Porpora, Nicola Antonio

Born Naples 17th August, 1686

Died Naples 3rd March, 1768

A celebrated composer and singing teacher, Porpora's ability to set the Italian language to music was internationally acknowledged during his lifetime.

"…Porpora's Cantatas particularly the Recitatives, are still regarded in Italy as models of perfection for narrative Music… The Cantatas of Nicolo (sic) Porpora have been always much esteemed, on account of the excellence of their Recitatives, and the good taste and truly vocal style of the airs…"

He numbered among his students Metastasio, Farinelli, Caffarelli, Antonio Uberti (known as "Porporino"), Regina Mingotti and the composer Franz Joseph Haydn.

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Aria for Farinelli from Polifemo
£4.95
Cantata à voce sola di soprano
£4.95
Duetto à soprano e basso con violini
£6.95
Collection of 6 cantatas for soprano
£17.95
Collection of 6 cantatas for contralto
£17.95
Cantata à voce sola di soprano
£4.95
Aria from Flavio Anicio Olibrio
£3.95
Cieco Dio fors'io quel fiore Forces: soprano & continuo Blind Cupid is causing grief again for our young lover and inspires this paean. A 'classic' aria (Amoroso) - recit - aria (Allegro) format with some fascinating chromatic twists and turns. Source: Münster Santini Hs 3313 (Nr. 14) Range: e - f#' Editor: James Sanderson
£4.95
Cantata à voce sola di soprano
£4.95
Cantata à voce sola di soprano
£4.95
Cantata à voce sola di soprano
£4.95
Cantata à voce sola di mezzo-soprano
£4.95
A setting of psalm 115(116)
£12.95
Cantata à voce solo con violini
£5.95
Cantata à voce sola di contralto
£4.95
Cantata à voce sola di soprano
£4.95
Porpora: Abbandonata e sola
Forces: alto & continuo

Here Porpora is at the height both of his recitative and 'pathetic' writing with a stunning first aria, but also maintains the fieriness of his allegro writing in the last aria.

This pastoral cantata is all about 'separation angst' and the suffering when abandoned by one's love - in this case Fileno (again).

Source: Münster Santini Hs 3313 (Nr. 17)

Range: c - d'

Editor: James Sanderson

Cantata da camera
£4.95
Porpora: Alla caccia dell'alme
Forces: alto & continuo

A hunting cantata, as virtuosic as the Vivaldi version and with even better recitatives! ARA format, here Clori is the huntress who ensnares men with her charms, too late our lover discovers he is already caught, but he is "...not the first and not alone."

Range: a - e

Editor: James Sanderson

Cantata da camera
£4.95
Porpora: Alto Giove
Forces: soprano, strings & continuo

The aria made famous through the film 'Farinelli: il castrato' Beautiful and virtuosic, it concerns Acis thanking Jove for making him immortal.

In two sections, the beautiful lento with it's slowly moving harmony and sinuous vocal line, and an unexpected andantino middle section.

Range: d - g''

Editor: James Sanderson

Aria for Farinelli from Polifemo
£4.95
Porpora: Amor crudele Amore
Forces: soprano & continuo

Source: BL Add 14,215 ff 68r - 71v

Recit - aria - recit - aria form with two beautifully contrasting arias. The shepherd rails against Amor and prays for the love of his shepherdess.

Range: d - g'

Editor: James Sanderson

Cantata à voce sola di soprano
£4.95
Porpora: Calcante ed Achille
Forces: soprano, bass, violins, viola & continuo

A substantial chamber duet with a sinfonia, an aria for each character and a final duet. This is beautiful writing with many variations on the aria format, middle sections with different tempi and Afekt. It is the seer Calcas pronouncing the sacrifice of Iphegenia that set off the argument between Agamemnon and Achilles (Iliad).

Editor: James Sanderson

Duetto à soprano e basso con violini
£6.95
Porpora: Cantatas Op. 1 (pt. 1 - soprano)

Forces: soprano & continuo

The first six of the cantatas dedicated to the Prince of Wales in 1735

All to texts by Metastasio, they are virtuosic, filled with beautifully written recitatives and arias, perhaps the high-point of Porpora's work in this genre.

D'amore il primo dardo
Nel mio sonno almen
Tirsi chiamare a Nome
Queste che miri o Nice
Scrivo in te l'amato nome (Il nome)
Già la notte s'avvicina

See the individual titles for previews

Editor: James Sanderson
Collection of 6 cantatas for soprano
£17.95
Porpora: Cantatas Op. 1 (pt. 2 - alto)
Forces: alto & continuo

The second six of the cantatas dedicated to the Prince of Wales in 1735

All to texts by Metastasio, they are virtuosic, filled with beautifully written recitatives and arias, perhaps the high-point of Porpora's work in this genre.

Veggo la Selva e il monte
Or che una nube ingrata
Destatevi, destatevi ò pastori
Oh se fosse il mio core
Oh Dio che non è vero
Dal povero mio cor

See the individual titles for previews.

Editor: James Sanderson
Collection of 6 cantatas for contralto
£17.95
Porpora: Celinda, Oh Dio Celinda
Forces: soprano & continuo

Celinda has gone missing, and her lover sings of her beauty, his searching and his hope of her return. Great recits, a beautiful Siciliano and a virtuosic allegro to finish.

