadenza” passage over a pedal bass. The third aria, Fortuna crudele, is in three sections in 3/2 time, each repeated. All three are distinguished by the challenging bassoon accompaniment in quaver passages.
Agostino Steffani is particularly valued for the operas he wrote both for the court in Munich, and later in Hanover, but also for the numerous chamber duets for voice, and the vocal and instrumental scherzi. This work shows Steffani’s skill in writing for voice, and his intriguing use of the obbligato instruments.

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