Hor Che Apollo (soprano, 2 violins & continuo)

Composer: Barbara Strozzi (b. 1619 - d. 1677)
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Composer: Barbara Strozzi (b. 1619 - d. 1677)

Performance date: 30/06/2019

Venue: St. Brendan’s Church

Composition Year: 1619 - 1677

Duration: 00:12:56

Recording Engineer: Gar Duffy, RTÉ

Instrumentation Category:Baroque Ensemble

Instrumentation Other: s-solo, 2vn, vc, hpd

Artists: Ensemble Dagda (Clodagh Kinsella [soprano], Caitríona O'Mahony, Marja Gaynor [violins], Norah O'Leary [cello], Kieran Finnegan [harpsicord]) - [baroque ensemble]

an illegitimate daughter and later unmarried mother-of-four, Strozzi is
the composer to whom the suggestion of courtesan clings most closely.
Some of this may be blamed on the only ascribed portrait of Strozzi, in
which she stands with her breast bared, a viol in one hand. She was
adopted to legitimize her status in the household of
poet and
librettist Giulio Strozzi, and was sponsored into the artistic world by
him, in much the same way as Francesca Caccini. Taught by Francesco
Cavalli, she also found it useful to dedicate works to powerful female
patrons, including Anna de Medici and Duchess Sophie of Brunswick and
Luneburg. Barbara undoubtedly had some relationship with married
nobleman Giovanni Vidman, who fathered at least three of her four
children. No record survives to suggest that he was her financial
support – evidence suggests that after her father’s death she supported
herself and her children by means of her composition and investments. It
is also suggested that she may have had a relationship with the Count
of Mantua. Again evidence is slim – while she composed for the Count and
he often visited Venice, the highest proof lies in a few saucy lines of
a letter between the Count and his Venetian agent.

in a city defined by opera, Strozzi’s mastery of the alternate (and
more print-friendly) genre, the cantata, is one of the reasons she was
the most published composer of the genre in her period. Strozzi’s work
was always at the forefront of stylistic developments from madrigal to
cantata and she is quite clearly a huge influence on composers like
Caldara and Legrenzi. Her Hor che Apollo, written as a love song
to the nymph Filli, takes the mythological background so popular in
Venetian opera and frames it in the cutting edge of cantata writing at
the time; instrumental ritornelli, emotive recitative-like passages and
occasionally moving the story along with passages in more madrigal-like
triple time.

Or che Apollo e
a Teti in seno

Now that Thetis rests against Apollo’s breast
e il mio sol sta
in grembo al sonno,
and my sun is in sleep’s lap,
or ch’a lui
pensand’io peno,
now that I suffer thinking of him,

ne posar
gl’occhi miei ponno,

on whom I may
not rest my eyes,

a questo albergo
per sfogar il duolo vengo piangente,

In this
refuge, to relieve my pain,

innamorato e solo.

I come crying
in love and alone.

Si, Filli,
questo core, che per amor si more,

Yes, Filli,
this heart that dies of love,

a te vien supplicante


de’ tuoi bei lumi amante.

in love with
your beautiful eyes.

Mira al pie’ tante catene,

See my foot so
heavily shackled

mia stella,

my brightest

e se duolti ch’io stia in pene

and if my
suffering hurts you so,

sii men cruda oppur men bella.

be less cruel
– or if not, less beautiful;

Se men cruda, pietade avro del mio servir,

if less cruel,
suffering from my slavery,

che m’ami;

I would know
you loved me

se men bella,

and if you
were less beautiful,

frangero i legami.

I could elude
these bonds.

Vedi al core quante spine

See with how
many thorns my heart

tu mi dai, vermiglia rosa,

you do pierce,
red rose,

e se sdegni mie rovine,

and when you
scorn my misfortune

sii men fiera o men vezzosa.

be less fierce
or less fair;


but vent

miei sospir,

be liberated,
sighs of mine,

gia comprendo

for I realize

che di me ride Filli anco dormendo.

that I am
mocked by Filli even as she sleeps.

Ride de’ miei lamenti certo questa crudele

She laughs
without a doubt at my disquiet

e sprezza i preghi miei, le mie querele.

and ignores
the pleading of my lament.

Deggio per cio partir senza conforto:

I should
therefore leave without consolation; if alive you do not love me, dead you
will see me.

se vivo non mi vuoi, mi vedrai morto.

While to
another place my steps do take me,

Mentre altrove il pie’ s’invia,

I leave you in
sweet forgetfulness,

io ti lascio in dolce oblio;

I am leaving
Filli, my soul,

Filli, anima mia,

may this be the last goodbye.

sia l’ultimo addio!

that I am
mocked by Filli even as she sleeps.