Do you know the piece called Lascia ch’io pianga by Handle? It seems like it is a very famous aria (song), and I might have heard it somewhere in the past, but it was only several days ago I actually looked into this piece. Let me talk about it today.
George Frederich Handel (1685-1759) was a German-British composer in the late Baroque period. He was born in the same year as Johann Sebastian Bach and Domenico Scarlatti. He is known for his operas, oratorios as well as other instrumental music.
He was trained in Halle in Germany and worked in Hamburg (in Germany) and Italy. After that he went to London (England) in 1712. He was very successful there and naturalized to England in 1727.
As we learn the violin repertoire, we recognize Handel as a composer of 6 violin sonatas (You will find a couple of them in the Suzki Book 6), orchestral suites “Water Music,” and the oratorio “Messiah” which has a very famous “Hallelujah chorus.”
Of course, we are familiar with “Chorus” from the oratorio “Judas Maccabaeus” in the Suzuki Book 2 as well as the Shinozaki Violin Method Vol. 1. Handel’s Bouree is also found in the Suzuki Book 2 and the Shinozaki Violin Method vol.2.
Handel – Lascia ch’io pianga (Let me weep / Let me lament)
As I mentioned, Handel is known for his operas. This aria, “Lascia ch’io pianga,” is sung by a soprano singer in the Second act, Scene 4 of Handel’s first London opera “Rinaldo” (1711). It is a simple and beautiful song in rather slow tempo, indicated Largo (which means large, grand in Italian).
Almirena, who is the love of Rinaldo’s life, is abducted by the evil sorceress. She sings of her poignant fate in the enchanted garden that she has no hope of escaping and can only pray for mercy.
The English translation is below:
Let me weep over
my cruel fate,
and let me sigh for
May sorrow shatter
for my torments
just out of pity.
By reading the lyric, I felt this could be applied to our current situation. Due to the pandemic, we were somehow trapped by the invisible power, and we lost the freedom we had before. Who would have expected that?
In addition, it was two weeks ago, something happend to me and it hurt my feelings tremendously. At the same time, it infuriated me so much; which I never experienced before. The issue is related to this pandemic. At that time, I found this piece of music. Looking at the music, I sang it in my head, played it on the violin, and without knowing the lyrics, I was so encouraged by the power of this simple beauty which made me want to know more about it, and share it with others.
—the power of music—
Handel – Lascia ch’io pianga (violin duet)
This arrangement respects this aria’s simple beauty and can be played by the people who does not have long experience of learning the violin. If you are interested, please contact me about the score from the “Inquiry” page (https://www.dearviolinstudents.com/contact/).