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Bellini: 15 Songs for Voice and Piano - 6. Torna, vezzosa Fillide
by Lawrence Brownlee, tenor, with Martin Katz, piano
This was composed by Bellini in Milan between the years 1827 and 1833. It is set in three unnamed movements, and is a dramatic depiction in an Arcadian setting. The operatic piano introduction gives no hint of the bucolic setting, but introduces the song as if it were a staged aria, giving hints of the music to come. The interaction between piano and voice that follows is filled with energy, and reuses material from the opening. As the poetry sings of the heart having "no peace", the music becomes unsettled and intense.

The verses sing of Fillide's suffering, and the suffering of her lover. The prominent accompaniment is filled with agitation and drama, and the vocal material of the central section is embellished in triplets and sixteenths. Finally the distraught finale is set up and, with the stormy sea in the background, the singer despairs of ever seeing his beloved again. She is surely drowned, and her lover rants in his madness.
Posted: 17th October 2019
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