The Italian Serenata is a genre tied more than most to locality and occasion. One of the most attractive serenatas of Alessandro Scarlatti, Venere, Adone, and Amore was composed for a festive evening in Naples in July 1696, with libretto by the Neapolitan Francesco Maria Paglia. Ten years later, while working in Rome, Scarlatti produced an updated version of the same work, in which all references to Naples are replaced by Roman references. But the changes to score go far beyond this. Scarlatti rescored the work for the concerto grosso resources to which he now had regular access at the court of Cardinal Ottoboni, and recomposed a number of arias and vocal ensembles. The existence of both versions of the work gives a unique insight into Scarlatti as a composer adapting time and place. The paper is based on my work resulting in an edition and recording of Venere, Adone, and Amore, in which the 1696 score for Naples was used as the primary version. We also recorded some of the most outstanding new numbers of the 1706 Rome version, thus entering the new stylistic world of stylistic world of Scarlatti in the 18th century.
Combined Conference of the Musicological Societies of New Zealand and Australia: Music & Locality: Towards a Local Discourse in Music. Proceedings of the MSA/NZ Musicology Society Conference (Wellington, New Zealand 27-30 November, 2003 )