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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Cantata con flauto e stromenti
£6.95
Aria from Germanico in Germania
£4.95
Aria from Flavio Anicio Olibrio
£4.95
Setting of Psalm 90/91
£7.95
Setting of Salve Regina
£7.95
Setting of Salve Regina
£7.95
Setting of Salve Regina
£7.95
Setting of Salve Regina
£7.95
Setting of Salve Regina
£7.95
Aria from Gli Orti Esperidi
£4.95
Aria from Gli Orti Esperidi
£4.95
Aria from Polifemo Act III, v
£4.95
Aria from La Festa d'Imeneo
£3.95
Porpora: Oh volesser gli dei/Dolce fresche aurette grate
Forces: soprano, strings & continuo

Source: Autograph copy in Royal Music Collection

Acis' (Farinelli's) opening aria from 'Polifemo'

It is a beautiful accompanied recit followed by a largo with an allegro 'b' section.

Editor: James Sanderson

Aria from Polifemo
£4.95
Porpora: Or che d'orrido verno
Forces: soprano, flute, strings & continuo

A substantial cantata with a 2-part Sinfonia, then RARA, including a particularly beautiful Affettuoso aria on the theme of separation from the beloved and a virtuosic final aria railing against the sea.

Range: d - a'

Editor: James Sanderson

Cantata con flauto e stromenti
£6.95
Porpora: Parto, ti lascio, o cara
Forces: soprano, strings & continuo

Arminio's wonderfully expressive aria from Act II of Germanico in Germania. Lyrical, heart-rending - an absolute showstopper! Witten by Porpora for his pupil Caffarelli - long phrases and extreme leaps in the vocal line, a kind of pain that, in spite of everything, is sweet.

Editor: James Sanderson

Aria from Germanico in Germania
£4.95
Porpora: Perchè ad amarmi
Forces: tenor, strings & continuo

From Act I scene vi of Flavio Anicio Olibrio this is Ricimero's aria about resoluteness in fighting for love

Editor: James Sanderson

Aria from Flavio Anicio Olibrio
£4.95
Porpora: Placida Surge Aurora
Forces: alto, strings & continuo

Source BL MSS Add 14125

Written for the Ospedaletto in 1744 (soloist Angioletta Moro). Virtuosic and beautiful writing - particularly the second aria Facis splendor.

Editor: James Sanderson

Solo motet
£6.95
Porpora: Qui Habitat
Forces: 2 soprani solo, SSAA coro, strings & continuo

Source: autograph in BL Add MS 14126

Another single section psalm setting written for the girls of the Ospedaletto in Venice in February of 1744. Launching straight into a rapid word setting and using advanced, and in some moments unusual, harmonic changes. The solo sections are, as usual, virtuosic, the choral writing exciting, but not too difficult to sing.

Editor: James Sanderson

Setting of Psalm 90/91
£7.95
Porpora: Regina Coeli
Forces: alto, strings & continuo

Source BL MS Add 14129

Highly virtuosic motet for alto and strings. Extraordinarily difficult! Written in March 1742 and dedicated per la signorina Marina.

Editor: James Sanderson

Solo motet
£7.95
Porpora: Salve Regina (B flat)
Forces: soprano, strings & continuo

Source: British Library

Written in 1744 this is perhaps the most varied of the solo Salve Reginas with no fewer than 7 different sections. It is also one of the highest pieces in autograph with a number of high B flats.

Editor: James Sanderson

Setting of Salve Regina
£7.95
Porpora: Salve Regina (d)
Forces: alto, strings & continuo

Source: copyist's work in the British Library

An extremely varied work with a wide-ranging vocal part and some very beautiful lines. This is another work which puts paid to Burney's sniggers!

Editor: James Sanderson

Setting of Salve Regina
£7.95
Porpora: Salve Regina (F)
Forces: alto, strings & continuo

Source BL Add 14125

Dated 1744 and written in four movements including an allegro-adagio da capo aria and a superb opening 'Salve Regina'. Beautiful setting of this latin text.

