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Its melody is first found in act 3 of Handel’s 1705 opera Almira as a sarabande;[1] the score for this can be seen on page 81 of Vol. 55[2] of Friedrich Chrysander. Handel then used the tune for the aria “Lascia la spina, cogli la rosa”, or “Leave the Thorn, Take the Rose”, for the character Piacere in part 2 of his 1707 oratorio Il trionfo del Tempo e del Disinganno (which was much later, in 1737, revised as Il trionfo del Tempo e della Verità).[3]

Four years after that, in 1711, Handel used the music again, this time for his London opera Rinaldo and its act 2 aria “Lascia ch’io pianga”, or “Let me weep”, sung by the character Almirena. Rinaldo was a triumph, and it is with this work that the aria is chiefly associated.

The aria is written in the key of F major with a time signature of 3/2 and a tempo marking of Largo. In the first edition published by John Walsh, the orchestration is unspecified,[4] giving only a solo melody line above an unfigured bass line.

 

 

Lascia ch’io pianga
mia cruda sorte,
e che sospiri
la libertà.

Il duolo infranga
queste ritorte,
de’ miei martiri
sol per pietà.

Let me weep over
my cruel fate,
and let me sigh for
liberty.

May sorrow shatter
these chains,
for my torments
just out of pity.

The theme of triumphal music continues here at DWR.

In 1965, Piazzolla began writing Cuatro Estraciones Porteñas, a homage to both the tango and Vivaldi’s The Four Seasons, and completed the work in 1970.

The Cuatro Estaciones Porteñas, also known as the Estaciones Porteñas or The Four Seasons of Buenos Aires, are a set of four tango compositions written by Ástor Piazzolla, which were originally conceived and treated as different compositions rather than one suite, although Piazzolla performed them together from time to time. The pieces were scored for his quintet of violin (viola), piano, electric guitar, double bass and bandoneón. By giving the adjective porteño, referring to those born in Buenos Aires, the Argentine capital city, Piazzolla gives an impression of the four seasons in Buenos Aires.

The Seasons

Verano Porteño (Buenos Aires Summer)
written in 1965[1], originally as incidental music for the play ‘Melenita de Oro’ by Alberto Rodríguez Muñoz.[2]
Invierno Porteño (Buenos Aires Winter)
written in 1969.
Primavera Porteña (Buenos Aires Spring)
written in 1970, contains counterpoint.
Otoño Porteño (Buenos Aires Autumn)
written in 1970.

In 1996-1998, the Russian composer Leonid Desyatnikov made a new arrangement of the above four pieces with more obvious link between Vivaldi and Piazzolla, by converting each of pieces into three-section pieces, and re-arranging for solo violin and string orchestra. In each piece he included several quotations from original Vivaldi’s work but due to seasons being inverted between northern and southern hemispheres, thus, for example, Verano Porteño had added elements of L’inverno (Winter) of Vivaldi.

Dress rehearsal tonight, been practising like a mad fool.  We have a full line up. Starting with Rheinberger’s lovely Stabat Mater:

Then a Schubert Mass :

Some Mendelssohn:

And some Mozart :

It is going to be a great concert. :)

Very serious selection here today. Let us appreciate the solemn nature of this composition by PDQ Bach.

I like this song so much that you get to sample the original and a choral arrangement of the work.

Go go Enya. :)

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