Cantata on the Death of Antony


soprano and chamber ensemble of 5 players
Cassius D (Author)
Mixed Chamber Ensemble, Soprano
after Dion Cassius
Ebcl.bcl - vla.vlc.db
First Performance
13.5.89, Brighton Festival: Mary Wiegold/Composers Ensemble/John Woolrich

A4 facsimile score (fp) 0-571-55362-1 on sale

Programme Notes

Colin Matthews CANTATA ON THE DEATH OF ANTHONY (after Dion Cassius LI. 10) This four-minute cantata was written for Mary Wiegold and the Composers Ensemble, who, under the direction of John Woolrich, gave the first performance in May 1989 at the Brighton Festival. I Introduction II Recit 1 - Cleopatra, pretending to fear Caesar and so to forestall him by taking her life, but in truth enticing Anthony to follow her, rushed to the mausoleum. III Scena 1 – Though he suspected betrayal, his infatuation was such that he felt more pity for her than for himself, which Cleopatra perceiving, she hoped that if he thought that she was dead, he would not want to survive her. IV Recit 2 – With a eunuch and two midservants she raced to the tomb, and thence sent a message, from which he would infer she was dead. And he, when he heard it, desiring to follow her, asked one to stood by to dispatch him: who, drawing his sword, slew himself. V Aria 1 – Anthony, spurred by such courage, wounded himself, and fell to the ground as if dead. VI Scena 2 – An outcry arose, and Cleopatra peered out from the top of the tomb (which was not yet completed). Now when some of them saw her, they shouted, so that even Anthony heard. VII Recit 3 – When he learned that she lived, he stood up, as if he had the strength: but through great loss of blood he despaired of his life, and begged those standing by to lift him, and hoist him up to the tomb by the ropes that hung there to raise the stone blocks. VIII So Anthony dies there in Cleopatra’s breast. IX Coda (Recit 4) – But she now had faith in Caesar and quickly informed him of all that had taken place). Colin Matthews

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