Night scenes form an important element in the output of Alessandro Scarlatti, whether in the light-hearted genre of the serenata, or in the more serious context of the cantata. Some recurrent types of musical imagery used by Scarlatti in his ‘night’ cantatas form the subject of this paper, as well as the emotional states evoked by the poetic texts and scenario of the works. The two principal works discussed are the solo serenata for soprano and violins, ‘Horche di Febo ascosi’ (ca.1704), and the much more sombre soprano cantata of 1705, ‘Notte cara’, with their contrasting treatments of ‘Dear night’. Scarlatti’s evocations of night and dreams are further illustrated with reference to two of his 17th century works for soprano and violins, one of which shows striking similarity to a cantata on the Crucifixion of Christ by Alessandro Stradella.
Music Research: New Directions for a New Century p. 27-39