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Maurice Greene’s seven chamber arias – today, we would call them ‘concert arias’ – include a set of six ostensibly custom-written for Faustina Bordoni, the great Venetian diva, during her visits to London in 1726–28, since (among other things) they all showcase her ‘trademark’ note: the E in the top space of the treble clef that particularly thrilled opera-goers. The obbligato violin part for all of them was probably written for the violinist and composer Mauro D’Alay, her constant companion and reputed lover. All six works are substantial and full of character and expression as well as melodiousness and contrapuntal finesse. They show a composer at the peak of his inspiration and ambition.
1. Nell’orror della procella2. Quanto contenta godi3. T’amo, o cara, e da te ’l core
Music example (pdf)