Welcome to Hyperion Records, an independent British classical label devoted to presenting high-quality recordings of music of all styles and from all periods from the twelfth century to the twenty-first.
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Chloe has been enjoying practising the verse Anacreon has written for her and arrives hoping to discover the reasons both for the forthcoming festivities and the inspiration behind such beautiful poetry. Still keeping his intentions hidden, Anacreon avoids answering and instead flatters and teases her, saying that he has been inspired by Cupid (Amour) himself. Misunderstanding, Chloe believes that Anacreon has fallen in love. Who is the lucky girl who had inspired such romantic and amorous feelings? Charmed by her confusion, he replies that it is in fact she who has been chosen by Cupid and that the celebrations are, in fact, to be a wedding…!
Alone, and realising only now that she has feelings and hopes for a future with Bathyllus, Chloe appeals to Cupid to save her.
Bathyllus arrives, so engrossed in learning Anacreon’s poem that he is unaware of Chloé’s distress. He performs it to Chloe who, on hearing its sentiments of love, is reduced to tears. Fearing that they are to be separated forever, she tells a disbelieving Bathyllus of Anacreon’s plans; the poem she is to sing only seems to confirm Anacreon’s intentions and her fears. Inspired by the verses and by their imminent separation, Chloe tells Bathyllus of her feelings for the first time. Before he can reply, they are interrupted by the arrival of the guests and the celebrations begin.
Anacreon and his young Theonian followers sing of the benefits of a life of pleasure. He calls on Chloe to perform her verse. Fearful and embarrassed, the two lovers struggle to explain that their friendship has developed into something greater. At last, Anacreon reveals that he has been teasing them; his purpose has been to make the friends acknowledge their love for each other and, by coming between them, to test the strength of their feelings. Overjoyed, the young lovers are united.
The festivities—an enactment of a Bacchanalian celebration—begin with dancing and with Chloe’s songs of the pleasures of love. The merriment concludes with a chorus in praise of Bacchus and Cupid, the gods of wine and love; may they reign forever!
Jonathan Williams © 2015