Francesco Bartolomeo Conti (1681-1732)
Cantate con Istromenti
J. J. Quantz has left a testimonial to Conti’s ability as a performer, referring to an episode which occurred in Prague in 1723. The Viennese court orchestra was there to play the opera Costanza e Fortezza by J. J. Fux, and they were joined by a group of musicians from Dresden which included Quantz himself as well as Silvius Leopold Weiss, another great virtuoso on the lute and theorbo. This latter musician was assigned to a ripieno part, however, while that of the soloist was entrusted to Conti. The eight cantatas written by Conti are preserved in the Österreichische Nationalbibliothek in Vienna. They all feature the traditional alternation of recitative and aria. Each cantata consists of 3 arias and 2 and/or 3 recitatives, with the exception of cantatas nrs. 8 and 2, which contains 5 and 4 arias, respectively. All of them are for soprano solo. (Cantata nr. 8 is composed for two sopranos portraying the personages Tirsi and Lidia. ) The copyist has attributed the texts of the cantatas nr. 1 and 8 to Cav. Savallia, that of the nr. 5 to Cav. Stella, and the text of the cantata nr. 6 to S. Stampiglia. The common denominator which unites the texts of all eight cantatas is their pastoral setting or amorous subject.