Two scores and parts for instruments. The cantata is based on the tragic story of the lovers Pyramus and Thisbe, which originates in Ovid’s Metamorphoses, and is considered the template for Shakespeare’s tragedy of Romeo and Juliet. Shakespeare also makes fun of it in A Midsummer Night’s Dream, where it is the play presented by the “rude mechanicals” as a court entertainment. It is thought that the original metamorphosis which is absent from this telling of the story involved the intervention of the gods and the changing of the tragic lovers, Pyramus into a river, and Thisbe into a stream which perpetually flows into the river. The cantata gives Clérambault ample scope for a range of dramatic expressions: of eager love; of heroic resolve; of terror; and inconsolable grief.
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