This anonymous text of poetry dates from approximately the early to middle 17th Century. It’s well-known setting by Italian composer and tenor Pietro Antonio (Marco) Cesti (1623-1669) was my inspiration, although stylistically this setting shares little with that of Sr. Cesti’s. The themes of unrequited passion and the heart-wrenching pain of lost love so typical of many Italian cantatas from the early Baroque period are somewhat implicit in this text. This is one of the qualities that has always drawn me to the poem. Also, the structure of its stanzas, with their unorthodox rhyming patterns present a great foundation on which to build any kind of musical form. Appropriate for intermediate to advanced chorus, preferably 24-32 singers.
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