Editor: James Sanderson

Setting of Salve Regina
£7.95
Porpora: Salve Regina (G - 1745)
Forces: soprano, strings & continuo

Source: British Library

Written for the soprano Graziola at the Ospedaletto in Venice, this is the later of the two G major Salves. In 4 sections/movements (Moderato - Alegretto - Andantino - Lento) it is a virtuosic, but graceful work.

Editor: James Sanderson

Setting of Salve Regina
£7.95
Porpora: Salve Regina (G)
Forces: soprano, strings & continuo

Source: British Library

A copy which has been annotated and adjusted by Porpora himself. In four movements and once again showing great inspiration in the opening Lento 'Salve Regina'.

Editor: James Sanderson

Setting of Salve Regina
£7.95
Porpora: Sarebbe nell'amar soave il sospirar
Forces: soprano, strings & continuo

Farinelli's second aria from one of his first appearances (Rome 1721) in Gli Orti Esperidi. In the rôle of Adonis, Farinelli sings of the power of love to hold him to his beloved despite the horrors of Tartarus.

Editor: James Sanderson

Aria from Gli Orti Esperidi
£4.95
Porpora: Se il morir, fosse mia pena
Forces: soprano, strings & continuo

The first aria from one of Farinelli's forst appearances (Rome 1721). In the rôle of Adonis, Farinelli sings of his willingness to give up his life for love of Venus.

A beautiful aria with primarily violin bass rather than continuo.

Editor: James Sanderson

Aria from Gli Orti Esperidi
£4.95
Porpora: Se pietoso il tuo labro
Forces: soprano, strings & continuo

Source: BL Add MS 31593 ff 30r - 33v

A deceptively virtuosic aria with exciting rhythmic and melodic interest and occasionally bizarre harmonies. If your lips would have pity upon me... From Ezio (1728).

Editor: James Sanderson

Aria from Ezio
£4.95
Porpora: Se son lontano dal mio diletto
Forces: soprano, strings & continuo

Adone (Farinelli)'s second aria from Act II of Porpora's Gli orti Esperidi. A charming allegro with a 'pathetic' twist, once again principally accompanied by the upper strings - perhaps a gesture to the young Farinelli's age (16 at the time). Adone sings of the fear which enters his heart in the absence of his beloved.

Editor: James Sanderson

Aria from Gli Orti Esperidi
£4.95
Porpora: Senti il fato
Forces: soprano, strings & continuo

Source: Polifemo Act III, scene v

Acis' (Farinelli's) last aria. In the true bravura style which made both singer and composer famous this aria is extraordinary! Everything from fiendish coloratura to leaps of a 10th, 11th and 12th. Masterful writing. The aria is preceded by a secco recitative and has a slower, though even more virtuosic, middle section.

Editor: James Sanderson

Aria from Polifemo Act III, v
£4.95
Porpora: Son frà l'onde in mezzo al mare
Forces: soprano, strings & continuo

Venere's aria from the end of act I uses all the illusions of the crashing waves upon the shore, convincing her lover, Adone, to remain with her. Written for the great Marianna Bulgarelli (La Romanina: 1684 - 1734) it is a wonderfully 'splashy' coloratura aria.

Editor: James Sanderson

Aria from Gli Orti Esperidi
£4.95
Porpora: Sonata per violoncello
Forces: cello & continuo

From a copy in the British Library (Add 14125) this F major sonata provides some tricky passages for the instrument. Continuo figures are missing in the copy, however they have been provided in this edition.

Editor: James Sanderson

Cello sonata
£6.95
Porpora: Vaghi amori
Forces: soprano, strings & continuo

Imeneo's opening aria from 'La Festa d'Imeneo' Written for Farinelli in 1736 as part of a Serenata composed for the wedding of the Prince of Wales, this is a virtuosic piece with a great deal of room for embellishment.

Editor: James Sanderson

Aria from La Festa d'Imeneo
£3.95
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