Albinoni, Tomaso: Amarissime pene
This cantata, from an important manuscript in Berlin containing 18 Albinoni cantatas for soprano and continuo, is on the evergreen subject of unrequited love. Elmindo, whose overtures to Irene are producing no result, masochistically begs her to look at him. His game plan is to weep even more profusely as a result, thereby provoking her into taking pity on him and reciprocating his affections. This is Albinoni at his most wistful and charming - with enough ironic detachment to prevent the emotion from becoming overblown.