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Marc-Antoine Charpentier was unusual amongst his French contemporaries in setting a significant number of Italian texts. Among the most substantial of these settings are a pair of so-called pastoralette, ‘Amor vince ogni cosa’ and ‘Cupido perfido, dentr’al mio cuor’.
‘Cupido perfido, dentr’al mio cuor’ has a simple plot: the shepherds Silvio and Linco, passionately in love, bemoan the indifference shown to them by Eurilla and Filli. Yet the shepherdesses suddenly have a change of heart, and the two pairs of lovers are united. All that remains is to reflect on the fact that, despite the pain it causes, love brings ‘a thousand joys’ to its ‘faithful and constant followers’.
Scored for four solo voices, two treble instruments and continuo, this work may also involve choral forces if desired. As in the companion work ‘Amor vince’, Charpentier incorporates innovative Italian features into his essentially French musical style.