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About this Piece

“Splender frà’l cieco orror,” from Tito Manlio (Rome, 1720). This story of honor vs. duty derives from Livy’s history of Rome. *Sung by Servilla, [this aria] comes at the point where the young woman is preparing to meet her lover Manlio, who has been arrested and put in chains for defying the orders of the Consul Tito. The tragic nature of the impending encounter is starkly conveyed by this unsettling piece, which takes its character from the contrast between the sustained violin and viola parts and the vigorous and relentless [notes] of the bass line.*