Le Lacrime di Eros (Digital MP3)
A musician cannot move others unless he is moved himself. He must necessarily feel all of the affects that he wishes to evoke in his audience, for the revealing of his own humour will stimulate a like humour in the listener. In languishing, sad passages, the performer must languish and grow sad. One sees and hears it at him.
— Carl Philipp Emmanuel Bach
(…) It is not surprising that this mixture of pain and pleasure became so highly appreciated by mid 17th century Italy, at the same time exultant and prudish, outshining though fading away. According to the Catholic Counter-Reformation ideas, there was no pleasure without guilt, nor delight without punishment. True Love can only be but the reward to soul torturing. Its sweetness increases with the bitterness of previous suffering. Carnal Love is the forbidden drug, hence mysterious and irresistible, ever-lastingly desirable. We will see it served in all possible tastes: delightful in Landi; woeful in Bovicelli; joyful in Frescobaldi; hopeful beyond hope in Monteverdi; piquantly erotic in the image of Mary Magdalene standing by the Cross. (…)