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Gi il sole dal Gange by Alessandro Scarlatti (1659-1725)

(published in 1680 as an aria for Lhonest negli amori)


Scarlatti was born Pietro Alessandro Gaspare Scarlatti on May 2, 1660, in
Palermo, Sicily. He was sent to Rome at age 12, where he learned under
Carissimi and was influenced by Pasquini. While in Rome, he wrote
compositions for Queen Christina of Sweden, who was his patron. He wrote
his first opera in 1679, entitled Gli equivoci nel sembiante. Gia il sole dal
Gange is a famous aria first appeared in Scarlattis 1680 opera, Lhonest
negli amori, his second opera that he wrote when he was only nineteen years
old. The work premiered in Rome at the Teatro di Palazzo Bernini, and
Domenico Filippo Bernini or Domenico Filippo Contini may have influenced
the writing of the libretto. This opera is one of few original dramatic
compositions that he wrote before leaving Rome in 1684. He then traveled to
Naples, where he was a maestro di cappella in the royal service. He founded
the Neopolitan School of Opera and worked for in numerous courts around
Italy until his death in Naples in 1725. In total, he wrote 115 operas as well
as many oratorias, masses, and cantatas. His work captures elements of the
Baroque period respecting traditional cadences but adding more elaboration.
This is particularly apparent in Luciano Pavarottis rendition of Gi il sole dal
Gange, where the stately melody is met with ornamental instrumentation.
Gi
il sole
dal
Gange
Already
the sun
from the
Ganges
Already the sun from over the Ganges
Already, the sun over the Ganges
Pi
chiaro
sfavilla
More clear sparkles
Sparkles more clearly
Shines more brightly
E
terge ogni stilla dellalba
che piange.
And wipes
every
drop of the dawn
And wipes every drop of the dawn
And dries every dewdrop

that cries

Col
raggio
dorato in gemma ogni stello
With the
gilded
ray adorning
every
blade
With the gilded ray adorning every blade
Its gilded rays adorning every blade of grass
E
gli
astri del cielo dipinge
nel
And the stars of the
sky paint
And the stars of the sky it paints in the field

prato.
in the

field.

And it paints the stars in the sky like a field.