Cantata Quella pace ingrata

Instrumentation: Soprano voice (d’-g’’), violin, recorder & bc


Format: Sheet music

Product code: Sca10


The singer – we don’t know the gender of this lover – is suffering, and sees the only prescription for the woes of (presumably unrequited,) love is to retreat to the countryside. The first recit. sees the prospect of peace and quiet as the answer, and this is followed by a sedate, even lyrical aria, firmly scolding Love as causing torments and binding the prisoner-lover with chains.
In the second recitative the blessings of the forest are spelt out and the happy innocence of the songbird strengthens the allure of the forest for the weary lover. The following aria is set over a vigorous basso continuo, in an almost angry expression of the longing to retreat.
In the third recit. and aria, the peace of the forest is further extolled, and even sharing it with the beasts who live there, will help to bring peace to the troubled lover. The final aria in 6/8 times conveys the suggestion of the pastoral idyll which so entices the lover.
Musically the whole cantata is enriched with the instrumental sinfonie and ritornelli linked to the arias. In these passages the ‘flauto’ part is obviously playable on a treble recorder - this is normally intended in Scarlatti cantatas - however in the last aria there are a few bars which are outside the treble range, where the player may have to transpose as necessary.

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