Credimi pur che t’amo
was completed in Rome (as is indicated by Porpora himself on his conducting score) on 4 July 1712. A constant exchange of composers and performers between Naples and the capital of the Papal States was the norm in the early eighteenth century: one need only think, for example, of the careers of Alessandro Scarlatti and Giovan Carlo Cailò and their respective influence on the Roman operatic scene and the Neapolitan string school. The young and promising Porpora must have quickly entered this virtuoso circle, assimilating the influences of the surroundings in which he found himself. Although the instrumental sections of this cantata are written in the style of the concerto grosso (with systematic alternation between soli and tutti), and while some passages in the vocal lines display a Scarlattian flavour, and the character of the recitatives and certain harmonic options immediately call to mind the Roman milieu, there are many elements which (even to a modern ear) evince considerable originality and powerful innovations. An example is found in the conclusion of the last movement of the opening Sinfonia. Such innovations would not have stood out so strongly in the artistic climate of Naples, where the far-reaching transformations of musical language that Porpora himself, Leo, Vinci and their contemporaries were shortly to export to the world were already being prepared and tried out.
from notes by Stefano Aresi © 2008
English: Charles Johnston