Hyperion Records

Or sė m'avveggio, oh Amore

Or sì m’avveggio, oh Amore, whose forces include a concertante cello for the only time in Porpora’s cantatas, has survived only because it is contained in a volume from the private collection of the London musician Benjamin Cooke (the younger), whose books were transferred in 1883 from the library of the Sacred Harmonic Society to constitute a substantial part of the collections of the newly founded Royal College of Music. How the piece came into Cooke’s hands has still to be established, even though the use he made of it is obvious enough: well known at the time as an excellent teacher, he adapted it as a tool for his pupils to study continuo. The voracious but selective curiosity of this late-eighteenth-century collector must have had no difficulty in finding compositions by Porpora on the market even years after he left England: works by the Neapolitan composer were still circulating and arousing the interest of British musicians (and would long continue to do so), and we know that precious manuscript copies passed through the hands of such personalities as William Savage, Richard Stevens and William Robinson. However, there is nothing to show that Or sì m’avveggio, oh Amore was actually written in England. Stylistic analysis does not yield any elements that can help us to date it very precisely: we can do no more than assert that this cantata broadly corresponds to traits shown by the composer during his years in Naples in the 1720s and his London period of the mid-1730s, although it certainly dates from a few years before the publication of the Nuovamente composte opre di musica vocale (1735).

from notes by Stefano Aresi Š 2008
English: Charles Johnston

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