Source: Münster Santini HS 3313(1)

Range: d - f#'

Editor: James Sanderson

Cantata à voce sola di soprano
£4.95
Porpora: Chiara dea
Forces: alto, strings & continuo

Act I scene i of Porpora's 1711 opera Flavio Anicio Olibrio provides us with another obbligato cello aria (who was the cellist?)

Editor: James Sanderson

Aria from Flavio Anicio Olibrio
£3.95
Porpora: Cieco Dio fors'io quel fiore
Forces: soprano & continuo

Blind Cupid is causing grief again for our young lover and inspires this paean. A 'classic' aria (Amoroso) - recit - aria (Allegro) format with some fascinating chromatic twists and turns.

Source: Münster Santini Hs 3313 (Nr. 14)

Range: e - f#'

Editor: James Sanderson

Cieco Dio fors'io quel fiore Forces: soprano & continuo Blind Cupid is causing grief again for our young lover and inspires this paean. A 'classic' aria (Amoroso) - recit - aria (Allegro) format with some fascinating chromatic twists and turns. Source: Münster Santini Hs 3313 (Nr. 14) Range: e - f#' Editor: James Sanderson
£4.95
Porpora: Cinto il cor d'aspre catene
Forces: soprano & continuo

'The Joys of Love are greater than any freedom' must be the moral of this pastoral cantata. Trapped in the chains of love, the young man still longs for his Fille, not for freedom! In simple ARA format with a very beautiful pair of arias.

Source: Münster Santini HS 3313 (Nr. 19)

Range: d - a''

Editor: James Sanderson
Cantata à voce sola di soprano
£4.95
Porpora: Clari Splendete
Forces: soprano, strings & continuo

Source BL Add. 14125

Written in March 1744 for the Ospedaletto. Virtuosic solo motet.

Editor: James Sanderson

Solo motet
£6.95
Porpora: Clori, vezzosa Clori
Forces: soprano & continuo

Separation angst is the theme again in this pastoral cantata. Apart from Clori, her lover bewails his fate through woods, mountains and streams (they always seem to walk so far!). RARA format, the first aria full of wonderful suspensions and a slowly agitated bass line, the second with more agitation in 12/8

Source: Münster Santini HS 3313(3)

Range: e flat - g'

Editor: James Sanderson

Cantata à voce sola di soprano
£4.95
Porpora: Col tuo dolce mormorio
Forces: soprano & continuo

Early cantata in aria-recit-aria format. Recit has very adventurous harmonic progressions and first aria is very beautiful Lento, last is virtuosic

Editor: James Sanderson

Cantata à voce sola di soprano
£4.95
Porpora: Concerto per Violoncello (G)
Forces: violoncello solo, strings & continuo

Porpora's G Major cello concerto from a contemporary copy in BL MS Add 14125. This performing edition comes complete with parts for orchestra and soloist. The MIDI preview is of the second movement - Allegro. There are four movements in total (Adagio (C) - Allegro (C) - Adagio (3/4) - Allegro (6/8)). The concerto is highly virtuosic and the solo writing well suited to the instrument.

Editor: James Sanderson

Cello concerto in G
£9.95
Porpora: Cora amante di perchè
Forces: mezzo-soprano & continuo

One of three aria-recit-aria cantatas in BL MS Add 29484, simple but very attractive. Subject: Cora's unwillingness to love

Editor: James Sanderson

Cantata à voce sola di mezzo-soprano
£4.95
Porpora: Credidi propter
Forces: SSAA coro, strings & continuo

Source: BL MS Add. 14127 ff 29r - 38r (autograph)

A setting of psalm 115(116) Credidi propter quod locutus sum ego divided into 3 sections: Psalm - Gloria - Sicut erat & amen.

Written in 1745 for the Ospedaletto, it appears to have been reworked at a later date for SSAB coro, a format more characteristic of earlier works for the Pietà. This version follows the original SSAA coro version in all respects.

Editor: James Sanderson

A setting of psalm 115(116)
£12.95
Porpora: Credimi pur che t'amo
Forces: soprano, strings & continuo

Written in July of 1712 this edition uses the autograph source in the British Library. Scored for two violins, soprano and continuo and dealing with the vagaries of love this is definitely an early work, very similar in style to parts of Flavio Anicio Olibrio and reflecting an older style of cantata. It starts with a three part sinfonia, followed by two recitative and aria pairs (the last a particularly beautiful Siciliano).

Editor: James Sanderson

Cantata à voce solo con violini
£5.95
Porpora: D'Amor la bella pace
Forces: alto & continuo

Source BL Add 14122

Virtuosic cantata for alto and continuo - the last aria is particularly fiendish. Better known as a soprano cantata, this contemporary copy demonstrates the habit of transposing for different voices.

Editor: James Sanderson

Cantata à voce sola di contralto
£4.95
Porpora: D'amore il primo dardo
Forces: soprano & continuo

Cantata Op 1, no. 1

Text by Metastasio, concerning the power of Amore to pierce the heart with the very first dart. Affettuoso - recit - Allegro (both arias with 'Si sona' ritornelli)

Range: f' - g''

Editor: James Sanderson

Cantata à voce sola di soprano
£4.95
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