Lascia ch\'io pianga from Rinaldo Act II

Lascia ch'io pianga
from Rinaldo Act II

Printed set (Score & Parts)
Piccolo (doubling Flute 3)
Flute 1
Flute 2
Oboe 1/2
Bassoon 1/2
Eb Clarinet
Bb Clarinet 1
Bb Clarinet 2
Bb Clarinet 3
Bb Bass Clarinet
Eb Contra-alto Clarinet
Eb Alto Saxophone 1
Eb Alto Saxophone 2
Bb Tenor Saxophone
Eb Baritone Saxophone

Bb Trumpet 1
Bb Trumpet 2
Bb Trumpet 3 (doubling Bb Flugelhorn)
F Horn 1/2
F Horn 3/4
Trombone 1
Trombone 2
Trombone 3
String Bass


[Percussion 1] Triangle, Snare Drum
[Percussion 2] Crash Cymbals, Suspended Cymbal
[Percussion 3] Chimes, Celesta
[Percussion 4] Vibraphone, Glockenspiel


This arrangement is based on the famous aria from the opera "Rinaldo" by George Frederic Handel. The story takes place during the 11th century Crusades. Rinaldo, a military officer, is promised the hand of Almirena if he succeeds in taking Jerusalem from the Saracen king Argante. The sorceress Armida, consort of Argante, instead spirits Almirena away, to Rinaldo's despair.
This aria is sung by Almirena while she is held captive in Jerusalem. The lyrics are:

Let me weep my cruel fate, and sigh for liberty.
May sorrow break these chains of my sufferings, for pity's sake.

One of the prevalent musical forms of the Baroque era was "Da Capo Aria". It is in ternary form (ABA) and typical for the musical genres of opera and cantata. The singer was often expected to improvise variations and ornaments during the third section, to keep it from being a mere repetition of the first. These embellishments were represented as coloratura or in virtuosic cadenzas where the soloists could exert their craft.
This is also true for instrumental music. For instance in Arcangelo Corelli's Violin Sonatas, much ornamentation is added in the repeated A section. Thus, every time a piece is performed, the interpretation of the performers helps it evolve to something new. So it is for this band arrangement. The embellishments not only change the mode, but also influence the musical style and form resulting in this work becoming a sort of theme and variations.
The way the music evolves towards the climax should reflect the struggle of expressing complex mixed emotions like grievous suffering, strong will, and earnest desire.
Commissioned and premiered by Iyo Senior High School Band in Ehime Prefecture, Japan.

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