Movement 1: Ostro picta
Movement 2: Sic transiit
Movement 3: Linguis favete
As usual, Arcadian and Christian forms of imagery mingle. The first aria speaks cheerfully in its first semistrophe of the beauty of a rose, while its second semistrophe (that is, the ‘B’ section of the da capo structure) moves to a contrasting, dark mood as it describes how, come the evening, the rose droops and loses its fragrance. This is the cue for the recitative to explain how all worldly glory is transitory, whereas the humble mother of Jesus is permanently glorious. It remains for the second aria, dance-like in its lilt, to sing Mary’s praise and prefigure some of the liturgical text of the Gloria to follow.
from notes by Michael Talbot © 2004