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Solo e pensoso was one of the many sonnets inspired by Petrarch’s unrequited love for a woman called Laura. It follows the standard Italian sonnet form which Petrarch made famous, consisting of eight lines (comprising two quatrains rhyming ABBA) followed by a contrasting sestet comprising two sets of three lines. This natural division into two parts lends itself well to musical setting, and the beguiling charm of Haydn’s second section, with chirping clarinets and bassoons to the fore, contrasts effectively with the soulful isolation and introspection of the first part. If this opening section evokes the tonal palette and spiritual depth of Haydn’s late masses—indeed the opening melodic figure is almost identical to the opening of the Agnus Dei from the ‘Nelson’ Mass—the second part recalls the bucolic naivety and open-heartedness of The Creation, which had received its first performance earlier in 1798.
from notes by Ian Page © 2017
Leading British soprano Sophie Bevan performs a sumptuous programme of concert arias by Mozart, Haydn and Beethoven. Bevan is accompanied on this new recording by The Mozartists, recently launched by Ian Page’s internationally renowned period ense ...» More