Überlegungen zum frühen italienischen Kantatenschaffen
This paper is focused less on the chronology of the cantatas produced by Handel during his first Italian sojourn (particularly in Rome and Naples) than on stylistic questions and formal devices, with the aim of offering new insights into the formation of the cantatas. The following works are considered: Figlio d’alte speranze (HWV 113), the Sonata a 5 HWV 288 and, in particular, Tu fedel, tu costante? (HWV 171). The astonishing and complex structure of the Sonata in G Minor which opens HWV 171 follows the brand new formal principle of the concerto as developed by Antonio Vivaldi, and even shows the influence of Arcangelo Corelli. On the basis of these purely stylistic aspects, a Venetian influence on these compositions cannot be excluded. The subsequent development of HWV 171 is by no means less breathtaking: Handel offers an overwhelming spectrum of experimental formal structures in response to the poetic context. The third tempo of Figlio d’alte speranze (HWV 113) presents a new, non-Vivaldian use of concerto technique. The Sonata of Delirio amoroso (HWV 99) demonstrates a familiarity with the principles of the concerto grosso and refers to the structural conception of the Sonata HWV 288. If the Sonata of HWV 78 (Ah! Crudel del pianto) is taken into account, the variety of aesthetic discourses becomes quite astonishing. A parallel structure to HWV 113 seems to characterize HWV 288; the structure of HWV 78 seems to point to HWV 150 (Ero e Leandro) and HWV 99 (Delirio amoroso). Quite different are the openings of Handel’s later Venetian cantatas, for example Alpestre monte (HWV 81). One might be tempted to acknowledge a certain influence of the Sublime in Handel’s subordination of the concerto principle and structure to the creation of a free musical “scena”.