Cantata “Amore traditore” by Nicola Fago
It was chance that led me to discover Nicola Fago‘s little-known cantata Amore traditore for soprano and basso continuo.
A few years ago, I was asked to take part in a recital that included a Bach cantata with the same title, yet for bass and harpsichord (BWV 203), a work I’d always wanted to perform.
Although there were already good (easily accessible) editions of the Bach, I did want to have a look at the manuscript out of curiosity—you never know what you might find.
As I looked through the BSL’s catalog, I immediately discovered that both J.S. Bach and Fago had set the same anonymous text, with a few variants.
While Bach’s setting is angst-ridden, harmonically rich, extroverted, and virtuosic (especially for the harpsichordist)—perhaps his impression of Italians or the Italian Baroque style—Fago’s is in many ways simpler, more straightforward, and contemplative, clearly expressing a different, if appealing, aesthetic.
Nevertheless, Fago composed a beautiful work.
Here’s my free edition of his cantata.